When referring to Clarity of Diamond the experts are talking about how many inclusions and blemishes the stone has.
A diamond with absolute clarity will have none of these, but no natural stone is that perfect.
So, why do stones have these imperfections?
Because, during their formation underground, natural stones are subjected to high pressure and immense heat.
This determines the characteristics you’ll find inside your gem, and blemishes or inclusions can be part of it.
If you’re the expert that needs to evaluate a stone, you’ll take the following into consideration:
– How many imperfections there are
– The size of blemishes or inclusions
– The relief
– What’s the nature of each one?
– Where are the situated?
– Do they impact on the diamond’s appearance?
Based on this, a diamond can be rated and this affects its value.
As a guideline, GIA created a Clarity Scale for diamonds.
You’ll find 11 grades, that are divided into six categories, based on what you’ll see when a stone is magnified 10 times:
– I₁ to I₃: The category is ‘Included’ and the stones’ brilliance is impacted by inclusions that you can easily see when the gem is magnified.
It may be less transparent too.
– SI₁ and SI₂: In the ‘Slightly Included’ category you’ll discover inclusions if you magnify.
– VS₁ and VS₂: For the ‘Very Slightly Included’ category you’ll need to look carefully to notice inclusions under magnification, but they are there and called ‘minor’.
– VVS₁ and VVS₂: Even an expert grader will find it challenging to find inclusions in a ‘Very, Very Slightly Included’ diamond.
– IF: You’ll see no inclusions in an ‘Internally Flawless’ stone.
– FL: To be graded a Flawless stone, no inclusions OR blemishes, must be visible.
Being untrained, you may not initially see any blemishes or an inclusion, because they’re extremely small.
A VS₁ and SI₂, will probably look similar to you.
But to a diamond expert the differences in quality are obvious.
Now you know why it’s so important to have your diamond assessed by the best in the business, if you want to know the true quality.
How and Why Was the GIA Scale Created?
Originally, the diamond industry used words such as ‘pique’.
But this reference isn’t clear in its meaning, which could cause misunderstandings between jewelers.
The standardized system was created and is now used by jewelers from all countries.
Where do Inclusions Come From?
The cause of an inclusion is either because the structure of its atoms is irregular, or the formation process resulted in crystal getting trapped inside the stone.
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