Clarity Because diamonds formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure, they often contain unique birthmarks, either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes).
Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamnds without these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value. Using the GIA International Diamond Grading System™, diamonds are assigned a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3).
Every diamond is unique. None is absolutely perfect under 10× magnification, though some come close. Known as Flawless diamonds, these are exceptionally rare. Most jewelers have never even seen one.
The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification.
Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are clearly visible under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance
HOW DID THE GIA CLARITY SCALE COME ABOUT?Like the color scale, GIA’s clarity grading system developed because jewelers were using terms that were easily misinterpreted, such as "loupe clean," or "piqué." Today, even if you buy a diamond in another part of the world, the jeweler will likely use terms such as VVS1 or SI2, even if her language is French or Japanese instead of English. (www.gia.edu)
GIA's 4Cs: Clarity
This GIA's Clarity video is a short video that designed to briefly explain the Clarity grading of the 4Cs as well as the GIA diamond-grading process.
Video and Pictures Courtesy of GIA.
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