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Home » Loose Diamonds Education » The 4Cs of Diamonds » Diamond Clarity

Loose Diamonds Education

4C's: Loose Diamonds Clarity


Loose Diamond clarity is graded by using a microscope or diamond loupe, examining loose diamonds with a magnification of 10x power, and assigning it a clarity grade. There is no other gem that is graded as strictly.
To properly grade a loose diamond one must consider both the number of inclusions and how noticeable the inclusions are.
In fact a professional grader takes the following six factors into consideration when grading loose diamonds: Position, Size, Color, Number, Nature (the type of inclusion), Relief (the thickness of the inclusion).

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Loose Diamonds Clarity - FL/IF Loose Diamonds Clarity - VVS1/VVS2 Loose Diamonds Clarity - VS1/VS12 Loose Diamonds Clarity - SI1/SI2/SI3 Loose Diamonds Clarity - I1 Loose Diamonds Clarity - I2/I3

On a loose diamond laboratory certificate, clarity is usually marked on a diagram that is called a plot (see certificates...). The chart below shows the full range of clarity grades from very imperfect (I3) to flawless (FL).

Diamond Clarity Chart

Clarity GradeDescription
FL - FlawlessFree of internal and external flaws at 10x
IF - Internally flawlessNo internal flaws, minor external blemishes at 10x
VVS1, VVS2 - Very very slight inclusionsEven a diamond professional will have a difficult time seeing the inclusions at 10X magnification
VS1, VS2 - Very slight inclusionsThe inclusions are difficult to see under 10X magnification
SI1, SI2, SI3 - Slight inclusionsFairly easy to see under 10X magnification, might be visible to the naked eye
I1 - IncludedInclusions are visible to the naked eye
I2, I3 - IncludedInclusions that are very visible to the naked eye and may threaten the stones durability

Loose Diamonds Clarity - What to consider?

This choice depends on your budget, the carat weight, the color and what jewelry type the loose diamonds are intended for.
For example, diamond earrings generally require a lower clarity grade of loose diamonds since they are worn on the ears and can't be seen from close up. Engagement rings should have a higher clarity loose diamond since they are more likely to be held to the eye. With a 3 stone diamond anniversary ring, you would probably do better with loose diamonds with ahigher clarity center stone and lower clarity side stones; they are usually smaller so inclusions are more difficult to spot.

Loose Diamonds Clarity - Save Money

Why Pay Extra for Clarity? Let's face it; people will never notice imperfections with the naked eye that a jeweler notices by using a diamond loupe or microscope.
If you have reached your budget, but want a larger loose diamond, better cut or color, then clarity is a good place to save. You can get a loose diamond with lower, but very fine clarity and still stay within your original budget.

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