Diamond clarity is a quality of diamonds relating to the existence and visual appearance of internal characteristics of a diamond called inclusions, and surface defects called blemishes. Clarity is one of the four Cs of diamond grading, the others being carat,color, and cut. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy. The number, size, color, relative location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond. A clarity grade is assigned based on the overall appearance of the stone under ten time’s magnification.
Most inclusions present in gem-quality diamonds do not affect the diamonds' performance or structural integrity and are not visible to the naked eyes However, large clouds can affect a diamond's ability to transmit and scatter light. Large cracks close to or breaking the surface may reduce a diamond's resistance to fracture.
Diamonds with higher clarity grades are more valued, with the exceedingly rare Flawless graded diamond fetching the highest price. Minor inclusions or blemishes are useful, as they can be used as unique identifying marks analogous to fingerprints. In addition, as synthetic diamond technology improves and distinguishing between natural and synthetic diamonds becomes more difficult, inclusions or blemishes can be used as proof of natural origin.
All jewels are reviewed for clarity utilizing the 11 point precious stone clarity scale made by the GIA, including precious stones which were not really evaluated by GIA (each Walsons & Co. Diamond is GIA ensured). In reviewing jewel clarity, the GIA considers the number, size, shading, reflectivity, and position of each imperfection unmistakable under 10x amplification.
The following is the GIA precious stone clarity graph with definitions, joined by further logical remarks from Walsons & Co.
|FL||Flawless:No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification||Extremely rare, less than 1 in 5000 jewelry quality diamonds are rated FL.|
|IF||Internally Flawless:No inclusions, only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.||FL and IF diamonds appear identical unless viewed under 10x magnification by a skilled grader. Less than 3% of jewelry quality diamonds are rated IF.|
|VVS1,VVS2||Very, Very Slightly Included:Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.||VVS1 inclusions are typically only visible from the pavilion, while VVS2 inclusions are visible from the crown. In each, the inclusions are invisible to the eye, appearing identical to the higher grades unless viewed under 10x magnification by a skilled grader.|
|VS1,VS2||Very Slightly Included:Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor.||Inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Perhaps 1 in 100 untrained observers can detect VS2 inclusions with the naked eye, on close inspection under ideal conditions.|
|SI1,SI2,SI3||Slightly Included:Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.||SI1 is the lowest grade with flaws often invisible to the naked eye. SI2 inclusions are usually visible to the naked eye, although they will require close inspection|
|I1,I2,I3||Included:Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance||I1 diamonds have inclusions that are almost always visible to the naked eye. Because I2-I3 diamonds have prounounced inclusions, and in the case of I3 may even affect the diamond's durability, they are not offered by Lumera.|
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