3. Learn the grades on the GIA Diamond Clarity Scale – the global standard
Diamond clarity is described using standard terminology developed by GIA in the 1950s. The grades are based, in part, on the visibility of inclusions and blemishes with 10× magnification by a trained grader. The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has six categories, some of which are subdivided, for a total of 11 specific grades.
- Flawless (FL): No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
- Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions and only insignificant blemishes visible under 10x magnification
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Minute inclusions that range from extremely difficult (VVS1) to very difficult (VVS2) to see under 10x magnification
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Minor inclusions that range from difficult (VS1) to somewhat easy (VS2) to see at 10x magnification.
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Noticeable inclusions that are easy (SI1) or very easy (SI2) to see at 10x magnification
- Included (I1, I2 and I3): Inclusions that are obvious under 10x magnification – and often visible with the unaided eye – which may affect transparency and brilliance
Here are two other terms you might come across.
- Eye clean – This is an industry term for a diamond whose inclusions cannot be seen with the naked eye. Some shoppers may feel, “If I can’t see an inclusion or blemish, the diamond is beautiful enough for me.” An eye-clean diamond may fit the bill in these cases. GIA does not use this term.
- SI3 – Some diamond grading labs issue a clarity grade of SI3. GIA does not. The Institute has studied the SI3 suggestion at various times over the years. GIA still concludes there is no reason to change its long-standing and universally accepted diamond grading system.
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Next Point will be continued in next post “Seven Things You Need to Know About Diamond Clarity – Part Four”
Article credits: GIA.edu
Photo credits: GIA.edu
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