All about Clarity

UPDATED:

The clarity of a diamond refers to the imperfections a diamond bears

1. Why does a diamond have imperfections?

Diamonds are formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure. This creates unique birthmarks, either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes). These birthmarks are not a bad thing per se, since they make the diamond truly unique.

Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions or blemishes. Diamonds with no birthmarks are extremely rare, and rarity affects a diamond's value.

2. The GIA clarity scale

GIA assigns a clarity grade by looking at the diamond's imperfections in terms of size, nature, position, color or relief and quantity under 10x magnification.

The GIA clarity scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories.

  • Flawless (FL): no inclusion or blemishes are visible using 10x magnification
  • Internally Flawless (IF): no inclusions and only blemishes are visible using 10x magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): inclusions are difficult to see under 10x magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): inclusions are minor although easier to see under 10x magnification
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3): inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and to the naked eye and may affect transparency and brilliance of the diamond.
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3. The other GIA clarity characteristics

In the “additional grading information” section of the GIA certificate, you will see an entry called “clarity characteristics” which will list the inclusions and blemishes present in the diamond.

  • Bearding
  • Graining
  • Cavity
  • Crystals
  • Cloud
  • Feather
  • Needle
  • Pinpoint
  • Twinning wisp
  • Chip
  • Intended natural

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The diamond displayed above has inclusions listed as pinpoint, cloud and feather.

4. Which clarity grade should you go for?

You do not have to get a Flawless diamond to have a beautiful diamond to the naked eye. We recommend VS (very slightly included 1 or 2) or higher. Do not go lower, or inclusions will start becoming visible and affect the overall beauty of the stone.

Learn how an expert would choose a diamond and refresh your knowledge on the 4Cs !

No matter what you choose, the important thing is that you like the diamond. All diamonds we offer are certified and have been have been mined under the conditions of the Kimberley Agreement. This guarantees an ethical supply and production chain and prohibits trade with conflict regions worldwide.

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