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The Jewelry Hut Diamond Learning Center

Small Inclusions, SI1 - SI2

A diamond rated SI has noticeable inclusions and is easy to view under a 10X power microscope. An SI graded diamond can have one large single inclusion or several smaller inclusions numbering five or more.  The difference in SI1 and SI2 can be either the number of inclusion or their location.

SI1

SI2

Small Inclusions, SI3 (New Rating)

This grade is used to bridge the fine line between diamonds that have eye visible inclusion and those that do not. The best way to identify a diamond in this grade is: first look at the diamond with unaided eye. If no inclusion are visible from the top, then place it under a 10X power microscope.  If the inclusions are very obvious, remember their location and remove the stone from the microscope.  Try to view the inclusion with an unaided eye.  If inclusion can be seen even so slightly, from the top of the diamond, then it is rated as SI3.

SI3

Imperfect Inclusions, I1 - I2 - I3

Diamonds graded in this category have inclusions that visible with an unaided eye, when viewing the diamond  from the top about 6 - 8 inches away from the eye.  The size, location, and number of inclusions affect the grade.  An I1 graded diamond has only one eye visible inclusion located toward the edge of the diamond with several smaller non-visible inclusions.  I2 has several eye visible inclusion on the edge or just one located in the center of the stone.  I3 rated diamonds have eye visible inclusions scattered around the diamond.

I1

I2

I3

 

For a very good reason, many people are not confident to determine the clarity grade of a diamond. People can very easily misread a diamond’s clarity without the proper education and instruments. But, you can identify a diamond’s clarity rating by following the steps shown below:
1) look only at loose (unmounted) diamonds. It is very difficult to view the inclusions when the diamond is mounted in a setting.
2) Always use a microscope. A loupe is only used by experienced jewelers to grade diamonds.  It takes several months of experience for using a loupe to accurately identify a diamond’s clarity.  Therefore , A lighted 10X power microscope is recommended, regardless of your clarity grading skills.  You are able to see every inclusion in a diamond by using a microscope.

The most popular method of grading a diamond is developed by the Gemological Institute of America, GIA.  The GIA independent diamond grading report is the most accurate and trusted report in the diamond trade.

D) Diamond Color

The diamond colors are the actual body color of a diamond, and it has range from colorless to light yellow.  The more yellow is the diamond, the lower is its quality. Do not confuse color with brilliance which is a function of the diamond cut. The diamond should be viewed with table facing down, so the diamond’s brilliance does not interfere with the view of diamond color.  It is very difficult to judge the color of a diamond when its mounted on a set.

Colorless

Near
Colorless

Faint
Yellow

Very
Light
Yellow

Light
Yellow

 

GIA Color Grading System

Diamonds graded D, E, or F are considered to be called fine “white diamond” or more precisely colorless diamond.  A proper diamond cut is still the most important factor, but a combination of an excellent cut and a colorless diamond is very appealing.
Diamonds graded G, H I, or J are in the near colorless range.  It has a slight yellow body color noticeable when compared to a higher rated color stone  and viewed with table side down, on a white surface next to each other. An ideal cut diamond mounted in a ring with a color of I is very hard to separate from a matching ring with a diamond graded E. The intense brilliance of an ideal or premium cut diamond mask the sight difference in body color.
Diamonds graded K, L, or M have a noticeable yellow color body when viewed from the top of the stone and clearly visible when viewed with table faced down. Diamonds in this color range have an obvious yellow body color even when mounted in a ring.
Diamonds graded in the range of N - Z are very obvious yellow when viewed from top or bottom of the stone.

 

Colorless

Near Colorless

Faint Yellow

Very Light Yellow

Light Yellow

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

Color grading is done by comparing a diamond of one color to that of another.  This is done by placing two or more diamonds next to each other with table down on a white surface and viewing them through the their pavilions or bottoms.  Usually, a diamond trader will have a Master Grading Set of diamonds which is a small group of diamonds in each of various color grades that have been  graded by an independent Gem Lab. As a beginner, one can not expect to differentiate between an “F” and a “G” colored diamond.  The color difference is so slight that only an expert can tell the difference, and because of subjective nature of diamond grading, even two experts do not always agree.

Unlike diamond Clarity, where one can lower the grade without affecting the appearance, diamond Color becomes eye visible after letter “J”.  One should try to select a diamond within the range of “E” to “J” color.  From color “J” and above, the stones progressively appear more yellow.

 

 

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