4. Find out how GIA grades diamond clarity
Just as GIA developed the globally recognized terms for grading diamond clarity, it also developed the processes for objective and unbiased diamond clarity grading. GIA procedures include viewing a diamond under controlled lighting conditions, using specific viewing angles and distances, and following precise steps that ensure every part of the diamond is examined to locate all the inclusions and blemishes that might affect its clarity.
A GIA diamond grader examines the diamond using her trained eye, a 10× jeweler’s loupe and sometimes a microscope at increased magnification. However, the final clarity grade is always determined by the diamond’s appearance under a 10× jeweler’s loupe.
In arriving at a clarity grade, the grader takes into account five factors:
- Size – When all factors are equal, the larger the inclusion and the more visible it is, the lower the diamond’s clarity grade.
- Number – When all other factors are equal, the more inclusions or reflections of inclusions that are visible face-up at 10× magnification, the greater their effect on the clarity grade.
- Location – Refers to the position of an inclusion. The closer an inclusion is to the center of the table, the greater its effect on the clarity grade.
- Relief – Refers to the contrast between the inclusion and the diamond. Generally, the more an inclusion differs in brightness, darkness or color from the diamond, the more visible it is and the greater its impact on clarity.
- Nature – Refers to the type of characteristic and its inherent effect on the diamond. In other words, some inclusions or blemishes can have greater impact on clarity than others.
A diamond may have many tiny inclusions and still be high on the clarity scale. Ultimately, it’s the combination of these five factors that affects the overall clarity appearance. Blemishes, in contrast, can often be removed when a diamond is polished or repolished, so they rarely have an effect on grades lower than IF.
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Article credits: GIA.edu
Photo credits: The 10.21 ct emerald cut diamond featured in this engagement ring received a diamond clarity grade of VS2. Courtesy: TrueFacet.com
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