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The 4 C’s of Diamonds and the GIA Process (part 2)

Clarity: Clarity is also a great determiner of a stone’s worth. Clarity is the absence or presence of inclusions. The fewer inclusions, the higher the stone’s clarity grade, and it’s price tag. Clarity starts at F which is flawless and goes to I3 which is heavily included visible to the naked unaided eye. An F stone can reach well into the millions of dollars and is not the norm for most diamonds. For some connoisseurs , certain inclusions can be incredibly beautiful and fascinating, but the average consumer wants a stone with no eye visible inclusions, or inclusions that can be hidden by a setting. An inclusion is anything that affects the clearness of the stone. The clarity grades are as follows:

  • Flawless category (FL) diamonds have no inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification.
  • Internally Flawless category (IF) diamonds have no inclusions visible under 10x magnification, only small blemishes on the diamond surface.
  • Very, Very Slightly Included category (VVS) diamonds have minute inclusions that are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification. The VVS category is divided into two grades; VVS1 denotes a higher clarity grade than VVS2. Pinpoints and needles set the grade at VVS.
  • Very Slightly Included category (VS) diamonds have minor inclusions that are difficult to somewhat easy for a trained grader to see when viewed under 10x magnification.The VS category is divided into two grades; VS1 denotes a higher clarity grade than VS2. Typically the inclusions in VS diamonds are invisible without magnification, however infrequently some VS2 inclusions may still be visible to the eye. An example would be on a large emerald cut diamond which has a small inclusion under the corner of the table.
  • Slightly Included category (SI) diamonds have noticeable inclusions that are easy to very easy for a trained grader to see when viewed under 10x magnification. The SI category is divided into two grades; SI1 denotes a higher clarity grade than SI2. These may or may not be noticeable to the naked eye.
  • Included category (I) diamonds have obvious inclusions that are clearly visible to a trained grader under 10x magnification. Included diamonds have inclusions that are usually visible without magnification or have inclusions that threaten the durability of the stone. The I category is divided into three grades; I1 denotes a higher clarity grade than I2, which in turn is higher than I3. Inclusions in I1 diamonds often are seen to the unaided eye. I2 inclusions are easily seen, while I3 diamonds have large and extremely easy to see inclusions that typically impact the brilliance of the diamond, as well as having inclusions that are often likely to threaten the structure of the diamond.


4 C's of Diamonds


Carat: Finally there is the last but certainly not least of the 4C’s carat weight. Carat refers to how large the stone is. The larger stone, the rarer it is, thus making stone with higher carat weight, exceedingly more expensive. Size is a matter of preference, unlike color and clarity which can affect a stone’s beauty. A 1 carat stone can be equally as beautiful as a 5 carat stone or more beautiful depending on its other factors like clarity and color. For most people carat weight is determined by price range, lifestyle, and personal choice. Like all things diamonds come in an array of shapes and sizes each with a different price tag. Knowing what the defining characteristics are of diamonds, and the basics for purchasing them makes you an informed consumer and gives you access to understanding what is the best you can get.

Our goal at KUSH Diamonds is to bring the best quality diamonds at the best prices, but we don’t just want to tell you that, we want to teach you. This way you know for yourself, that what we offer is the best you can buy.

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