What's the diamond Clarity?
Diamond clarity is measured using a grading system established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which is widely recognized as the standard for diamond grading and certification. The GIA clarity scale ranges from Flawless (FL) to Included (I3), with grades based on the size, number, location, and visibility of the inclusions and blemishes within the diamond. Here is an overview of each clarity grade:
1. Flawless (FL): A diamond with no internal or external flaws visible under 10x magnification. These diamonds are exceptionally rare and valuable, as they are considered to be the purest and most perfect diamonds.
2. Internally Flawless (IF): A diamond with no internal flaws visible under 10x magnification, but may have minor blemishes on the surface. These diamonds are also rare and highly valued.
3. Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Diamonds with inclusions that are extremely difficult to see under 10x magnification. VVS1 diamonds have inclusions that are very difficult to see, even under high magnification, while VVS2 diamonds have inclusions that are slightly more visible but still very difficult to see.
4. Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Diamonds with inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification, but are minor and do not affect the diamond's overall appearance. VS1 diamonds have inclusions that are slightly more difficult to see than VS2 diamonds.
5. Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Diamonds with inclusions that are easily visible under 10x magnification, but are still minor and do not affect the diamond's overall appearance. SI1 diamonds have inclusions that are slightly more difficult to see than SI2 diamonds.
6. Included (I1, I2, and I3): Diamonds with inclusions that are visible to the naked eye and can affect the diamond's overall appearance and durability. I1 diamonds have inclusions that are relatively minor, while I2 and I3 diamonds have more significant inclusions that can affect the diamond's transparency, brilliance, and fire.
It's important to note that diamond clarity is not the same as diamond cleanliness. Cleanliness refers to the presence of dirt, oil, or other substances on the diamond's surface, which can be removed with cleaning and polishing. Clarity, on the other hand, refers to the diamond's internal and external characteristics, which cannot be removed or improved.
Diamond clarity is a crucial factor in determining the value of a diamond, along with the other three Cs. However, it's important to keep in mind that the importance of clarity can vary depending on the size and shape of the diamond, as well as the preferences of the buyer. For example, larger diamonds with higher clarity grades may be more valuable than smaller diamonds with the same clarity grade, while diamonds with lower clarity grades may still be highly desirable if they have exceptional color or cut.
In addition to affecting the value of a diamond, clarity can also impact its durability and longevity. Inclusions or blemishes in the diamond can create weak spots that are more prone to cracking or breaking, especially during the cutting and polishing process. For this reason, it's important to consider the clarity of a diamond when choosing a setting or deciding how to wear it.
When purchasing a diamond, it's important to consider the clarity grade along with the other three Cs (cut, color, and carat weight) to ensure that you're getting a diamond that meets your needs and preferences. However, it's also important to work with a reputable and knowledgeable jeweler who can guide you through the diamond buying process and help you make an informed decision.