CLARITY- The Four C’s

Clarity is one of 4 C’s evaluated in a diamond. Some would say this may be the trickiest to understand when picking out a diamond. The clarity is determined by natural characteristics found in or on the diamond. While you are shopping, you might hear these characteristics referred to as inclusions. Most of these inclusions are so small you would never be able to see them with the naked eye! The GIA determines a diamond’s clarity under 10X magnification and evaluates a diamond by using these grades:

Flawless (FL) – No inclusions or surface marks are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions and only superficial surface marks 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 minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification

Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

The Ring Woman’s take on Clarity

I don’t have many pet peeves, but one of them is when I hear someone say something along the lines of “this diamond has imperfections.” If someone had a freckle on their face, no one would say the freckle was an imperfection; they would say the freckle is a characteristic or feature of a person. Characteristics are what make a person unique just like they make a diamond unique.

While studying at The Gemological Institute of America, I was able to analyze the clarity of a variety of stones under the microscope. For me, clarity was the most meticulous to evaluate out of all four C’s. I found admiration for the inclusions in each stone I looked at. Why might you ask? Each inclusion made the diamond one of a kind. NO two diamonds are alike! Throughout the process, I was able to grade a range of diamonds with different clarities, VVS2, VS1, SI1, I2, and so on. The last diamond I graded was an SI2 (slightly included). I will tell you something special about it: As I was grading it under the microscope I noticed one of the inclusions was in the shape of a heart. How romantic! Just remember these characteristics make the diamond special, just like your significant other is to you.

For more information on Clarity, the other C’s, or questions on where to begin in diamond shopping, contact The Ring Woman.

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