THE 4CS OF DIAMONDS
THE 4Cs OF DIAMONDS
Almost all diamonds contain very tiny natural birthmarks known as inclusions. To determine a diamond’s clarity an expert examines it under powerful magnification.
The fewer inclusions, the rarer and more valuable the diamond becomes. All of these natural characteristics are documented in the diamond’s laboratory certificate which creates an easily identifiable fingerprint of that particular stone.
Most inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. A laboratory-certified-clarity rating of SI2 represents the point at which inclusions are technically not visible to the naked eye. Clarity is graded, using a very precise and complex method of evaluating the size, type, location, and visibility of each of a stone’s imperfections.
The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification.
• Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
• Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
• Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification
• Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
• Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
• Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance