Diamond Clarity

Clarity: a state or quality of being clear, distinct and transparent - Wikipedia


Did you know that no two natural diamonds are ever identical? Just as even identical twins have minute differences and no two fingerprints are ever the same, so a natural diamond, formed over tens of thousands of years under the intense heat and pressure found close to the earth’s molten core can never be an identical match to another. During the millennium that it takes to for a diamond to develop, tiny, often microscopic imperfections form inside the diamond (known professionally as inclusions) and/or on its surface (otherwise known as blemishes). If you like, these inclusions and blemishes are a sort of diamond “birthmark”.


Of the universal 4 Cs of diamond quality – Cut, Color, Carat and Clarity, the last, clarity is perhaps the easiest to explain and for the layperson to understand. That’s what we are going to do in this article. We will be giving you a greater understanding of how clarity is measured and graded and how all diamonds (well 99% at least) have some imperfections, and how these imperfections can, but not necessarily do, affect a diamonds value and overall look.


Also a diamond’s GIA Certificate (its ID card) contains a great deal of technical and scientific information about the stone. Understanding, if only basically, what the different terms mean, will make the certificate more understandable.


Diamond Clarity Grading


As with all things concerning diamonds, clarity is a characteristic that can be measured and graded. In fact, a universally accepted measuring and grading standard is essential for the industry to price diamonds according to one standard and for the client, you, to know that the price you’re paying is a fair one based on universal standards.


The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has developed a Clarity Scale that has become the universally accepted standard for measuring and grading diamond clarity. It classifies diamonds into one of 6 grades some of which are divided into sub-grades.


In general, Flawless diamonds demand the highest prices and I grades the lowest. Many jewelers will not sell I2 and I3 gradediamonds because of their instability issues and offer only a limited selection of I1 diamonds.


Flawless (FL)

There are no discernable blemishes and inclusions when the diamond is examined under 10X magnification by a skilled diamond grader. Less than 1 out of every 5000 diamonds is awarded this grading.

Internally Flawless (IF)

No internal imperfections abut some surface blemishes are visible to an expert diamond grader under 10X magnification. To the lay person there is no visible difference between FL and IF diamonds. Only 3% of diamonds are awarded the IF grade.

Very, Very slightly included 1 (VVSI1)

Very, Very slightly included 2 (VVSI2)

A skilled diamond grader ill find it hard to identify inclusions under 10X magnification. The two sub grades refer to:

VVSI1 indicates inclusions that can only be seen beneath the cut diamond’s widest point, its girdle.

VVSI 2 indicates inclusions that can only be seen from the diamond’s upper sections, the crown.

Very slightly included 1 (VSI1)

Very slightly included 2 (VSI2)

When examined under 10X magnification, inclusions can be seen clearly. However they are still classified as minor.

VSI1 indicates inclusions that can only be seen beneath the diamond’s its girdle.

VSI 2 indicates inclusions that can only be seen from the diamond’s crown.

Included (I1, I2 and I3)

The diamonds inclusions are clearly visible under 10X magnification and could affect the diamond’s transparency coefficient and its brilliance.

I2 and I3 grading include diamonds with very pronounced inclusions. The inclusions in I3 graded diamonds are so significant that they could possible affect the diamonds permanency.


Clarity Enhanced Diamonds


Almost 40 years ago, a young American scientist invested a process to enhance a diamonds clarity that made the inclusions invisible and transparent. Today, there are two accepted clarity enhancement procedures.


Laser drilling and acid wash involves the use of a fine laser beam to burn a microscopic hole through to the inclusion. An acid solution is them inserted that “washes” the color from the inclusion. This is a permanent treatment.


The other method is used on diamonds that have minute fractures and involves a sealing compound being used to fill the fracture. This treatment is not considered permanent and many companies supplying this type of clarity enhanced diamond will offer repair services if the filling is damaged – usually by heat when the diamond is being placed in a setting.


Why Buy Clarity Enhanced Diamonds


Quite simply, because of their cost. Even though clarity enhanced diamonds are indistinguishable from their non-enhanced cousins, their purchase cost can be as much as 40% less.


A clarity enhanced diamond makes the perfect choice if you’re looking for a really large or spectacular diamond but just can’t afford the regular price or want to make your budget stretch as far as possible. So, you get some dazzling diamonds that will be the envy of all, but at a fraction of the cost you intended to pay. And who knows, with the savings, you could get another piece of jewelry to compliment your new acquisition.


Hopefully, we’ve managed to make the whole issue of diamond clarity a bit clearer (sorry about the play on words - it was intended). Buying a genuine diamond is a big step, because you have to balance what you want, with what you can afford. And when confronted with so many scientific terms and definitions, understanding your way around a diamond and a diamond certificate can be a daunting experience.


Use this knowledge and other information that we provide on our site, to make the best possible decision for your heart and your wallet.


Remember, we are here to help you throughout the process. Whatever your question, our expert sales staff will provide you with all the information and help you need so that, when you make your decision, you can be confident that the diamonds you buy from Couplez are the best possible for your needs.


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