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How to Spot Clarity Grades of diamonds


Note: All plotting that follow show what inclusions and blemishes look like in the different clarity grades when viewed under 10X magnification.
Flawless
In the plotting of the flawless diamond, you will notice there are no marks, meaning the diamond has no inclusions or blemishes.
IF (Internal Flawless) Scratch and Polishing Lines
In the plotting of the internally flawless diamond, there are no inclusions. But you will notice the slight markings representing slight blemishes.
VVS1 and VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included) pinpoints and extra facet
In the VVS plotting, you’ll see some very minor inclusions and blemishes. An untrained person will have a very difficult or impossible time trying to find the inclusions or blemishes in a VVS1 or VVS2, internally flawless, or flawless diamond. Unless you’re a gemologist, don’t expect it. These top grades will appear perfectly clean. You should only be purchasing one of these grades if you’re buying the diamond for investment purposes. That would be like circulating a proof coin, it would ruin your investment.

Diamonds can get abrasions or even chipped through normal wear and tear, some people find this hard to believe. They say that since a diamond is the hardest thing in the world that must mean it’s very tough and cannot be damaged. The truth is that even though a diamond is hard (hardness being a stone’s resistance to being scratched, and the only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond), that doesn’t mean a diamond is tough (toughness being a stone’s resistance to breakage). You see, a diamond can cleave in four directions, meaning it can be damaged.

A diamond is the hardness thing in the world, but not the toughest. And it is possible for someone to buy a VVS, or flawless, diamond and through normally wear lower the clarity grade to a VS or even an SI grade. I don’t recommend wearing such a high grade diamond, but if you do decide to buy one of these grades, it is highly recommend that the diamond purchase be accompanied by a GIA certificate and it will be the only guarantee that you are truly getting one of these grades.

The European Gem Laboratory recently introduced a “new” grade of diamond. They call it an SI3. All it really is, is an I1 diamond with a PR agent. If someone tries to sell you an SI3, don’t be fooled enough. It’s just an imperfect stone.

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