Clarity refers to the presence (or absence) of inclusions within a diamond.
What is an inclusion?
Each Diamond is unique. That’s because during crystallization, minerals can get trapped in the diamond. These characteristics, sometimes called inclusions, or blemishes, give each diamond its individuality. Some people also call them “birthmarks.” The number, color, size, and position of these all affect our assessment of clarity
What aspects of the inclusion affect the diamond’s clarity?
- Size: How large an inclusion is within a diamond.
- Number: How many inclusions are present.
- Position: Where the inclusion is located. For instance, it may be more hidden in the inside lower facets, or more obvious on the surface of the diamond.
- Nature: Based on their size and location some inclusions may affect the durability of the diamond.
- Relief: Based on color, some inclusions may be more apparent than others. For example black inclusions are much more visible than white or clear inclusions.
How is clarity graded?
The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible through 10× magnification.
- Flawless (FL) – No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification. Very rare stones.
- Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification. Most blemishes can be removed by slight polishing.
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Minute inclusions that are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification.
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Minor inclusions that range from difficult to somewhat easy to see under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor.
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are easily noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification and possibly visible with the naked eye.
- Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance
We at Josh Levkoff Jewelry, do not sell any diamonds below an SI2 grade.
Truth About Diamonds – Clarity:
To save money, purchase an SI stone where the flaws are on the side of the stone, so when set in the ring, it looks flawless. This will give the look of a VS stone but you only pay the price of an SI Stone.
Best Bang for my Buck?
To get the best value for your money, buy a stone in the ranges of G-I Color Range, and VS2-SI2 Clarity Range.
What should I know when buying studs?
When buying studs, there is no need to use certified stones if you are working with someone whom you trust. Try to get a diamond in the range of H-J Color, with an SI2 Clarity. When evaluating the diamonds, don’t forget they will not be worn directly next to each other, but rather there is “a nose between the two Diamonds.”
How does size affect clarity?
As the size of diamonds increase, so do their facets. Thus, it is important when purchasing a larger size diamond, to stay in the higher range for clarity. This is because with larger facets, the ease of seeing the inclusions in the diamond increases.
How does shape affect clarity?
Certain shapes, such as Asscher and Emerald Cuts, are cut in a way where the facets are more transparent. They are step-cut Diamonds. This allows you to see into the diamond easier than other cuts. If you are going with one of these two shapes, we recommend that you stick with a VS2 Clarity or higher.
Diamond clarity means finding out characteristics of a diamond including the blemishes and inclusions.
Usually there are two kinds of flaws found in diamonds – blemishes and inclusions. Inclusions are internal flaws that are found in diamonds including cracks, air bubbles, and minerals that are non-diamond. Most of the blemishes occur at the time of cutting process. The diamonds that have lesser blemishes and inclusions are considered valuable as compared to the ones that have less clarity.
On basis of clarity, grades are given to diamonds under loupe magnification. These grades vary from the ones that do not have blemishes and inclusion at all- flawless and the Included 3 category where diamonds have heavy inclusions, blemishes that can be seen by untrained eye too. There are different grades given to diamond like IF, F, VVS1-VVS2, SI1-SI2 and I1-I2-I3. Diamond’s clarity grade is proof of the identity of a diamond.
GIA certificates consist of diamond inclusion’s plot, as there is no similarity between two diamonds. The plot of the GIA certificate ensures the worth of diamond you are planning to buy. It lets you have an assurance that the diamond you are receiving is the one you have paid for. If you are in a fix about what clarity grade you should go for, flawless is the best and rarest clarity grade but you can find other diamonds that are stunning even though they have flaws.