Diamond Clarity

DIAMOND CLARITY

Diamond Clarity Refers to the Existence or Absence of Inclusions and Blemishes. The most common terminology used for describing clarity is GIA (Gemology Institute of America) clarity grading terms, 11 grades in all as attributed below. The fewer or smaller the flaws are in a diamond the more expensive it is. Hard to find a diamond that is perfectly clean but the closer it gets to purity the higher the price of the diamond.
Natural diamonds are formed when carbon is exposed to very high heat and high pressure at 140km to 190 km deep inside the earth over a period of average 2 billion years. That is 2 billion years. And natural diamonds carry in themselves history of time, and also a variety of internal inclusions and external blemishes. Having a small inclusion or blemish that does not affect diamond’s quality is a positive as many lab grown or imitation diamonds are flawless or internally flawless. So a small inclusion can be a sign of a natural diamond.

Evaluating diamond clarity is quite an involved process. A grader needs to determine the quantity, size, nature, and position of the inclusions and blemishes, and take in account how these affect the overall appearance, fire, scintillation and sparkle of the gemstone.

F – Flawless – no inclusions, blemishes or anything else visible under 10x jewellers’ loupe magnification

IF - Internally flawless – No inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, slight polish lines or insignificant blemishes may be seen on pavilion only

VVS1 - Very very slightly included 1 – inclusions so very much slight that these are difficult even for a skilled jeweller to see under 10x magnification. It could be tiny pinpoint visible through the pavilion

VVS2 – Very very slightly included 2 – inclusions so very much slight that these are difficult even for a skilled jeweller to see under 10x magnification. You may see a tiny pinpoint on the crown of the diamond

VS1 – Very slightly included 1 – Inclusion can be only seen with effort under 10x magnification and are classified as minor such as a crystal visible in the table facet of a diamond

VS2 – Very slightly included 2 – Inclusion can be only seen with effort under 10x magnification and are classified as minor such as a crystal visible in the table facet of a diamond

SI1 – Slightly included 1 – Somewhat more noticeable than VS under 10x magnification. Could be a crystal visible in the table facet of the diamond

SI2 – Slightly included 2 – Somewhat more noticeable than VS under 10x magnification. Could be a feathers visible through the crown of the diamond

I1 – Included 1 – Inclusions obvious under 10x magnification and even eye visible and slightly diminish brilliance and durability of diamond

I2 – Included 2 - Inclusions are very obvious under 10x magnification and eye visible and affect the transparency, brilliance and durability of diamond

I3 – Included 3 - Inclusions are eye visible and affect the transparency, brilliance and durability of diamond

Depending the inclusions they may be prone to chips or breaks if knocked about. I1/2/3 or imperfect clarity equivalent European term is P1/2/3 P Clarity, or Piqué Clarity or PK. A number of online jewellers use P instead of I to disassociate from the term imperfect but P and I are the one only, the same clarity grade, imperfect diamonds that one better stay away and clarity of diamonds that IFFL does not recommend.

Some jewellers and especially online jewellers recently started to add SI3 as a grade to elevate I1 from its imperfect position. GIA does not have SI3 as a grade so anything SI3 is usually classified as I1.

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