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Diamond Clarity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best way to describe clarity is to use a birthmark as an example. Every diamond has birthmarks. We call or classify them as: internal inclusions: blemishes, surface irregularities and external surface irregularities. The clarity of a diamond refers to how these birthmarks affects a diamond.

The diamond clarity grading scale is a measurement of the impact of these imperfections or "inclusions.” The more "clean" the diamond is, (i.e., the less birthmarks or imperfections) the greater its value.

The Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) clarity grading scale is the most widely used for grading diamonds in the United States. Diamond clarity is graded according to the relative position of the diamond’s inclusions on the Flawless-to-Imperfect scale. Below is GIA’s grading scale with definitions: 


Symbol

Meaning

Definition

F

Flawless

Free from all inclusions or blemishes.

IF

Internally Flawless

No inclusions visible at 10x magnification.

VVS1

Very Very Slightly Included #1

Inclusions that are extremely difficult to locate at 10x.

VVS2

Very Very Slightly Included #2

Inclusions that are very difficult to locate at 10x.

VS1

Very Slightly Included #1

Minor inclusions that are difficult to locate at 10x.

VS2

Very Slightly Included #2

Minor inclusions that are somewhat difficult to locate at 10x.

SI1

Slightly Included #1

Noticeable inclusions that are easy to locate at 10x.

Sl2

Slightly Included #2

Noticeable inclusion that are very easy to locate at 10x.

I1

Included #1

Obvious inclusions. Somewhat easy to locate with the unaided eye.

I2

Included #2

Obvious inclusions. Easy to locate with the unaided eye.

I3

Included #3

Obvious inclusions. Very easy to locate with the unaided eye.

Diamond Clarity Warning 
There are two methods used to enhance the clarity grade given to a diamond; they are laser drilling and fracture filling. Laser drilling is the process by which a laser is used to drill a tiny hole into a diamond and the black of the imperfection is then removed.

The second treatment is fracture filling. This method is not permanent and therefore not recommended. All clarity treated diamonds must be disclosed as such prior to sale. Be advised; you SHOULD NOT purchase any diamond that has been clarity treated in any shape, form or fashion. 

Diamond Clarity Facts:

  • Clarity is the relative absence of clarity characteristics
  • No two diamonds have the same inclusions in the same places
  • It is very rare to find a diamond that is completely pure or free of inclusions
  • The fewer inclusions a diamond has the more valuable it will be 
  • Most diamonds have "imperfections" in them.

Go back to: The Buying Diamonds Guide.

Go back to: The 4 C's of Diamonds

Source: Vicente Ross, DiamondExperts.biz 

 

 

 

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