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Diamond Clarity

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Diamond Clarity
What is the meaning of Diamond Clarity? Definition: The clarity of a diamond relates to exactly how clear a diamond is. The clarity of a diamond describes the presence, or absence, of Inclusions (flaws) within the diamond and any blemishes on its surface. Inclusions disrupt the flow of light in the diamond so that some of light reflected will be lost.

Diamond Clarity and Quality
Diamond Clarity is one of the 4 C s of diamond grading (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight) which provide an excellent guide to the quality of a diamond. The numbers, sizes, colors, locations and visibility of any inclusions and / or blemishes can effect the relative clarity of a diamond and its quality. The majority of Diamond Inclusions cannot be seen by the human eye so systems have been developed to grade diamond clarity.

Information about the 4 C 's to Diamonds - The Carat Weight
What does the Carat Weight of a diamond, an important category in the 4C 's, mean? A Carat is a standard unit of weight for diamonds. Carat weights are also expressed as "points" with a one carat diamond equalling 100 points. The term 'carat' is often misunderstood to mean the size of a diamond. The size of a diamond relates to the dimensions of diamonds in terms of length, width and height. As the carat weight is a unit of measure, and not size, two diamonds both weighing 1 carat may appear to be different sizes! The final size of a 1 carat diamond depends on how it is cut. Some diamonds will have extra weight on the bottom part, or pavilion and therefore appear smaller. A well cut diamond will sometimes appear larger than many diamonds of a heavier carat weight.

Diamond Clarity Ratings
Any internal inclusions or external blemishes interfere with light passing through the diamond and its ability to scatter and transmit light. As the majority of inclusions cannot be seen by the human eye they are located by a jeweller under a 10 power magnification and then graded according to their clarity. Diamonds are rated and graded for clarity on a scale ranging from high quality and expensive flawless to imperfect.

Diamond Clarity Scale / Rating and Grading Reports
Many grading / rating reports confirm whether or not a diamond has inclusions or blemishes, and if it does, the level of the effect - Flawless, Internally Flawless, Very, Very Small Inclusions, Very Small Inclusions, Small Inclusions and Large Inclusions. The different grades and levels of Diamond Clarity are described in the following Diamond Clarity Scale by specific abbreviations:

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Scale Abbreviation - Scale Description -  Details of Clarity - Quality

F - Flawless - No internal or external flaws - Very Rare and Expensive

IF - Internally Flawless - No internal flaws - Rare and Expensive

VVS1 - Very, Very Small Inclusions Level 1 - Very Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification - Expensive

VVS2 - Very, Very Small Inclusions Level 2 - Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification - Less Expensive

VS - Very Small Inclusions - Inclusions are noticeable to a jeweller under 10x magnification -

VS1 - Very Small Inclusions Level 1 - Inclusions are noticeable to a jeweller under 10x magnification -

VS2 - Very Small Inclusions Level 2 - Inclusions are noticeable to a jeweller under 10x magnification -

SI - Small Inclusions - Inclusions are easily seen to a jeweller under 10x magnification -

SI1 - Small Inclusions Level 1 - Inclusions are easily seen under 10x magnification but not visible to naked eye -

SI2 - Small Inclusions Level 2 - Inclusions are easily seen under 10x magnification but not visible to naked eye -

LI - Large Inclusions - Inclusions are visible to naked eye but minimum loss of brilliance -

LI1 - Large Inclusions Level 1 - Larger Inclusions visible to naked eye with small loss of brilliance -

LI2 - Large Inclusions Level 2 - Larger Inclusions visible to naked eye with dulling of brilliance -

LI3 - Large Inclusions Level 3 - Larger Inclusions visible to naked eye with brilliance diminished - Cheapest

Diamond Clarity - The Sparkle
How does the clarity of a diamond effect its sparkle? Diamond clarity is determined by inclusions and these  can affect how the light is reflected and therefore the diamonds sparkle. What exactly is the sparkle? Definition: Tiny flashes of light, or sparkles,  that are seen when the diamond moves and light is reflected from the diamond. A combination of brilliance (fire) and dispersion (refraction). Another word for sparkle is scintillation, often used by jewellers.

  • Definition of Brilliance or Fire - The amount of sparkle a diamond gives off through reflection and refraction of light - the intensity of the light-reflecting power which maximizes the brilliance
  • Definition of Dispersion or Refraction - A change of direction, bend of a ray of light

Diamond Clarity / Brilliance & Fire
Diamond Clarity and its brilliance and fire:

  • Definition of Brilliance or Fire - The amount of sparkle a diamond gives off through reflection and refraction of light - the intensity of the light-reflecting power which maximizes the brilliance
  • Definition of Dispersion or Refraction - A change of direction, bend of a ray of light

 

The 4C's to Diamonds
Diamond Clarity is one of the 4 C s of diamond grading (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight). For detailed facts and information about the 4 C's please click one of the following links:

The 4 C's to Diamonds

Diamond Color

Diamond Cut

Carat Weight

Diamonds Index

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