Clarity

The GIA has established an internationally accepted system according to which Clarity is graded from Flawless to Imperfect. Flawless diamonds are the most rare and as such they are considerably more expensive than the lower-rated, Imperfect diamonds.

Diamond clarity is divided into six categories, most of which contain several grades of clarity. As the clarity grade moves along the scale from higher to lower, the overall value of the diamond decreases. However, even though the clarity grade may drop, it might not necessarily affect the unmagnified appearance of the stone.

The table below defines the various levels of clarity in the GIA clarity scale for both white and colour diamonds.

The clarity grades from highest to least are as follows (simplified):

  • IF (Internally Flawless): No internal inclusions under x10 magnification but may have minor external blemishes.
  • VVS1/VVS2 (Very, Very Slight Inclusions): Inclusions very difficult to see under 10x magnification.
  • VS1/VS2 (Very Slight inclusions 1): Minor inclusions still difficult to see under 10x magnification.
  • SI1/SI2 (Slight Inclusions 1): Inclusions that can easily be detected under 10x magnification.
  • I1/I2/I3 (Imperfect): Inclusions visible to the naked eye when viewed through the top of the diamond.

Clarity in Colour Diamonds

In a colourless diamond, clarity is one of the most important factors when determining a diamonds value. However, diamond clarity does not play as much of an important role in Fancy Coloured Diamonds. When purchasing a Coloured Diamond, the Colour and Intensity are the most important aspect when determining a stones value.

Types of Imperfections

Even though diamonds are the strongest element known to man today they have been created in unimaginable conditions deep below the surface of the Earth. Therefore, it is needless to say that various imperfections within the stones can occur.

The inclusions that are found in diamonds are separated into two categories: ‘Internal' inclusions and ‘External' inclusions. All diamonds have inclusions however depending on the type, size and where they are located, they might not necessarily affect appearance of the stone.

0.35ct Fancy Purplish Red Heart (External Inclusion)

2.28ct Fancy Orangy Brown Round SI2 (Internal Inclusion)

The Effect of Imperfections

A stone with an SI2 inclusion grade can sometimes appear 'eye clean' even though its monetary value may be lower. That means that it might cost less for the stone even though the diamond is still bursting with life. There is far more than just the clarity grade that will affect the appearance or value of a diamond.

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My husband and I chose NCD to assist us in finding the perfect engagement ring that would compliment my style. We mostly dealt with Stephen who was very knowledgeable and really took the time to listen to what I was looking for and offered a really great selection of options to choose from. Thank you Stephen and NCD; I couldn't be any happier with my brand new canary yellow diamond ring. You wouldn't believe the compliments and interest that people give it. I just love it!! Thank you again for everything!


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I found Northern Cross Diamonds because I was looking for a colored diamond for an engagement ring to propose with. There are not many companies that have colored diamonds but they have quite a few. After considering for a couple of weeks, I decided to contact them to discuss the diamond I was looking at. The guy I worked with, Stephen, was very kind and helped me with the purchase process. I even had to ask them to ship my stone across the world to China.  After I received it I had no doubt about the high quality of their products. I appreciate Stephen and Northern Cross to help me to achieve my perfect proposal plan. I am very happy to have done buisness with them and I will definately recommend Northern Cross Diamonds to anyone looking to get married or who would like to add more stones for their collection. Again, thank you Stephen


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