Myths and legends

What is the best diamond clarity?

All diamonds have minor imperfections (inclusions, cracks). A high clarity diamond is considered to be a diamond with invisible (tiny) flaws or no flaws at all. The gradation of the purest diamonds is from 1 to 4 according to TU117-4.2002-2009.

Diamond clarity according to Russian specifications

Rice. Approximate correspondence between GIA and Russian specifications for assessing diamond clarity. The Russian clarity classification divides diamonds into 3 groups:

Clarity gradation for diamonds Kr17

They are now found infrequently, usually in inexpensive Chinese jewelry.

Clarity gradation for diamonds less than 0.30 carats

For Kr-57 cut diamonds and other fancy non-round cuts, but weighing less than 0.30 carats, the clarity scale consists of 9 groups. 1 – pure, without inclusions 2, 3 – inclusions visible through a microscope 4, 5 – inclusions are visible through a tenx lens 6 – small inclusions visible to the naked eye 7, 8, 9 – inclusions visible to the naked eye

Clarity gradation for diamonds weighing 0.30 carats or more

For diamonds of Kr57 cut and other fancy non-round cuts, but weighing 0.30 carats or more, the clarity scale consists of 13 groups. 1 – pure, without inclusions 2, 3, 4 – inclusions visible through a microscope 5, 6, 7 – inclusions are visible through a tenx lens 7a – small inclusions visible to the naked eye 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 – inclusions visible to the naked eye

Rice. Example of diamonds with different clarity relative to clarity 5

Rice. Example of diamonds with different clarity relative to clarity 4

As can be seen from the photographs, it is difficult to visually distinguish purity 4,5 from 7 without a magnifying glass or microscope. But at purity 10, graphite inclusions and cracks are visible. In order to better distinguish inclusions, we can look at macro photographs of diamonds.

Rice. Macro photographs: BrKr57 1.01 kt 2/2, BrKr57 0.61 kt 3/5, BrKr57 1.03 kt 3/6 (from left to right, not to scale)

As we have already said, the difference in clarity is not visually noticeable at frequencies from 1 to 6, which is confirmed by these macro photographs of round diamonds.

Rice. Macro photographs of BrKr57 0.43 kt 9-1/7, BrKr57 2.66 kt 9-4/7a, BrKr57 0.42 kt 5/8 (from left to right, not to scale)

With a diamond clarity of 7, small inclusions in the form of graphite dots are already visible under magnification; in their place there may be other commensurate inclusions of diamonds (for example, cracks, bubbles, etc.), but without instruments it is difficult to see them. The second diamond weighing 2,66 carats with a clarity of 7a has noticeably more inclusions. Without instruments they are visible to the naked eye, but they are quite small. A diamond with a clarity of 8 has many small inclusions, and also has a crack at 12 o’clock, it is not very noticeable, as it is colorless.

Rice. Macro photographs BrKr57 0.42 kt 6/9, BrKr57 1.19 kt 9-4/10, BrKr57 0.77 kt 8-4/11 (from left to right, not to scale)

With a diamond clarity rating of 9 to 12, the stone contains visible cracks and various inclusions, which greatly affect the sparkle and play of the diamond.

Diamond clarity according to GIA

Unlike the Russian specifications, in the American GIA clarity rating system, diamonds are not divided into groups by weight and a letter designation is used. FL-IF – FLAWLESS-INTERNALLY FLAWLESS, translated into Russian as “flawless” and “internally flawless”. As we understand it, these are flawlessly pure diamonds. Approximately corresponds to Russian specifications from 1 to 2 VVS1-VVS2 – VERY VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED, translated into Russian as “very very minor inclusions”. There are inclusions, but they are very, very small. Approximately corresponds to Russian specifications from 2 to 4 VS1-VS2 – VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED, translated into Russian as “very minor inclusions”. Almost the same as the previous gradation, just without the additional “very”. Approximately corresponds to Russian specifications from 5 to 6 SI1-SI3 – SLIGHTLY INCLUDED is translated into Russian as “slight inclusions”. There are small inclusions. Approximately corresponds to Russian specifications from 7 to 8 I1-I3 – INCLUDED. This means there are inclusions. Approximately corresponds to Russian technical specifications from 9 to 12

Rice. Gradation of diamond clarity according to the international GIA system

The number, size and location of these inclusions can vary greatly. The value of a diamond directly depends on this factor: the fewer inclusions, the less pronounced they are, the more valuable the stone is. Inclusions and cracks occur as a result of various processes that accompany the formation of a gemstone. Not a single diamond is free from them. The origin and features of inclusions have not been of interest for special research for a long time. Dark inclusions were traditionally called “coal”; light inclusions were called “ice” or “snow”. However, over time, the internal structure of a diamond began to attract more and more attention, which led to a better understanding of some of the features of natural inclusions. For example, it was found that dark inclusions acquire their color due to an optical illusion. Today, the term “inclusion” refers to any internal defect or crack surrounded by stone, either completely or partially. Inclusions play an important role in the diagnosis of diamonds, being evidence of the natural origin of the stone. Up to 25 different minerals can act as inclusions. Of these, reddish garnet, brown spinel, green diopside and enstatite, as well as dark-colored ilmenite and magnetite (from dark brown to black) are the most common. Less commonly, diamonds contain inclusions of dark graphite. The problem of classifying stones according to their purity was dealt with at the beginning of the last century. The solution was born at the Gemological Institute of America (abbreviation GIA). It was here that, at the end of the 20s of the XNUMXth century, the world’s first graduated scale of qualitative definitions was created, which made it possible to distinguish stones based on the number, degree of distinguishability and size of inclusions. Accordingly, all these parameters were arranged in ascending order. At the same time, the norm was established in the form of a tenfold increase. To this day, this method of assessing the clarity of diamonds remains at the international standard. If a diamond is virtually flawless or has minor imperfections invisible to the eye, it has a high clarity rating. According to the American Diamond Standard, the definition of “flawless” is any diamond that does not have any external or internal defects. In this case, minor flaws are allowed that can be corrected by additional polishing. When assessing the purity of a stone, a specialist must take into account all external defects, taking into account the degree of their visibility and size. The Russian diamond standard similarly involves the analysis of internal and external flaws in the stone, and traces of stone processing can only contribute to a decrease in the quality of the cut, but not the purity. In order to find out about all the existing inclusions, as well as their number, size and location, you need to read the certificate. This is an official document that guarantees the compliance of all parameters of a given diamond and its value. The rich subsoil of the Olonkho land gives people all the variety of natural diamonds. The Brilliant.RU company presents a huge selection of diamonds from Yakutia that can bring aesthetic pleasure to the most demanding buyer. The fact that Yakut diamonds mined in permafrost have fewer inclusions and cracks is known throughout the world. When processed, such stones become truly high-quality diamonds with excellent refractive indexes and clarity. A true diamond, born of Yakut nature, contains a piece of the vast snow-covered plains sparkling in the sun on a frosty day. And you can easily become the owner of this wealth. Each diamond has its own characteristics of color and clarity. Differences in cost between two diamonds of the same weight and shape will be precisely because of these two important parameters. What we see on jewelry tags, or diamond certificates 2/3, 3/5, F/VS2, D/IF is a brief representation of the parameters of the stone. The first number, or letter, indicates the color. The second number or letter means purity. In the Russian system, numbers are used to indicate the color and clarity of diamonds, while in the international system, letters are used. For example, the designation on the tag 3/6 means the color of this diamond is 3, clarity 6. In international grading, F/VVS means color F clarity VVS. Read more about the purity parameter below, and at this link you can familiarize yourself with the Color parameter. Certificate diamonds is a document that contains complete information such as weight, color, clarity, shape, dimensions, cut quality, polish quality, symmetry, fluorescence, proportions, sometimes the number of facets and confirms their authenticity. There is also a place in it for special comments, where there is a transcript of the marks on the basis of which the stone is evaluated. Also on some certificates there is a map of inclusions on which certain signs and symbols are marked indicating their type and feature.

Diamond clarity – general concepts

Diamond clarity is characterized by the absence of defects. Minerals are formed deep within the earth under extreme conditions, high pressure and high temperature. Turning into crystals, they almost always contain unique “birthmarks” – internal or external defects of diamonds. They come in the form of various light and dark dots, cracks, and small transparent inclusions. Purity indicators depend on their presence. They can be almost colorless, light, white, yellowish, with a white tint, and can be in all colors. Some are located in the center, others are closer to the peripheral zone. Some are visible to the naked eye, others, small, can only be seen through a microscope. These features serve as identification marks for diagnosis, and are confirmation of the authenticity and natural origin of the mineral. The location and color of the inclusion greatly influences and determines the value of diamonds. Pure diamonds are rarely found in nature, and this affects the cost of cut stones. In the GIA classification of diamond purity, such stones are assigned the highest grade of quality, FL (flawless). Diamonds with obvious flaws that can affect the color of the stones, giving them a yellow or brown tint, are assigned the lowest grade of I3. Such gemstones will be valued at their lowest value. Diamonds that are not suitable for the jewelry industry are called industrial diamonds. Each gemstone is unique. No mineral is exactly the same as another, although some may be similar. Stones with the FL “flawless” characteristic are extremely rare in nature and are of particular value. These diamonds are so rare that most jewelers have never seen them. The characteristics of VVS are considered ideal, they are worthy of high praise, it is worth paying attention when purchasing such specimens if you are willing to pay more for excellent quality. More often VS is chosen when they want good quality for less money. These diamonds are the most popular nowadays. In fancy cuts like emerald, it is better to choose positions no worse than the VS grade, since the main advantages and properties of this cut are ideal transparency, where small inclusions are more or less visible. The graduated classification scale of the Gemological Institute of America GIA contains 11 categories for assessing purity, the Russian rating system contains 12 categories. Most stones have imperfections and are classified as VS and SI. When determining the cleanliness class, such parameters as size, nature, where they are located, characteristics of internal and external flaws, transparency, quantity, degree of their manifestation are taken into account, whether they affect gloss, transparency, shade. The naked human eye is not able to accurately determine quality. Therefore, experts evaluate a diamond using achromatic and aplanatic 10x magnifying glass. A magnifying glass is the main tool of a gemologist, and is indispensable when purchasing for a person engaged in the diamond trade. Typically, appraisals are made without frames. Any metal will prevent full visibility.

Description of diamond clarity categories according to the GIA scale – Clarity

  • FL (Flawless) A flawless diamond is a stone that is completely pure inside and out.
  • IF (Internally Flawless) An internally flawless diamond – minor external flaws are acceptable, barely noticeable to an experienced gemologist under 10x magnification.
  • VVS1VVS2 (Very, very Slightly Included) – tiny dots in diamonds, difficult to see for an experienced gemologist under tenfold magnification through a microscope.
  • VS1VS2 (Very Slightly Included) – visible at ten times magnification, but can be characterized as insignificant, they will not be immediately visible upon examination.
  • SI1SI2 (Slightly Included) – easily visible when viewed through a tenx magnifying glass, easily discernible to an experienced gemologist, but invisible to the naked eye.
  • I1I3 (Imperfect) An imperfect diamond – the obvious presence of defects at tenfold magnification, also in the second and third subgroups are easily visible to the naked eye. These numerous defects cover most of the stone, barely allowing rays of light to be reflected inside.

The classification of natural diamonds was developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the early 20th century. Since then it has become the benchmark and is a recognized international standard. The jewelry certificate issued by this laboratory meets the highest requirements and inspires the trust of buyers all over the world. Previously, jewelers used only the terms “clean under a loupe” or “pique”. This was too arbitrary a definition of the purity of these precious stones, which was not correct. Today, if you buy diamonds in any country in the world, you will most likely come across the values ​​VVS1 or SI2, even if its language is German or Japanese.

Table of the ratio of diamond clarity groups of the Russian grading system and GIA

SI1 – small dots or stripes, they are easily distinguishable by an experienced appraiser when examined through a magnifying glass. looks different (round diamond).

As can be seen in the photographs above, inclusions in this group can be completely different in position and color.

Cavities are natural damage, depressions, chips that start from the surface and continue deeper. They can occur when a small crystal inclusion falls out during cutting.

SI2, I1 and worse – inclusions may be visible, you need to look at the location defects

Twin planes and growth planes arise during the growth of a diamond. Twin planes are where two crystals grow together. Twinning lines may contain a yellowish or brownish tint. When processing in this place it is very difficult to achieve perfect polishing. If during the formation process such conditions as pressure and temperature changed and were uneven, crystal growth planes appear in this place, which are inhomogeneous. They can be located both on the surface, which prevents diamond processing, and inside, forming bizarre shapes or cubes.

Natural facets are the part of the diamond that has not been polished to preserve weight. Most often they are located next to the girdle.

Laser drilling – using a high-precision special laser, a very thin hole is drilled, thinner than a human hair. It is known that this method began to be widely used in the 70s, but it was discovered much earlier. This is done in order to improve the visual characteristics and commercial value of the stone. In other words, if a diamond contains a large black inclusion that visually interferes greatly and spoils the overall appearance of the stone, a hole is drilled, most often perpendicular to the plane of the diamond platform, so that the channel is not visible from above. After this, an active liquid is introduced in a vacuum, which corrodes the dark inclusion. Often this does not increase the cost of the stone, but makes such diamonds more attractive to the buyer, since nothing interferes with the passage of light and its play in the stone. Such diamond enhancements are easily recognizable and visible to a specialist under magnification. They are also issued with a certificate in which special marks indicate that the stone has laser drilling. Hiding this fact from the buyer is considered fraud. Interestingly, nowadays people still take risks by buying jewelry without checking.

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