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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Working with Northern Cross Diamonds was great!  The staff was very knowledgeable and provided me with a great deal of information about the canary yellow radiant cut diamond that I purchased.  They wanted to make sure that I understood everything about the stone before I made my decision.  The price was very competitive, less than other diamond providers.  Once I had made my decision to purchase, the process and delivery time was very quick.  Now I have a beautiful and valuable diamond in my possession, thanks to Northern Cross.  I hope this helps spread word about your services.


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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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Bolton, Canada

For several months I had considered investing in Fancy Colored Diamonds. I heard all the negative jargon about unscrupulous people in the diamond business and how you could be taken to the cleaners, sort of speak.  However, I called Northern Cross Diamonds and spoke to Stephen who is the owner. My experience with him from the early process to the actual purchase of a Fancy Colored Diamond from him was quite a journey.  He urged me before buying the diamond to do my own due diligence by comparing the price and quality. Needless to say I did not find one of like shape, color, clarity or price that would have changed my decision. If you would like to speak to me directly for more information you can get my telephone number from Northern Cross.


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Mississauga, Canada

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