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The Top 10 Mistakes Made When Purchasing a Diamond.

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A Diamond's Clarity

The clarity of a diamond refers to the inclusions, imperfections and flaws within or on the stone. No two diamonds are alike. Think of the clarity as the birthmark of your diamond.

Diamond clarity is graded under 10-power magnification by a trained eye and is determined by the number of inclusions, their type and location.

There are two types of clarity grading: a "blemish" and an "inclusion." A blemish is confined to the surface of the diamond, whereas an inclusion is trapped within the diamond. Diamond clarity is based on a scale from Flawless to Included.

  • Flawless (F)
    Flawless Diamonds show no inclusions or blemishes of any kind under 10X magnification.

  • Internally Flawless (IF)
    Shows only insignificant blemishes and no inclusions when examined by a skilled grader under 10X magnification

  • Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1-VVS2)
    Contains miniscule inclusions that range from extremely difficult (VVS1) to very difficult (VVS2) to locate. Might show a miniscule pinpoint or two.

  • Very Slightly Included (VS1-VS2)
    Contains minor inclusions that range from difficult (VS1) to somewhat easy (VS2) to locate. Typical inclusions are small crystal feathers or distinct cloud.

  • Slightly Included (SI1-SI2)
    Contains noticeable inclusions that are easy (SI1) or very easy (SI2) to locate. You will see eye-visible inclusions more often in an SI2 stone.

  • Included (I1, I2, I3)
    Contains inclusions that are obvious face-up without magnification. They seriously affect the stone's durability. They are so large or numerous that they affect transparency and brightness.

F and IF diamonds are unique, therefore they are very rare and very pricey. The majority of the market falls under VS to SI. The location of the flaws affects grading as well. For example, a VVS1 diamond may have an inclusion or blemish close to the edge of the stone, whereas the VVS2's flaw may be located to under the table - the large flat surface of the diamond - which is a more noticeable location.

At ADX, we recommend Very Slightly Included (VS) to Slightly Included (SI) diamonds for rings. Rings are a big part of everyday life for most women, so they are likely to be regularly admired and inspected both by the owner and onlookers. An Included (I) diamond is more ideal for use in earrings or pendants where it will not be examined as frequently or as up-close.

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