Improving our skills. Diamond Clarity Grading Class. Bringing world class knowledge to Historic Downtown Excelsior Springs.
Part of the Sturm Bros.’ summer break was a class headed by the Gemological Institute of America. Diamond grading consists of the 4 C’s – cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. On a bright, clear day in Cleveland the fellas honed their skills in clarity identification during a two hour, hands-on lab.
Diamond clarity is ranked F (flawless) to I (flaws visible by the naked eye). The grades in between are IF, VVS, VS and SI. Each of these grades requires magnification of 10x. I explain these clarity grades like this : IF means internally flawless, VVS means very, very slight inclusions, VS means very slight inclusion and SI stands for slight inclusion.
Numbers are added to each of these grades except for F and IF, because if you’re a flawless diamond there is nothing left to say. So, SI1 is better than SI2. I1 is better than I2 and so on. Many grading houses have begun to add an SI3 but the GIA doesn’t accept this category of clarity. If a diamond is SI3 then by GIA standards it is an I1.
Inclusions are birth marks for diamonds. These birth marks are left behind from trapped air bubbles, carbon, and fissures. Air bubbles are pretty easy to recognize because they look like the bubbles in a carbonated beverage. Carbon is blackish, coal piece left suspended in the diamond like a tiny chocolate chip in a cookie. Fissures look like miniature canyons running through the diamond.