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No Nonsense Guide to Diamond Clarity

This is one for the boys...(and curious girls)

Those good willing men who have decided to take the plunge and ask their partner to commit to a life of making their decisions for them. In most heterosexual couples the engagement ring is the one big life decision the man will make, and he is probably hoping that this isn’t obvious as he sits across me, smartphone in hand, prepared with an in-comprehensive Wikipedia page on diamonds which he hopes will help him blag this test, a test much like his physics GCSE mock in that he has done minimal preparation and left it all to the good old fashioned, last minute, cram sesh.

Buying a diamond is scary business for anyone, whether it be as a man looking to propose, a couple who have decided to hunt together or as a veteran of the trade.

Usually a diamond is the most expensive single item someone will buy (aside from maybe a car or house) and the truth is there is very little genuine knowledge out there to help you, and most of what is out there is plagued with confusing letters and numbers, jargon and no standardised pricing.

Lets give you a little bit of background so we are all on the same page. Diamonds, as most people are aware are graded according to the 4 C’s (a clever little acronym that GIA came up with to commercialise their certificates); the four C’s stand for colour, cut, clarity and carat. We have already dealt with carat in a previous blog (spread) here we will be talking about clarity.

Clarity refers to the number and location of little inclusions inside or outside of the diamond. Diamonds are natural crystals, formed deep in the earth’s mantle, and therefore are not without their blemishes. Much like the human skin may have moles or freckles, diamonds can contain many things, from carbon, to whole little diamond crystals themselves! And, much like human skin, depending on who you ask and the diamond in question, these can either be considered un-desirable or beautiful.

The grading for clarity is as follows:

IF- internally flawless basically a virgin vegan who has never cursed in her life. So pure she didn't even turn up to the party she was invited to.

VVS1- very very small inclusion this is a pin prick, something I have searched for hours for under the microscope at 30x magnification. Think the vegan went to the party but locked herself in a cupboard under the stairs and rang her mum to pick her up 30 minutes later

VVS2- very very small inclusions 2 this is the same as the above but maybe I just found it a little bit faster, it’s in a more obvious place. Maybe the vegan girl hid in the bathroom instead.

VS1- very small inclusion slightly bigger than a pin-prick and something I could probably find with my hand held loupe, but still teeny tiny. Vegan went to the party but just sat in the corner and didn't say much, but people saw her.

VS2- very small inclusion 2 same as above but a little more obvious. Maybe she's wearing a cool outfit so people are looking a little more at her sitting on her lone chair.

SI1- slight inclusion here I can see nothing with the naked eye but there is a relative sized inclusion which I can see when looking with my loupe, think pool party with just an inflatable flamingo in a 25m pool.

SI2- slight inclusion 2 someone has invited a few inflatable flamingos to the pool party, or maybe a few guys pushed each other in..

SI3- slight inclusion 3 Someone really thought 'plus one' meant plus one bus load, I may be able to see something with the naked eye here.

I- Included here I don’t need a loupe to tell you that a full blown party is going on in there.

In the next blog I am going to discuss how you can use clarity grades to your advantage when buying a diamond.