A diamond clarity grade scale is a method of grading diamonds that allows consumers to be aware of the quality and flaws of a diamond they’re purchasing. This scale was developed by GIA (Gemological Institute of America), and ranges in grade from F to SI1. The lower the number, the higher the clarity of a diamond will be.
Diamonds have many properties that make them beautiful, but not all diamonds have perfect clarity as we see in stores. There are six grades that a diamond can fall into depending on how much it’s been sorted for any flaws (known as “flaws”) and imperfections (due to cutting or polishing) — from F-SI1 as viewed on 10x magnification.
Flawless (FL) This means that it has no visible impurities or inclusions. It’s the highest grade you can get when it comes to clarity. Diamonds that fall under this category are of the highest quality.
Internally Flawless (IF) This means that it has no visible inclusions under 10x magnification. Sorting may have been done, but the flaws aren’t visible. Some of the highest quality diamonds fall under this category.
(VVS1 and VVS2) -These diamonds have slight inclusions that are usually difficult to detect. They will most likely be invisible to the naked eye.Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) -VVS1 and VS2 diamonds will have inclusions that are detected under 10x magnification but can only be termed as minor.
(SI1 and SI2) -SI1 and SI2 diamonds will have several or large inclusions that can be detected using magnification. I1 diamonds have inclusions that are evident on 10x magnification. I2 diamonds have moderate amounts of patches or clouds, of color or crystalline flaws. I3 diamonds have considerable inclusions or patches that are visible to the plain eye. The inclusion affects the brilliance and transparency of the diamond.
Factors that affect the clarity of a diamond
Five factors play a role when grading the clarity of a diamond they include;
size of inclusion- the larger the inclusion the more moisture it traps and the less light goes through. This affects the appearance of the diamond.
Nature – involves the type of inclusion and the depth of it in the diamond. Some inclusion is found on the surface while others are inside the diamond.
Location- the location of the inclusion affects how noticeable it will be. For example, a surface inclusion on a round diamond is more noticeable than an internal one. The location also has to do with whether the inclusion is on the crown, girdle, or pavilion of the stone.
Number- a diamond with many inclusion will be graded lower than one with only a few inclusions. Whether the inclusion is minor but many will affect the general appearance of the diamond.
Relief- this is how the inclusions are noticeable compared to the diamond surface. This is affected by the size and location of any inclusions. Thus the higher the relief, the lower the diamond clarity grade and vice versa since the diamond with a higher relief appears darker.
Buying tips for diamond clarity
Before making a purchase consider the following;
Avoid overpaying- find out the price range of specific diamond clarity and stick to it. mostly VS1 AND VS2 appear flawless as FL clarity diamonds. So go for a lower grade like VS2 that cost less but has the same appearance as FL diamond.
Go for the best shape for clarity -some diamond shapes like round diamonds hide inclusion. Other shapes like emerald and Asscher cuts are less forgiving in terms of clarity.
Do a thorough review of the diamond- besides looking at the certificate, you should also look at the diamond with a loupe to examine it for inclusions yourself. At www.rarecarat.com you will get the best natural or lab grown diamond with great clarity and fits your budget.
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The Diamond Clarity Grade Scale is a method of grading diamonds that allows consumers to be aware of the quality and flaws of a diamond they’re purchasing. This scale was developed by GIA(Gemological Institute of America) and ranges from F-SI1. Now you know what is the Diamond Clarity Grade Scale and how to use it. Visit www.rarecarat.com the smartest and safest way to buy an engagement ring.