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Diamond Clarity Grading

Diamonds have the capability to refract more light than any other gemstone. Most diamonds contain tiny natural marks called inclusions. The number of inclusions, their size and location all affect the diamond's clarity grade.

One which is free of interior inclusions or exterior flaws has nothing to interfere with the passage of light through the stone and so is considered to be of the highest quality. A diamond's clarity grade is actually a flaw-grade and refers to the tiny imperfections present when the stone was originally formed by nature. If no flaws can be seen under 10X magnification with a diamond loupe*, it is considered "flawless".

*Definitions:
A loupe
is a special magnifying glass that enables you to take a closer look at a diamond.  The loupe makes internal flaws and surface blemishes more apparent and allows you to assess color, cut, clarity and other aspects of the stone.

10X (magnification of 10 times the original size). 

GIA and CIBJO

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and CIBJO (Confederation Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfevrerie, des diamants, perles, et pierres precieuses ) have well established, widely respected standards for judging qualities in diamonds.

GIA CIBJO Discription
FL F Flawless
- no internal or external inclusions
of any kind visable under 10x magnification to a trained eye
IF Loupe Clean Internally Flawless
- no internal inclusions visible under
10x magnification to a trained eye
VVS-1 VVS-1 Very Very Slightly Included 1
- usually just one tiny inclusion visible only to a trained eye under 10x
VVS-2 VVS-2 Very Very Slightly Included 2
- tiny inclusions visible only to
a trained eye under 10x
VS-1 VS-1 Very Slightly Included 1
- very small inclusions visible
with 10x magnification
VS-2 VS-2 Very Slightly Included 2
- several very small inclusions
visible with 10x magnification
SI-1 SI-1 Slightly Included
- small inclusions fairly easily visible
with 10x magnification
SI-2 SI-2 Slightly Included
- several small inclusions that may be visible to the naked eye for a trained observer
I-1 P1 - Piqué1 Imperfect
- inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye
I-2 P1 - Piqué2 Imperfect
I-3 P1 - Piqué3 Imperfect
     

What do Diamonds & Gold Recommend?

Clarity grades of SI2 or above are defined as flawless to the naked eye, but SI1 is safer in larger sizes. It's not necessary to go all the way up to IF (internally flawless) to get a beautiful diamond. From SI1 and above, diamonds will appear the same to the naked eye, differing only in the other factors of the 4 Cs.

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