Clarity is a rule of the little blemishes noticed the most and throughout in a diamond. It is the measurement of the number of spots or inclusions in a laboratory, diamond, which can be either defect in a diamond crystal or microscopic foreign particles in a diamond. The lower the brightness of a diamond, the lower the ore content in the diamond.
Dealers in gemstones and jewelers did not immediately come to a unified system for evaluating the quality of diamonds. Until 1955, when an attempt was made to unify, suppliers negotiated the price of gemstones based on subjective assessments.
While it was easy to categorize diamonds by weight and size, color and imperfections were often a source of stumbling blocks during negotiations. In addition, each workshop had its requirements for equipment for evaluating stones.
The first to offer its system was the American company GIA. At about the same time, unified methods of description were presented by Belgium and Russia. Although the existing grading systems are somewhat different, now it is not a problem for specialists to assess the quality of diamonds. In addition, indicators can be easily transferred from one system to another.
Diamonds are usually graded according to the 4C system introduced by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The 4C system includes four evaluation criteria:
- Clarity (Purity)
- Carat (Weight)
Diamond Color and Clarity are the main characteristics of diamonds that play a role in determining the value of a stone.
What is the Best Diamond Clarity Rating?
If you are on a budget and need to notice the greatest bang for your money, the stablest diamond clarity standard for you is Vs2 or SI1. As long as you eyeballed the diamond and it is eye clean, there’s nothing to be worried about.
If you are purchasing a large-sized diamond (greater than 1.5 carats), the greatest clarity grade for diamonds of these sizes will be Vs2 or salutary. This is because formations become more evident when carat sizes rise.
If you are shopping for investment-grade diamonds (larger than 5 carats, D color), the best diamond clarity grades would be IF or FL if you can find them.
Clarity / Purity
The clarity of a diamond is the severity of inclusions and surface spots. Because diamonds are formed deep in the ground, extreme temperatures and pressures create unique marks on them.
Unmarked diamonds are rare, and the scarcity affects the value – these stones are more expensive. The quality of diamonds in terms of clarity in the international grading system is usually denoted by letters from FL to I 3 . Gemstones with the FL characteristic are flawless diamonds, I 3 are samples with obvious inclusions, such as air bubbles, crystalline inclusions, etc.
Each diamond is unique. None of them is perfect at 10x magnification, although some samples are close to ideal. These diamonds are called flawless. They are so rare that most jewelers have never seen them.
Like the GIA color scale, a system for grading cleanliness was required as jewelers used to use terms that were easy to misinterpret. Today, yet if you get a gem in a different country, the jeweler will most likely work on phrases like VVS 1 or SI 2.
The assessment of cleanliness is carried out at 10x magnification or with the naked eye, taking into account the size, quantity, location and color of the internal characteristics, as well as in some cases the surface characteristics.
When evaluating the clarity of diamonds, surface irregularities (pits, scratches) are also taken into account, which cannot be removed by re-polishing without significant loss of weight of the stone.
All other things being equal, diamonds without intrinsic characteristics are considered the most valuable.
Criteria Table for Evaluating diamond clarity
The diamond is the most precious with the stones that are used to brighten jewelry. Therefore, its cost must match its impeccable appearance. To learn what is the Purity of a diamond, the report of which is identified to all jewelers, you want to learn what is involved in this theory.
Initially, diamonds are found in nature. These are gems that have not yet been treated by people. They are mined in sediments and next to that, the weight is measured and the first time they give attention to the Clarity of the Diamond.
Thus, the estimated initial value of the stone is calculated. But then he goes within various stages before going into the design. Original, it continues to trade through a company that massively sells valuable stones. And then it is preferred by jewelers or yet diamond cutting industries.
The diamond goes within the cutting step and gets its features, on which the ultimate value depends. These characteristics include:
- Authenticity. It is defined yet at the level of Diamond mining, as well as throughout a trading process. Normally, the prospect of purchasing a fake on the stock exchange is the least, but from the hands of street merchants or unproven firms, this risk rises many times.
- Size and weight. It is discovered after the stone has been treated. The greater the diamond is, the more costly it is.
- The shape of the stone. Depends on its genuine dimensions and forms, as well as on the cut.
- The cut is a feature that is straightly linked to the ability of the jeweler.
- The color can vary from blue to yellowish.
- Clarity. Even the size of a diamond will not help if its clarity is not satisfactory enough. Hence, it is essential to understand how to explain this criterion.
The properties of diamonds are defined along their route from the mine to the purchaser at various stages. And normally, the more hands a stone has transferred, the more costly it is. The labelling of diamonds is allocated according to a collection of characteristics and this is fulfilled as accurately as possible. This is because jewelers have special tables for determining the quality of the stone. Points are estimated according to the points from the reports: the greater a diamond’s score according to all evaluation measures, the more high-quality it is.
The Clarity of the Diamond and how to Evaluate it
A standard such as the Purity of a diamond is rated by jewellers in phases of “defective” or “clear of defects.” These related defects can be varied; not only their presence and size are assessed, but also attention is drawn to whether they are external or internal. Defects can be being in the Diamond not only from the time of removal, but also seem in the method of non-professional cutting.
Discovering the clarity of a diamond is not technically challenging. It is essential for the layperson to visually evaluate:
- Transparency of the stone;
- Penetration and play of light in stone;
- The presence of impurities that are visible in the diamond.
And you should remember that when buying a stone, you can ask the jeweler for a magnifying glass, which has a tenfold magnification. If you do not consider the spot under such a magnifying glass, hold that the clarity of the diamond is great enough and matches international quality measures. It is located approximately at level 6 or 7. At the 8th level, the deficit is observed yet without a magnifying glass.
This circumstance hits not only the beauty, but also the strength of the diamond. It’s no mystery that diamond is the strongest material on Earth. But impurities that can get into the stone, or cracks significantly reduce its strength, which means that the stone will not last long.
Internal defects have a greater impact on the strength and durability of jewelry. They are formed as a result of the action of temperature differences or changes in pressure in the stone deposit. These rules have hit the diamond for years, so it is not shocking that deficiencies can be very different. From a jeweller’s point of view, a defect is also considered internal if it is impossible to get rid of it by polishing the stone without losing weight.
The Clarity of a diamond is graded according to the GIA policy. It is meant for evaluating foreign diamonds that begin the trade. The rocks appear with ready-made licenses, which designate the degree of clarity in the report abbreviation.
The GIA grades the clarity of diamonds on an 11-point range from flawless and internally clean (FL / IF) to inclusions (I1, I2, I3). These estimates are based on the ability to see inclusions at 10x magnification. Grades FL / IF to VS2 is considered “eye clean” by diamond experts and represent the highest clarity grades. Diamonds classified as “clear by eye” are believed to have no defects visible to the naked eye.
The GIA rates the clarity of diamonds on an 11-point scale from flawless and internally clean (FL / IF) to inclusions (I1, I2, I3). These estimates are based on the ability to see inclusions at 10x magnification. Grades FL / IF to VS2 is considered “eye clean” by diamond experts and represent the highest clarity grades. Diamonds classified as “clear by eye” are believed to have no defects visible to the naked eye. For convenience, use a 10x magnifier. GIA clarity grading of diamonds:
CLEAN ON THE EYE: FL / IF | VVS1 | VVS2 | VS1 | VS2
NOT CLEAN ON THE EYE: SI1 | SI2 | I1
Flawless or internally clean: FL or IF
Clean below a magnifying glass, interior defects are not detectable when amplified. Lesser surface imperfections can be discovered and fixed with light re-polishing.
Flawless and internally clean certified diamonds are extremely rare. The difference between the two is that internally clear (IF) diamonds, like FL, are 100% flawless on the inside, but IF diamonds will have surface grain. Technically, this is not considered a disadvantage, but this is the only difference between extremely rare flawless stones and very rare IF clarity. FL or IF diamonds may also be pointed to as “LC” which attains for Loupe Clean.
Very Very Slightly INCLUSIONS: VVS1, VVS2
There are very, very small inclusions in the stone. Jewelry with shallow defects belongs to this class; it can be easily removed by re-polishing. In stones of the VVS2 class, the smallest inclusions can hardly be detected when examining a diamond through a magnifying glass.
VVS1: Diamonds in this clarity grade have one tiny inclusion that can only be detected with a powerful microscope. This degree of purity ensures that the inclusion is indistinguishable even at 10x magnification. This purity is almost as rare as IF but cheaper and quite popular.
VVS2: A couple of tiny inclusions can be found in these diamonds, and like VVS1, only with a microscope. However, experienced examiners can detect the inclusion of VVS2 using a 10x magnifying glass, but the VVS2 is a very high purity grade, albeit cheaper than the VVS1.
Very Slightly Inclusions: VS1, VS2
Defects in the form of minor inclusions resembling feathers and clouds; are difficult to find in VS1 stones and slightly lighter in VS2 diamonds.
VS1 diamonds have one small or a few little formations that are hidden to the naked eye (clean to the eye) and can be discovered, usually with complexity, with a 10x loupe. VS1 clarity diamonds are an excellent choice as they are still eye-clear but still cost less than VVS stones.
Typically VS2 diamonds have a series of tiny inclusions which, as with the VS1 category, can only be detected with a 10x loupe. VS2 clarity is extremely popular as it is the latter category that guarantees clarity by eye. In 95% of cases, VS2 diamonds are clear by eye. Rare exceptions may be VS2 diamonds with EGL or IGI certificates (IGI is extremely rare), and in some cases – emerald or Usher cut diamonds, which are not always clear by eye, even with GIA certificates. Inclusions in this case are usually small, or a series of tiny ones.
Slightly INCLUSIONS: SI1, SI2
Small obvious inclusions, effortlessly identified with a magnifying glass. Sometimes tiny inclusions in Diamonds of the SI2 class are noticeable to the nude eye.
SI1: Diamonds of the SI1 category have a pair of medium or many small inclusions, which will almost always be visible to the naked eye, and even more so at 10x magnification. Depending on how well the inclusions are positioned and how little colored the inclusions are, stones can look nearly clean, and therefore SI1 clarity diamonds can be a great choice for those looking to save money. An SI1 diamond with a GIA, HRD or AGS certificate will be eye clear in more than 50% of cases, depending on the shape chosen. However, as is the case with VVS2, such stones are likely not to be clean by eye when cut emerald and Usher, in any of the certifications.
SI2: SI2 diamonds have more inclusions that will almost always be visible to the naked eye. As with SI1 clarity diamonds, they can offer excellent value for money. Their purity also depends on the nature of the inclusions. Among such stones, it is quite possible to find a pure by eye, which will cost much less than a stone with a higher grade of purity.
IMPERFECT I1, I2, I3
The most underclass in which deficiencies are noticeable even without magnification. They can ruin not only the appearance of the diamond but also its durability. Note that the color of a diamond is not a part of clarity.
These diamonds will always have inclusions visible to the naked eye, even with the most stringent certifications like the GIA. Even though we, at the request of the client, can work with such diamonds, we still recommend choosing the clarity SI2 and higher.
Clarity Upgrade / Filled diamonds
Crack-filled diamonds or enhanced clarity diamonds are diamonds that have been filled with cracks or imperfections to restore and enhance their brilliance. The process of filling cracks in diamonds was developed in 1982 by the Israeli cutter Zvi Yehuda and involves filling the cracks that reach the surface with molten glass to improve the clarity of the stone. But it was not until the 1990s that large quantities of filled diamonds began to appear on the market.
The glass used has a high refractive index similar to diamond, which makes cracks less visible. The treatment is carried out under the influence of heat and pressure sufficient to “push” the liquid glass into the cracks. This method can increase the clarity of a diamond by one grade, but it does not affect either the color or the weight of the gem. Only small cracks are filled. Please note that sellers refer to small cracks as “feathers” and do not pose a threat to the integrity and life of the diamond.
Jewelers see both advantages and disadvantages in the process of filling cracks. At first, Yehuda said that the advantage of cracked diamonds is their lower cost, which makes it possible for someone to buy a larger, clearer diamond than they could afford. However, buying a diamond with a crack does not guarantee a discount, as the buyer will have to pay to evaluate such a stone before filling the crack. The only difference is that the visible inclusion becomes “invisible” to the naked eye. In addition, cracked stones are often too small or too low quality and therefore rarely end up in gemological laboratories. This kind of “repair” of the stone jeopardizes its purity, since such “repair” will not be carried out constantly, and over time, the appearance of the stone may deteriorate somewhat. And the buyer will no longer be able to understand how much the stone should cost and for what exactly he pays the money.
Fortunately, it is very easy to spot a diamond filled with cracks; just turn the stone under the microscope and you will notice the “flash effect”, a play of bright colors from purple to orange-yellow. If the diamond has been filled with glass, this can also be noticeable, as it sometimes gives a yellowish, brownish tint to light, and even affects the overall color of the stone.
Diamonds Clean by Eyes
A “clear by eye” diamond has no defects visible to the naked eye. Such stones are very valuable because they are cheaper than flawless (FL) or internally clean (IF), which are extremely rare and therefore very expensive.
Defects in diamonds with small internal inclusions (SI) are often not visible to the naked eye, this is an excellent option for the price, but in this case, the location of the inclusion is extremely important. Before purchasing a diamond of this clarity level, it is advisable to speak with a diamond and jewelry expert to ensure that the stone is clean to the eye.
Gemistone Jewelers uses a five-point clarity grading system for each specific cut of a diamond. This is based on the concepts outlined by the GIA.
- 100% Pure by eye
- 99% Pure by eye
- 70% Pure by eye
- 20% Pure by eye
- Are not Clean by eye
In theory, a diamond should appear clean even if it contains an inclusion. This gradation is awarded if the diamond has a slightly more darkening than is usually the case in stones of the VS2 clarity level, which is located in the center of the diamond, near the platform or culet not far from the pavilion edges.
According to the degree of manifestation, defects are divided into the following:
- visible with great effort;
- visible with effort;
- easily visible;
- well visible;
- very visible.
The extent depends on the application of the magnifier. And also deficiencies have their patterns and the following are often observed:
- The point is a flaw without volume.
- Inclusion – a volumetric defect that is located inside the diamond.
- The strip is a thin line on the stone.
- A crack is a break in the substance of the stone. It can be both superficial and internal.
- A cloud is a nebula that does not shimmer in the light.
Different countries use various classifications. Hence, if you need to make such purchase abroad, do not hesitate to ask a consultant and consider the jewelry yourself. When making a purchase, collect all certificates, and also take care of the safe transportation of the diamond.