With the plethora of information available out there, it is easy to get overwhelmed on how to get started. Here are some factors that the major labs take into account when assigning clarity grades to a stone.
Size – The bigger the size of the inclusion is, the more obvious it would be for detection.
Color – Diamonds are created deep inside the Earth and natural inclusions can come in many forms and colors. If the color of the inclusion is white or colorless, it would be less obvious than another of a dark black color. Likewise, a red garnet inclusion will cause also downgrade the clarity grade of a diamond because of its color.
Quantity – It is easy to assume that the more inclusions found in a diamond, the lower the clarity grade it has. This might not always be the case. We need to take into account other factors in conjunction with the amount of inclusions found in the stone.
For example, does the diamond have one large flaw as compared to many smaller ones? Fewer inclusions that are well distributed throughout the stone might look better than one big black ugly inclusion.
Location – Is the flaw found smack right in the middle of the table facet or is it well hidden under the crown or near the girdle of the diamond? While it is possible to get eye clean diamonds when the grade is assigned as a result of many scattered inclusions throughout the diamond, these I1 diamonds are pretty rare and difficult to find.
Ultimately, the quality of included diamonds is largely dependent on the type, color, size and locations of the flaws.
Buying Lower Clarity Ratings Like I1 And I2 Diamonds
If you are buying an uncertified diamond that is graded I1 or I2 for Clarity, then you will have to depend on the seller’s reputation and skill at choosing a diamond with visible flaws. You should look for visible flaws that are towards the outer edge of the diamond and those that will least affect the perceived beauty of an I1 diamond.
As you can see, there are broad quality differences in what a gemologist would call an I2 Clarity grade.
Acceptable I2: medium feather at center and some black crystals at top left edge.
Unacceptable I2: clouds throughout and obvious black crystals in the center of the diamond
Unacceptable I2: dense clouds and large feathers throughout. Known in the trade as “white smash”.
You should choose I2 diamonds where the body of the diamond is clean enough to allow for an acceptable return of light to the viewer’s eye.
Where to Shop For Diamonds?
If you had been reading for the past few pages, you can see that the benefits of buying online far outweighs that of the minor concerns stated here.
On top of that, the high resolution static diamond image (at 40X magnification) can really help you get an idea of what you are buying. You can check out a list of great stores here…