Understanding Diamond Clarity

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A perfect diamond with perfect clarity is rare. A diamond's clarity is a key measure of its overall quality. Clarity is determined by the type, size, number, position and contrast of inclusions. Contrast is important because black spots are more visible and distracting than white or gray inclusions. Positioning of the inclusion(s) in the wrong spot can be reflected within the stone and cause it to be less attractive. The best known grading scale is the one used by Gemological Institute of America (GIA). It is as follows:

F       Flawless. Shows no inclusions or blemishes under a 10 power loupe.

IF      Internally flawless. Have no inclusions under 10 power loupe, but some minor blemishes. VVS1   Very, Very slightly included. The diamond includes very small inclusions

VVS2      that are difficult to detect under 10 power loupe.

VS1     Very slightly included. The diamond contains small inclusions such as clouds    .

VS2         feathers or small crystals using a 10 power loupe.

SI1       Slightly included. Inclusions can be seen with a 10 power loupe and may or

SI2          may not be visible with naked eye.

I1         Included. Inclusions can be seen with 10 power loupe and are usually visible with naked eye.

I2 I3 Clarity is a very important element when it comes to pricing. If a diamond is moved from one grade to another, and color, cut and carat being equal there can be a significant increase or decrease in the price of the diamond.

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