The term eye-clean diamond refers to a diamond that has no imperfections, damage, bubbles, etc. visible to the naked eye. Eye-clean diamond is also a high value diamond, but it is much cheaper than a perfect diamond without any visible or invisible damage.
A diamond without a single flaw is very rare and very expensive. Impurities exist in most diamonds but are not visible to the naked eye. That is, the diamond whose inclusions are small and cannot be seen with the naked eye, but requires a magnifying glass is called an eye-clean diamond.
These impurities or imperfections do not endanger the beauty and quality of diamonds, but they are more affordable because they are more often found in nature.
The purity of a diamond is determined by a scale ranging from the so-called FL which would represent flawless diamond to I3 which represents the imperfect diamond whose inclusions in the structure can be seen with the naked eye.
Other scales on this scale and tips on how to recognize an eye-clean diamond will be discussed in more detail in this article. Stick with us to get additional information, instructions, and interesting facts about this topic.
Grading The Clarity Of A Diamond
It may be interesting to know that the main standards in the assessment of cleanliness were developed by the GIA – Gemological Institute of America and the CIBJO – Confédération Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie et Orfèvrerie.
A scale that evaluates the purity of diamonds was mentioned briefly, so, below are detailed explanations of each degree of purity and their markings:
|F||LC ( loupe clean)||Flawless – without any defects and damage inside and on the surface of the diamond.|
|IF||LC (loupe clean)||Internally flawless – without damage inside the diamond|
|VVS 1||VVS 1||Very very slightly included – inclusions that are very difficult to detect with a 10 x magnifying glass.|
|VVS 2||VVS 2||Very very slightly included – inclusions that are very difficult to detect with a 10 x magnifying glass.|
|VS 1||VS 1||Very slightly included – inclusions that are difficult to detect with a 10 x magnifying glass.|
|VS 2||VS 2||Very slightly included – inclusions that are difficult to detect with a 10 x magnifying glass.|
|SI 1||SI 1||Slightly included – inclusions that are easy to detect with a 10 x magnifying glass.|
|SI 2||SI 2||Slightly included – inclusions that are easy to detect with a 10 x magnifying glass.|
|I 1||P 1 (pique)||Imperfect 1 – inclusions which are immediately recognizable with a 10 x magnifying glass.|
|I 2||P 2 (pique)||Imperfect 2 – inclusions which are revealed to the naked eye and which slightly reduce the brightness.|
|I 3||P 3 (pique)||Imperfect 3 – inclusions which are revealed to the naked eye and reduce gloss and transparency.|
Tips For Finding Eye-Clean Diamonds
It may seem like a serious task ahead of you, but finding an eye-clean diamond is not that difficult, you just need to know some basic things, so follow these tips carefully!
You should not be intimidated by the story of inclusions and the diamond purity scale when you go shopping for an eye-clean diamond. It is important to know that it is completely normal for a diamond to have inclusions as long as they are not visible to the naked eye!
Of course, check the purity scale, but you must know that this is not all. Two diamonds can be rated equally on that scale but one can have many more inclusions than the other. Otherwise, it can have less, or only one inclusion, but on the visible spot. It is up to the nature of the diamond, that is, where the inclusions are and how visible they are.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to take a good look at the diamond, up close. You can also see it in the pictures by zooming in and looking at each side of the diamond. If you choose in the jewelry store, try to look at the diamond in daylight and not under the glittering light of a jeweler.
Also, it is important that you are aware of the purpose for which you are buying the diamond. If it is for a ring, you should choose with the idea that certain parts of the diamond will be covered with a crown of the ring.
So, if a diamond caught your eye, and the price is acceptable for your budget, don’t give up easily because it has an inclusion. Check where it is and consider whether it will be visible within the finished ring. If not, you haven’t written off a good stone!
Another interesting fact to facilitate your search for the perfect diamond is that if you want a diamond in a specific color, inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye should interest you even less. The only difference between a diamond with invisible inclusions and one without any is in the price and that doesn’t really help you, especially since they look identical to the naked eye.
The purity of the diamond is significantly affected by its shape and carat weight. Here are some tips on what shapes and carat weight are most likely to be eye-clean. Remember the diamond purity scale? In the following text, the marks of that scale will be used in order to bring you closer to the best choice of eye-clean diamond, with concrete examples.
- Round cut and princess cut – when we talk about these two shapes, you should keep in mind that if they are less than two carats, more precisely VS 2 and SI 1 (to remind you, they are very slightly included and slightly included) , they are almost always eye-clean diamonds!
- Heart-shaped diamond – this one is a very good shape for an eye – clean diamond search. As well as the previous shape, VS 2 and SI 1 scale are the ones to choose for a heart-shaped eye – clean diamond! This heart-shaped diamond hides inclusions very well.
- Oval cut, Marquise, Pear-shaped cut, and Radiant cut – these diamond shapes are also very good at hiding inclusions! If you are looking for one of these forms, but eye – clean, you should check if they are on a scale under marks SI 1 and SI 2 (slightly included)
- Baguette, Emerald cut – these are shapes in which it is easier to notice inclusions, to avoid them choose VS 2 (very slightly included) option.
If you are interested in knowing all the shapes of diamonds, and details about each one, check out our article on this topic here.
Imperfections Or “Inclusions”
What exactly are inclusions? Which inclusions are the worst and which are acceptable? Here’s everything you need to know about inclusions:
As we have already mentioned, inclusions are normal, natural, that is, an integral part of most diamonds. When cutting, grinding and finishing, they are often brought to the lowest acceptable number, as long as possible, unless the inclusion is in the middle of the diamond, in a place that cannot be cut.
Of course, the worst are those inclusions that you can see with the naked eye! These are the ones you should avoid, always. Inclusions such as big, dark, black spots, easily visible and everywhere on a diamond.
The ones we have already mentioned, inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye but with a magnifying glass that magnifies 10 times, should certainly be accepted and they must not affect our choice of diamond.
Here are some familiar types of inclusions to understand what exactly it represents and how important or unimportant they are when choosing a diamond.
- Cloud – cloud is a group of small pinpoints that are joined together and that affect the appearance of the diamond in terms of contributing to haze, turbidity. Cloudy diamond is one that has a lot of clouds.
- Cavity – cracks or fissures in the diamond are cavities. The problem with them arises if due to the type of mineral contained in the diamond, they appear in color, then they can be more easily visible even to the naked eye!
- Graining – due to irregular crystal growth, inclusions we call graining occur, they are in the form of colored or white lines which also give the diamond a haze.
- Feather – small cracks that form in the appearance of feathers, deservedly got this name. There are feathers that are barely visible and there are those that are very visible, what a feather does to a diamond is that it looks white instead of transparent.
Related Read: Can You Remove Inclusions From a Diamond?
Buying Tips and Price Ratio Between Eye-Clean Diamond And Flawless Graded One
It is clear that buying diamonds is not something we do every day, and naturally, we want the best for ourselves or the ones we love, but, don’t rush to pay more than you have to!
It is often the case that diamonds rated on a scale with marks VS 2 and VS 1 (very slightly included) look as eye-clean as those diamonds marked with FL (flawless), but of course, cost much less. These marks mean a lot when it comes to price, but they don’t mean much when it comes to the look of a diamond.
Price is a measure of quality when we talk about diamonds and these scale marks, but a diamond with inclusions invisible to the naked eye should definitely not be passed by just because it does not have the mark FL (flawless). Not to mention that you can pay up to three times less for an eye-clean diamond!
The Big Question: Do Real Diamonds Get Cloudy?
The big answer is yes, even the real ones can get cloudy. The inclusion that is named cloud or the cloudy diamond is what is meant by this phenomenon. That does not mean that the diamond isn’t real. As we explained before, a cloudy diamond is the one with visible inclusions which are formed in the way that makes a diamond hazy.
It is difficult to say what is the cause of cloudiness. Feather inclusion also can cause cloudiness. To avoid cloudiness, we need to pay attention to whether the diamond we buy has many inclusions in the form of clouds or feathers or just one, and whether they are visible to the naked eye. This is perhaps the best way.
Read More: Why Do Diamonds Get Cloudy?
Let’s go through the main facts once again: How to tell if a diamond is eye-clean?
First we need to go through the scale of purity of diamonds in order to be familiar with the marks of purity and what they mean. These marks are often used and should not bother us when we meet them on diamonds.
But, the scale is not the only measure when buying diamonds. It is important to study which types of inclusions exist and which are acceptable and which are not.
Also, certain shapes and sizes contribute significantly to the diamond being eye-clean, read in our text which they would be and whether any of these shapes is maybe exactly what you wanted! Take a good look at the diamond by yourself by taking a closer look at it in daylight or enlarging the image you are looking at!
Don’t be in a hurry to pay much, except in the case that you will know that your diamond has the mark FL, no one else will be able to distinguish between such an eye – clean diamond, and even you would not if you weren’t told so.