Written By: Joseph S. Pete, The Times
However, because measuring diamond clarity is a process that requires exact precision, the diamond grading scale is not all that easy to understand if you’ve never heard of it before.
Fortunately, at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers, we’re committed to ensuring that you get the diamond jewelry in Chicago that you’ve always wanted. And we’re equally committed to making sure that you understand exactly what jewelers say when they talk about the diamond grading scale. Of course, the grading scale isn’t the only thing you want to consider when purchasing diamond jewelry in Chicago, but we’ll get to that later with a few helpful buying tips.
The Diamond Clarity Grading Scale
When jewelers decide on a grade for a diamond, they’re looking at a variety of things. However, when it comes to clarity on diamond jewelry in Chicago, the jeweler is mostly looking out for two things: blemishes and inclusions. Inclusions are defects that exist inside the diamond while blemishes are defects that exist on the surface of a diamond. Depending on the size and number of inclusions and/or blemishes a diamond will receive one of ten clarity grades.
These ten clarity grades, in order of most clarity to least, are as follows:
- Flawless Diamonds (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very Very Small Inclusions 1 (VVS1)
- Very Very Small Inclusions 2 (VVS2)
- Very Small Inclusions (VS1)
- Very Small Inclusions (VS2)
- Small Inclusions 1 (SI1)
- Small Inclusions 2 (SI2)
- Inclusions 1 (I1)
- Inclusions 2 (I2)
Some evaluators will use additional, interim grades but generally, these are the clarity grades you’ll see when you purchase diamond jewelry in Chicago. As a buyer, the main thing you’ll want to know is that FL and IF diamonds are extremely rare, constituting just 1 percent of all the diamonds in the world, VVS diamonds are excellent, and VS and SI diamonds are the best value and most popular among most buyers.
VS and SI diamonds are the most popular because, even though they may have inclusions, those defects are very hard to see with the naked eye. So for all practical purposes, a VS or SI diamond is as beautiful as any other to the consumer.
How Clarity is Graded
To understand the grading scale, you should also know how the clarity of a diamond is graded. Each inclusion on the diamond is judged based on its size, type, location, relief, as well as how many inclusions there are.
The size of the inclusion simply refers to how small or large the inclusion. The smaller the inclusion, the lesser the impact is on the diamond’s clarity grade. The type of inclusion refers to the nature of the inclusion, such as whether or not it’s on the surface of the diamond or within the gem itself.
The location of an inclusion plays a big role in the clarity grade because the extent to which the inclusion affects the sparkle of the gem depends on where in the diamond the inclusion is located. The relief of an inclusion is how jewelers judge the extent to which the inclusion is noticeable in contrast to the diamond. Finally, the number of inclusions affects the clarity grade in that the higher the number of inclusions, the lower the clarity grade and vice versa.
Diamond Buying Tips
If you haven’t purchased a lot of diamond jewelry in Chicago, it’s worth taking note of a few diamond buying tips. Here are a few:
- Don’t Get too Wrapped Up in Clarity Grades
Don’t get us wrong: clarity absolutely matters. But you shouldn’t get so obsessed with the grade of a diamond you’re thinking about buying that you forget to consider its shape and size. Also, if you’re happy with the way the diamond looks, why let a grade prevent you from enjoying it?
- No Diamond is Perfect
Diamonds are made underground in the Earth. They are natural products and nature is rarely perfect in the sense of having absolutely no blemishes or imperfections. Remember that the part of what gives a diamond its own unique character is its imperfections.
- Come in to See Us at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers
If you’re looking for diamond jewelry in Chicago, you owe it yourself to come visit Albert’s Diamond Jewelers. Even if you do not find the jewelry that’s perfect for you in our store, we’ll help make sure that you get the jewelry you want for a good value.