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Clarity Guide

Published May 7, 2020 by jae

The diamond clarity often refers to as the visual appearance of the internal characteristics of diamond called inclusions. These inclusions are such as fractures or minerals. This refers to the blemishes (surface defects) that the diamond holds. You can’t ignore the fact that almost every diamond in the market will have some level of inclusion or flaws, but the key is to try to look for one with as few as possible. The lesser inclusions in a diamond, the greater the clarity and the higher the value of the diamond.

A diamond’s clarity grade is all about the flaws. There are two types of flaws:

  • Blemishes: found on the surface of the diamond
  • Inclusions: found within the diamond

 

The image below will show you the clarity grading available in a diamond.

 

The GIA Diamond Clarity Grades are as follows:

  • F (flawless inside and out)
    • No external or internal flaws. Extremely rare diamonds.
  • IF (internally flawless, which means there are blemishes on the surface but not inside the diamond)
    • No internal flaws but due to minor finish faults, there are surface flaws that can be removed by a gentle polishing with only  insignificant loss of weight.

 

  • VVS1 and VVS2 (very, very slightly included – two levels)
    • Inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification, there may only be insignificant finish faults.

 

  • VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included – two levels)
    • Under observation, few somewhat larger internal characteristics or inclusions can be seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.

 

  • SI1 and SI2 (slightly included – two levels)
    • Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible by the naked eye. There may occur single finish faults of an insignificant kind.

 

  • I1, I2 and I3 (included – three levels)
    • The term I or imperfect states that inclusions are visible under 10x magnification to the human eye. These diamonds are not recommended if you want a perfect ring.

 

Types of flaws:

There are two types of flaws that a diamond can have – external and internal.

  • External – flaws that may be visible on the outside of the diamond.
  • Internal – flaws that may be visible on the inside of the diamond.

 

External flaws:

  • Natural – the rough surface of a diamond that is not cut or polished.
  • Abrasions – small spots along the surface
  • Pit – A tiny opening on a flat surface
  • Fracture –  irregular shaped break
  • Cavity – an opening or a small hole in the surface
  • Nick – A section where the diamond needs to be cut or cleaved
  • Scratch – A small scratch mark (can be due to wear or tear)
  • Chip – A small fragment of stone either cut or broken
  • Surface Graining – Parallel lines on the surface of the stone
Internal Flaws:

  • Included – inclusions within a diamond
  • Beard – Small strips that go from the surface towards the middle of the stone
  • Grain / twinning – irregularity in the diamonds
  • Pinpoint – a tiny mark that appears white in crystals
  • Cloud – Groups of many microscopic inclusions
  • Needle – very thin, long internal mark
  • Feather – A small fragmentation inside the stone that forms a feather
  • Bruise – Minimal surface fragments often caused by a very hard knock

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