Buying Diamonds For The First Time: The Diamond Clarity Guide
The Four Cs of Purchasing a Jewelry, whether be diamond or any other is cut color, clarity, and carat. Amongst the four, the clarity aspect is the one that we are not much aware of and if you are on the onset of purchasing a diamond jewelry, we must be informed of the essentials of clarity aspect for making a better purchasing decision.
Diamond clarity is the quality of diamonds with regard to its characteristics, visual appearance, and existence. As the market is filled with a huge supply of both original as well as synthetic diamonds, the factor of Diamond Clarity Grades becomes very crucial so as to not to buy a duplicate diamond for a very high price.
And this clarity aspect is determined by two factors through imperfections namely blemishes and inclusions and the degree to which these imperfections are present in the form of flaws in the diamond will determine the brilliance of the diamond and its grading.
The Gems Institute of America (GIA) is the nodal authority for grading the clarity of diamonds and they have segregated diamonds in six categories and eleven grades.
Following under is the Guide to Purchase a Diamond for Diamond Jewelry of the right clarity and type:
- FL: Flawless diamonds are the rarest and the most expensive of the diamond lots as these diamonds have no or nil inclusions and are visible to a skilled grader using 10X magnification. The clarity rating for these Type of Diamonds is 1 in 5000.
- IF: Also called as Internally Flawless with only blemishes and no inclusions. These come to the next category of top diamond clarity and these constitute less than 3% of total diamonds
- VVS 1 and VVS 2: Very few inclusions and difficult for the skilled grader to see under 10X magnification. Generally, VVS1 is called as very very slightly included of the first degree and they are visible from the pavilion and VVC2 are called as very very slightly included the 2nd degree barely visible from the crown and for both inclusions are clearly visible highly identical to the higher grades.
- VS 1 and VS 2: Called as minor, the inclusions in these type of diamonds are not clearly visible to the naked eye but are visible under 10X magnification. VS 1 is called as very slightly included of first degree barely visible under the 10x magnification and VC 2 is called as very slightly included of the second degree very easily noticeable under the 10X magnification. In all, we can find that 1 in 100 untrained observers have the ability to detect VC 2 inclusions with the naked eye and only on close inspections.
- SL 1 and SL 2: These are the lowest grade of diamonds with flaws highly invisible to the naked eye. These type of diamonds are only visible and noticeable to a skilled grader under 10X magnification. In this, SL 1 is called as slightly included of the first degree easily visible especially under shapes like step cuts and SL 2 is called as slightly included of the second degree has very high visibility to the naked eye but only under close inspection.
- I 1, I 2 and I 3: Highly obvious inclusions under 10x magnification to affect the transparency and shimmer of the diamonds. In this, I is called as Included of the first degree having a clarity greater than 12, I 2 is called as Included Grade of Diamonds of the second degree having highly visible inclusions to the naked eye and I 3 is called as included of the third degree with the highest visibility of inclusions amongst the three to directly and inversely impact the brilliance of the diamond.