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The Gemmological Institute of America (G.I.A.) scale,
which grades the clarity of diamonds, is the same used
by the IDC International Diamond Council and CIBJO the
World Jewellery Confederation, and all laboratories of
Although seemingly subjective, the scale has specific
criteria that are used to differentiate between the
different grades; for example I.D.C has clear diagrams
that define not only the type of inclusion, but also
where it must appear in the diamond in terms of the clarity
grade it can receive.
It is important to remember that
the grading of a diamond must be under a 10x magnification.
Although labs often use much stronger magnification
when studying a stone, they are obliged to define their
grading as to what is visible at 10 x magnification.
The scale used is as follows:
- FL: Completely flawless
(the perfect diamond clarity)
- IF: Internally flawless;
only external flaws are present, which can be removed
by further polishing of the stone (some graders
use these two grading interchangeably)
- VVS1 - VVS2: It would
take an expert to detect flaws with a 10x eyeglass.
If one can see a flaw from the top of the diamond,
it is a VVS2. Otherwise, if an expert can only detect
flaws when viewing the bottom of the stone, then it
is a VVS1
- VS1 - VS2: flaws can be viewed with a 10 x eyeglass – these
flaws often appear like specs
- SI1 – SI3: You can see flaws through an eye glass
of 10 x
- I1 - I3: You can see flaws with the naked
eye. This clarity is as it seems - the lowest - and
is chosen by someone who wants ‘ ALL SHOW AND NO GO”! Normally
someone who wants a big stone.
There are a
lot of technical terms used when describing flaws or imperfections in a diamond.
It is important to remember that an imperfection
in a diamond is why a diamond is natural; the
inclusions are its I.D markers, and obsession
with clarity defeats the fundamentals of buying
The overall beauty the stone presents must be first
and foremost. Obviously an inclusion visible to the naked
eye can be a distraction, but no doubt a beautifully
proportioned SI stone will obliterate a lumpy or shallow,
The most common inclusions are:
- Pinpoint: A very small
white dot on the surface of the stone
- Carbons: A very
small black dot on the surface of the stone
- Clouds: Hazy areas within the diamond
When your jeweller shows
you a diamond through a 10 x eye glass whilst holding
it in a pair of tweezers, they should tell you to think
of the diamond as a watch face, and then describe to
you where the inclusion may be i.e.
|Eg. At 9 o’clock one can