Complete List of Diamond Clarity Grades
When it comes to purchasing a diamond, understanding its clarity grade is crucial. Diamond clarity refers to the presence of internal and external characteristics, known as inclusions and blemishes, respectively. A comprehensive understanding of diamond clarity allows buyers to make informed decisions and ensures a secure and confident diamond purchase. In this article, we explore the concept of a diamond clarity chart and provide an in-depth explanation of the complete list of diamond inclusion types, enabling readers to feel well-informed and assured in their diamond selections.
What is a Diamond Clarity Chart?
A diamond clarity chart is a visual representation of the various clarity grades used to assess the presence and visibility of inclusions and blemishes in a diamond. It serves as a reference tool for buyers to understand the range of clarity grades and the corresponding level of inclusion visibility.
The clarity chart typically starts with the highest clarity grade, Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF), and progresses down to the lower clarity grades, which indicate increasing levels of inclusions. Each grade on the chart represents a specific range of inclusion visibility under magnification.
The Complete List of Diamond Inclusion Types
Flawless (FL) and Internally Flawless (IF):
Flawless diamonds have no visible inclusions or blemishes under 10x magnification, even to a skilled grader. Internally Flawless diamonds may have external blemishes but no internal inclusions.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2):
VVS diamonds contain minute inclusions that are extremely difficult to detect even under 10x magnification. VVS1 diamonds have inclusions that are typically located on the pavilion (bottom) side of the diamond, while VVS2 diamonds have inclusions on the crown (top) side.
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2):
VS diamonds have inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification but are characterized as minor and difficult to see without magnification. VS1 diamonds typically have inclusions that are smaller and less visible than those in VS2 diamonds.
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2):
SI diamonds have noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification, although they may still appear clean to the naked eye. SI1 diamonds generally have inclusions that are less visible and often require careful examination, while SI2 diamonds may have more visible inclusions.
Included (I1, I2, and I3):
Included diamonds have inclusions that are easily visible to the naked eye, affecting the diamond’s transparency and brilliance. I1 diamonds have inclusions that are somewhat prominent, while I2 and I3 diamonds have inclusions that are more visible and can impact the durability of the stone.
It’s important to note that the presence and visibility of inclusions can vary within each clarity grade, making each diamond unique. Additionally, the location, size, and type of inclusions play a role in assessing a diamond’s overall clarity.
Understanding the complete list of diamond inclusion types allows buyers to comprehend the range of clarity grades and make informed decisions based on their preferences, budget, and desired visual appearance.
Additional Tips for Secure Diamond Purchases
Prioritize Personal Preferences: When evaluating diamond clarity, consider your personal preferences and what you value most in a diamond. Some individuals may prioritize a higher clarity grade with minimal inclusions, while others may be comfortable with slightly more visible inclusions if it means obtaining a larger diamond or a better color grade. Understanding your preferences will help you make a choice that aligns with your unique tastes.
Consider the Diamond’s Purpose: The intended use of the diamond can influence your decision-making process. If you are purchasing an engagement ring or a piece of jewelry that will be worn frequently, you may lean towards a higher clarity grade to ensure durability and minimize the risk of visible inclusions. For diamonds intended for occasional wear or decorative purposes, you might have more flexibility in choosing a lower clarity grade.
Seek Expert Advice: When purchasing a diamond, consult with a reputable jeweler or gemologist who can provide expert advice and guidance. They can help you understand the intricacies of diamond clarity, show you diamonds under magnification, and assist in finding a diamond that meets your specific requirements. Their expertise and knowledge will help you feel more confident in your purchase.
Review the Diamond Certificate: Examine the diamond certificate or grading report provided by a reputable gemological laboratory. The certificate should include information about the diamond’s clarity grade, along with other important details such as the 4Cs, dimensions, and any additional comments about the diamond’s characteristics. Ensure that the certificate is from a trusted and independent grading authority to ensure accurate and unbiased information.
Compare Diamonds: Take the time to compare diamonds with similar clarity grades to get a better understanding of the range of inclusions within each grade. Examine the diamonds under magnification and evaluate the visibility and impact of the inclusions. Comparing multiple diamonds side by side will help you make a more informed decision and choose the diamond that best suits your preferences.
A thorough understanding of diamond clarity grades empowers buyers to navigate the diamond market with confidence and security. The complete list of diamond inclusion types, ranging from Flawless (FL) to Included (I1, I2, and I3), provides buyers with a comprehensive overview of the clarity grades and the visibility of inclusions. A diamond clarity chart serves as a useful reference tool, allowing buyers to visually comprehend the range of clarity grades and make comparisons. It’s important to remember that the visibility and impact of inclusions can vary within each clarity grade, making each diamond unique. By familiarizing themselves with the complete list of diamond inclusion types and understanding the nuances of clarity grades, buyers can confidently assess diamond quality and select a diamond that aligns with their preferences, budget, and desired visual appearance.
When purchasing a diamond, it’s recommended to work with a reputable jeweler or gemologist who can provide expert guidance, show you diamonds under magnification, and help you evaluate the presence and impact of inclusions. Additionally, ensure that your diamond comes with a recognized grading report from a reputable gemological laboratory, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which provides an unbiased assessment of the diamond’s clarity and other quality characteristics. Armed with knowledge and expert guidance, buyers can embark on their diamond buying journey feeling well-informed and secure, knowing that they have made an educated choice based on the complete list of diamond clarity grades.