The 4 Cs: Clarity

Saturday, April 9, 2011 9:50:14 AM America/Los_Angeles

Welcome back to our four-part series on the 4 Cs of diamonds! We are excited to be a part of your diamond education and hope this series helps you on your way to purchasing a beautiful diamond.

We continue our series with the third of the 4 Cs: clarity. As naturally formed stones, diamonds have unique internal or external markings known as “inclusions.” You can think of inclusions as a diamond’s birthmark or fingerprint; each stone is unique and can be identified by its inclusions.

Inclusions include flaws such as air bubbles, cracks, and non-diamond minerals found in the diamond. Sometimes inclusions are actually just blemishes made by the diamond cutter and most often show up on the girdle. These types of blemishes include scratches, pits, and chips. Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. This grading is referenced on a diamond’s certification with a shorthand similar to that used in reference its color. Grades range from “Flawless” (F) to “Included 3” (I3).

Flawless diamonds – those with no internal or external inclusions – are extremely rare. Only slightly less rare is an “internally flawless,” or “IF,” diamond, which may have some surface flaws but no internal inclusions.

As with color gradation, the Gemological Institute of America established standardized clarity grades for the diamond trade which are now used worldwide. All grading is done under 10X.
• Flawless (F): No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
• Internally Flawless (IF): no internal flaws, but some surface graining. Very rare.
• Very Very Slightly Included (two grades: VVS1 – VVS2): Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
• Very Slightly Included (two grades: VS1 – VS2)): Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
• Slightly Included (two grades: SI1 – SI2): Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
• Included (three grades: I1 – I2 – I3): Inclusions visible under 10x magnification as well as to the human eye.

At Hadar Diamonds, you have the choice to purchase a “clarity enhanced” diamond. Through clarity enhancement, inclusions are corrected, making your diamond even more beautiful to the naked eye. Clarity enhanced diamonds allow customers to purchase larger diamonds at huge cost savings, and it’s all guaranteed! Don’t believe it? Put us to the test with our CE Diamond Challenge.

You are well on your way to becoming a fully informed diamond purchaser! In the next segment of our series on the 4 Cs of diamonds, we will explore the next C: color.
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Julie Foster