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Clarity refers to the number, position, and size of inclusions and blemishes that occur naturally in diamonds.
Image credit: GIA
Clarity is another important grading characteristic of diamonds and is one of the 4Cs of diamond quality.
Simply put, the fewer and less obvious the inclusions are, the more valuable the diamond.
Diamonds.co.nz uses the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) classification of clarity grades, which are shown in the clarity chart below:
Clarity Grade Code
Flawless diamonds show no blemishes or inclusions when examined by a skilled grader under 10X magnification.
There is very little demand for FL diamonds in the New Zealand market.
Internally Flawless diamonds show no inclusions and only insignificant blemishes under 10X magnification. Normally what separates IF from FL stones are characteristics that can be removed by minor re-polishing.
There is currently a growing demand for IF diamonds in the NZ market.
Very, Very Slightly Included
VVS1 and VVS2
VVS diamonds contain minute inclusions that are very difficult for even a skilled diamond grader to locate under 10X magnification. In VVS1, they are extremely difficult to see, visible only from the pavilion or are small and shallow enough to be removed by minor re-polishing. In VVS2, they are very difficult to locate using 10X magnification.
Again, there is currently a growing demand for VVS diamonds in the NZ market.
Very Slightly Included
VS1 and VS2
VS diamonds contain minor inclusions ranging from difficult (VS1) to somewhat easy (VS2) for a skilled diamond grader to see under 10X magnification. Small included crystals, small feathers and clouds are typical.
VS clarity is becoming increasingly popular in the New Zealand market as consumers become more quality conscious and are concerned with "eye-visible" inclusions.
SI1 and SI2
SI diamonds contain noticeable inclusions that are easy (SI1) or very easy (SI2) to see under 10X magnification. In some SI diamonds, the inclusions can be seen with the unaided eye — especially in SI2.
In the New Zealand market, SI is the most popular clarity grade range since it gives a good balance between price and quality.
I1, I2, and I3
Imperfect grade diamonds contain inclusions which are very obvious to a skilled diamond grader under 10X magnification and the inclusions can be seen face-up with the unaided eye. I2 and I3 diamonds have inclusions that can seriously affect the diamond's potential durability and are so numerous they affect the transparency and brilliance of the diamond.
Diamonds.co.nz does not sell I2 or I3 diamonds.
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