20 April, 2018

WG Diamond Series - Clarity

Read time 6-7 mins

Welcome to the third part of our series which explores the 4 Cs of the diamond-verse which dominates the purchasing decisions of buyers. In this article, we will be taking a look at Clarity. 

When diamonds are first created deep down in the earth with immense amounts of heat and pressure, each diamond will show signs of this with "inclusions" which are internal to the diamond and "blemishes" which are external to the diamond.

When assessing the clarity of a diamond, it will look at the degree of these imperfections present on the diamond. Diamonds containing multiple signs of inclusions or blemishes will have less of a brilliance as their flaws will interfere with light when it enters the diamond.

Trivia - To the naked eye, many inclusions and blemishes are too small to be seen unless you're a trained diamond grader. 

How Do You Determine the Clarity of a Diamond?

A Diamond's clarity will refer to the degree of absence of Inclusions and Blemishes. This evaluation will take a detailed look at the appearance of the diamond with particular regard to the nature of its blemishes and inclusions. The less the diamond contains - the higher its clarity and thus, its value.

The GIA has a universal guide for determining the clarity of a diamond. It starts with Flawless and goes down to Included.

The position of an inclusion will affect how easily it can be seen. Diamond cutters make every effort to cut a stone so that inclusions are not visible through the table of the finished diamond. 

Trivia - The preferred position for inclusions is under the bezel facets or near the girdle.

How do you Measure Diamond Clarity?

When grading the clarity of a diamond, it will be put under 10x magnification with the aim of identifying every flaw. Here is the classification used to determine the clarity of a diamond.

FL (Flawless) 

Contains no inclusions and blemishes that can be seen under 10x magnification. Only 1 in 5,000 diamonds are rated as Flawless.

IF (Internally Flawless) 

These diamonds contain no inclusions but only blemishes and can appear identical to Flawless diamonds unless they are viewed under 10x magnification. Less than 3% of jewellery is rated as Internally Flawless.

VVS1 and VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)

The inclusions are so subtle that even a skilled observer can find it difficult to see under 10x magnification. 

  • VVS1 - Inclusions are only visible from the pavilion. 
  • VVS2 - Inclusions only visible from the crown.

Both of these classifications can only be seen from under 10x magnification.

S1 and S2 (Slightly Included)

Inclusions can be seen by a trained observer from under 10x magnification

  • SI1 - The lowest grade with flaws and can be seen by the naked eye.
  • SI2 - The inclusions can be seen by the naked eye but further scrutiny is needed.

I1, I2, and I3 (Inclusions Included)

Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance.

  • I1 - diamonds have inclusions that are almost always visible to the naked eye.
  • I2 & I3 -  diamonds in this range contain inclusions but I3 certified diamonds can have potential problems with durability.

Final Words

The process used to determine the clarity of a diamond is as immense as their formation. Bidders can be assured that Jewellery items in our auctions can contain GIA certificates which can help you to bid with confidence. 

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Diamond Guide - Clarity
Diamond Guide - Clarity
Diamond Guide - Clarity