|Diamonds Clarity Enhancement|
|Diamonds Clarity Enhancement
Anyone purchasing a diamond must also know that many diamonds today are not treated just for color-enhancement, but also for clarity enhancement. With the technological advances in the field today many new kinds of treatment are emerging, among them fracture-filling and lasering . For the most part these augmentation techniques are permanent though some are not, and will require special care. For this reason it is imperative that you buy your diamond from a reputable jeweler, with the full information of the diamonds history disclosed on the bill of sale, as it is possible to check for any such treatments beforehand. Fracture filling is an impermanent process whereby small fissures of the stone are filled in with a translucent glasslike substance that is impossible to detect without a loupe. However, with a loupe it should be quite clear. Fillings crumble or become tinted after a few years, and any filling-treated diamond will need maintenance over the years. As a result these are inexpensive diamonds, and anyone purchasing a diamond should be wary of mistakenly buying a filled diamond. If you have no intention of re-selling the stone someday and only wish to have an attractive and affordable piece of jewelry, than this may be an alternative for you. The all-time favorite way to pass off fracture-filled diamonds as perfect stones is to call them “Clarity-enhanced diamonds”. You can be certain that ‘clarity-enhanced' automatically means fracture-filled and that the stone should be worth a lot less. This is also the term used to disguise laser drilled diamonds.
Lasering dissipates the internal blemishes within the diamond and can improve the stones clarity but it also leaves a visible conduit line within the diamond. This ‘line', which is a thin spidery white streak, can be seen with the loupe, though the inexperienced amateur would have a difficult time recognizing a laser path from the normal crystal configuration. This is a permanent process and reduces the value of a diamond within its respective clarity classification. Therefore disclosure on a diamonds lasering is mandatory by law and you should ask the jeweler explicitly if your diamond has been through this process, so that you may be sure you are not over-paying.
All diamonds are formed in different physical circumstances, with different levels of pressure and accompanying influences. This means that no diamond is exactly similar to any other, even if they were mined from close locations. Most of these so-called ‘flaws' are so tiny that they may be seen only through a microscope and many are what give each diamond its individual character. Clarity is therefore essential to the complete evaluation of the stone and even ‘flawless' diamonds are not truly without those distinctly internal features and inclusions that reflect their level of clarity. It is a quite like a fingerprint in the sense that it marks each and every stone as different from the other. Again, this is not to say that level of clarity automatically affects the diamonds grade adversely. Some of these flaws may even add beauty to a specific stone and certainly, as with the case of shape and color, this is a matter of personal taste.
As with color-grading, the most widely used grading system for clarity is also set by the GIA, although there are several accepted and known systems for clarity evaluation across the world, among them the CIBJO in Europe, Canada and the U.S, the A.G.S and the HRD in Belgium. There are eleven basic clarity grades in the GIA grading system and any diamond that falls within the first eight categories will not suffer in lack of brilliance.
The highest clarity grade is FL or FI , termed for diamonds categorized as flawless, although this term only applies to flaws than can be seen under 10 x magnifications. Flawless means both without inner inclusions and without blemishes on the surface. The chances of seeing such a high-grade diamond are almost nil, and you should be very skeptical if someone claims to be selling you a truly flawless stone. Such stones are not sold in regular jewelry stores and they are fantastically expensive.
Second in line is the IF classification, termed for internally flawless stone, which is also rarely seen, especially in a well-cut, colorless diamond. IF grading is given to diamonds with only a few internal blemishes and easily corrected external flaws such as scratches or chips. These are less expensive per carat weight than the FL, but are also so far up the market scale that you will seldom encounter them. The rest of the categories go as follows:
VVS-1 : Stands for very, very slightly included or flawed. This means that the blemishes to be found in the stone are extremely difficult to see, even with 10x magnification.
VVS-2 : A grade slightly poorer than VVS-1, both of which are rare and tremendously expensive. Both of these grades are also rarely seen in jewelry stores.
VS-1 : Both VS clarity grades would make for an excellent purchase, especially in a well-cut stone. They are far more common than the first four classifications, and readily obtainable in both fancy and clear colors. VS grade diamonds are stocked in jewelry stores and are easily available, despite their price.
VS-2 : A grade slightly poorer than VS-1.
SI-1 : SI stands for only slightly included, and any blemishes within the diamond can be clearly seen with a 10x magnification. These are also fairly common, and may make an excellent purchasing solution if you are not in mind of spending a very large sum of money. Clarity flaws are very difficult to see with the naked eye and when mounted properly, SI diamonds can make beautiful jewelry.
SI-2 : A grade slightly poorer than SI-2.
I -1 : The Imperfect categories are such called because their clarity flaws and inclusions can be seen with the naked eye, and without the use of a loupe. They are inexpensive and have very little relative market value as diamonds go. However, stated in the beginning of the text, clarity is not very influential to brilliance. Many I- category diamonds are brilliant with sparkle and reflect light beautifully, allowing for a lovely piece of jewelry.
I- 2 : Slightly more inclusions than grade I-1
I-3 : Slightly more inclusions than I-2.
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