Color and Clarity
When we talk about a diamond’s color we are not referring to the rainbow of colors that a diamond can produce, but rather the internal body-color of a diamond. The most common body color of a diamond is yellow, caused by the presence of nitrogen when the diamond was formed. Color can range from the icy-cold colorless of “D” through the warming tinted yellow tones of “M” to “Z” and end in the vivid yellows of “Fancy Intense Yellow”.
“Fancy Colored Diamonds” can also come in shades of blue, green, pink, red, and even black.
Diamonds are graded for color by trained professionals using Master Color Comparison Diamonds under specific lighting conditions in a laboratory. Machines do exist to assist in color grading but due to the one-of-a-kind characteristics of each diamond the final grade is always set by a human comparison.
Diamonds are formed deep in the earth under relentless conditions: extreme heat and immense pressure. Clarity refers to the internal characteristics that natures leaves in the diamond when it is formed. Almost all diamonds are left with a unique set of inclusions, a “fingerprint” if you will, that help us identify and classify them into 10 different grades when viewed under the industry standard of 10x magnification:
The rarest grade of them all. A trained grader under controlled conditions should not be able to find any characteristics using 10x magnification.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 – VVS2)
VVS diamonds contain minute inclusions that are difficult for even a skilled grader to locate under 10x magnification.
Very Slightly Included (VS1-VS2)
VS diamonds contain minor inclusions that can range from difficult to somewhat easy for a trained grader to see under 10x magnification
Slightly Included (SI1 – SI2)
SI diamonds contain noticeable inclusions which range from easy to very easy for a trained grader to see under 10x magnification. Although they usually remain invisible to the unaided eye when viewed face-up, some larger diamonds may have inclusions visible to the unaided eye.
Included (I1, I2, I3)
I-grade diamonds contain inclusions which are obvious to a trained grader under 10x magnification, can often be easily seen face-up with the unaided eye, seriously affect the stone’s potential durability, or are so numerous they affect transparency and brilliance.