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Clarity refers to the internal state of a diamond as seen under 10x magnifications. The cleaner or purer the diamond is on the inside, the greater the value of the stone. Most diamonds have slight imperfections, or flaws, within them. Inclusions or flaws are caused as a result of mineral deposits, irregular crystals, breaks or cracks.
A clarity scale will determine the number and type of inclusions. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS) both have created the following scale to grade the clarity of a diamonds.
|Scale||Flawless - Internally Flawless||Very Very Slightly Imperfect||Very Slightly Imperfect||Slightly Imperfect||Imperfect|
|Premium Quality Diamonds|
|GIA||AGS||Diamond Clarity Chart|
Flawless - has no internal or external imperfections.
Internally flawless- has no internal flaws and slight external blemishes.
|VVS1, VVS2||2 - 3||
Very very slightly imperfect -have minute inclusions that even an experienced grader has difficulty detecting.
|VS1, VS2||4 - 5||
Very slightly imperfect - have very few inclusions and a grader still has a hard time finding anything.
|SI1, SI2||6 - 7||
Slightly imperfect - contain inclusions that are noticeable to a grader.
|I1, I2, I3||8 - 10||
Imperfect - have obvious flaws that have the ability to affect transparency and brilliance.
Generally, it is better to select an "eye-clean" diamond - one that has no inclusions or blemishes visible to the naked eye. These diamonds usually will be certified as VVS1, VVS2, VS1 or VS2. Of course, these diamonds will generally be more expensive so if budget is a major consideration, diamonds with a clarity of SI1 or SI2 may be a better choice for you.
While clarity is very important to consider when searching for a diamond, it important to analyze all 4C's - Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut. Some people care more about size than cut, some more clarity than color. Most importantly, be as knowledgeable as you can before purchasing your very special diamond!
Non-certified stones are graded by our highly qualified gemologist; however they will also ways be what we call a split grade since they are not going to be GIA or AGS grading reports. Why this is; if you have a diamond that is SI which means it can be SI1 to SI2 a range; the same diamond will have an H to I color range. Only a certified diamond can be called SI1 H color, based on the lab company (GIA/AGS) that certified the stones. At DiamondWave our non-certified diamonds will always be SI1/SI2 H-I or better and our VS will be VS1/VS2 G-H color or better.
Inclusions are found internally and can appear in different forms-- varying from dark dots, tiny white points, feathery cracks to light or dark spots. The following describes a number of various inclusions found in diamonds:
The fewer the inclusions or imperfection - the more valuable the stone. A diamond's measure of clarity is determined by the size, number, type and placement of the imperfections.
It is crucial to consider where the flaw is positioned in relation to the diamond's cut. It is possible for some flaws to be more noticeable when they are situated in a more central area of the stone. Other inclusions have the potential to be more hidden. The location and type of inclusion have a major impact on the price of the diamond. A stone that has very few, hard-to-see dots located on or near the edge, which have the possibility of being covered, will have a higher clarity grade than a stone that has an imperfection directly under the largest facet of the stone.
When a diamond is certified, the stone's certificate will include a graph that will highlight its flaws and inclusions. Most lab certificates have plots of inclusions (marked in red for internal and green for external features); they are useful for identification. Often only the main "grade makers" are plotted, and additional inclusions are listed in the comments area of the report.