Selecting your clarity of diamond
Written on the 26 May 2017 by Unique Diamonds
Diamonds, although perfect in many ways, still often come with flaws. However, in many cases we are unable to see such faults. Learn about the effects natural inclusions and blemishes have on a diamonds appearance, quality and value.
Clarity refers to imperfections in the diamond. Lack of imperfections raise the cost of the diamond where as visible inclusions lower the cost. A diamond that is virtually free of interior or exterior inclusions (commonly referred to as flaws) is of the highest quality, for nothing interferes with the passage of light through the diamond. To determine a diamond's clarity, it is viewed under 10x magnification by a trained gemmologist. Small inclusions neither affect its beauty nor endanger its durability.
Did you know that the difference between finding an inclusion in a diamond at 60X magnification and one at 10X magnification is absolutely nothing to the naked eye, yet the price difference is staggering? Below is a break down of the different grades of clarity you will see on most diamond graded certificate.
FL/IF: Flawless or Internally Flawless. Best reason to buy one is so you can say "I have a flawless diamond!"
VVS1/VVS2: Very, Very Small Inclusions. Requires 60X magnification to clearly see inclusions. Usually not practical, but some VVS diamonds sell for only a slight bit more than VS diamonds.
VS1/VS2: Very Small Inclusions. Requires 30X magnification to clearly see inclusions. A good choice for someone wishing to balance high quality with relative affordability.
SI1/SI2: Small Inclusions. Generally requires 10X magnification to clearly see inclusions. Many larger SI diamonds are not completely eye clean. SI1 diamonds are some of the best values to be found anywhere. SI2 diamonds can be great diamonds, but should be considered individually to ensure quality.
SI3/I1: Imperfect. Eye-Visible Inclusions. Usually the most practical choice for earrings, pendants, or folks shopping on a budget. Many GIA "I1" diamonds have tiny, subtle inclusions that are difficult to detect.
I2/I3: Imperfect. Borderline drillbit material. Should only be purchased when a "bluff" diamond is the primary objective.
We recommend to all our customers to select stones graded SI and above to ensure there is no inclusions to the naked eye. It can be risky selecting a diamond online as it is hard to determine whether a stone will be eye clean. It is best to speak with the diamond supplier and confirm the clarity of a stone before purchase.
Author: Unique Diamonds