What Are Eye Clean Diamonds?

by Ultimate Jewelry Guide
What Are Eye Clean Diamonds?

While they are among the most popular gemstones in the world, not all diamonds are created equal. There is a distinction between eye clean and non eye clean diamonds that can make a huge price difference.

What makes an eye clean diamond? We’ll answer this question and more as we explore what these amazing gems truly are.

What Is A Eye Clean Diamond?

Eye clean diamonds are simply defined as those with no visible inclusions, or inclusions that aren’t visible to the naked eye, and they make up about 95% of all diamond production.

The other 5% of production consists of very rare and costly stones due to their near perfect clarity.

Tips For Identifying Eye Clean Diamonds

Clarity Grade

Eye clean diamonds are those that have little to no inclusions. These can be determined by checking the clarity grade associated with it. Clarity grades range from Flawless, which is graded as F and includes less than 100 points of inclusions per carat (minimal), to Included, which has a grading scale ranging from I to I J, which includes more than 100 points of inclusions per carat.

Cut Grades 

The cut grade is an indication of the diamond’s symmetry and brilliance. It ranges from Excellent to Poor with a grading scale between them that runs alphabetically (A being excellent). The lower grades are not as desirable because they can distort the diamond’s shape.

Size 

The size of a diamond is also an important characteristic to consider when purchasing one. The size ranges from 0.0 carats to more than 20,000 carats and has various symbols associated with it such as millimeters (mm) or point (pt).

The cut grade is an indication of the diamond’s symmetry and brilliance. It ranges from Excellent to Poor with a grading scale between them that runs alphabetically (A being excellent). The lower grades are not as desirable because they can distort the diamond’s shape.

Inclusions Locations

The location of inclusions can also be used to determine whether or not a diamond is eye clean. The closer they are to the surface, the more likely it is that the diamond will have an inclusion grade less than I (for example if you see anything on either side of the surface from one end).

Clarity grades range from Flawless, which is graded as F and includes less than 100 points of inclusions per carat (minimal), to Included, which has a grading scale ranging from I to I J, which includes more than 100 points of inclusions per carat.

Observe Closely

When looking at a diamond, make sure to observe it closely. If you can see the inclusions with your naked eye (without any magnification), then the clarity grade will be lower than I and may affect its value.

Consult Experts

If you are still unsure about what type of diamond to purchase, consult a jeweler or gemologist at a jewelry store. They can help you find the perfect stone that meets your needs and will give valuable tips on how to identify eye clean diamonds.

As always, the best way to make sure an engagement ring is of high quality is by checking for clarity grade, cut grades, size, and where the inclusions are located.

What Are Diamond Clarity Grades?

The clarity grades for diamonds are based on the number and size of flaws. Very high quality diamond crystals will have few or no inclusions, while lower quality diamonds can be full of visible flaws like clouds, feathers, and crystals.

The different clarity grades are determined by using light to examine how many imperfections are visible on the surface of the diamond. The grades range from FL (flawless) to I J (included).

The Gemological Institute of America has a very precise way of grading clarity, and they grade diamonds based on how many inclusions you can see with your naked eye at ten times magnification.

The Diamond Clarity Grade Scale

Clarity Grade Chart

Hence, the following are some of the different clarity grades that are used to differentiate a diamond’s quality:

  • Flawless or Internally Flawless (FL or IF): This diamond has no inclusions or blemishes on the surface.
  • Very Very Slightly Included 1 (VVS1): This diamond has only very minor inclusions, and needs to be examined with a strong magnifying lens.
  • Very Very Slightly Included 2 (VVS2): This diamond has inclusions that need to be seen with a strong magnifying lens and are difficult to see without one.
  • Very Slightly Included 1 (VS 1): In these diamonds, the imperfections are not visible to your naked eye at ten times magnification from two meters away.
  • Slightly Included or Imperfect (SI or I J): These grades have noticeable inclusions in the diamond.
  • Very Slightly Included 2 (VS2): This diamond has inclusions that are not visible without a strong magnifying lens.
  • Slightly Included 1 (SI1): This diamond has inclusions that can be seen with a strong magnifying lens from two meters away.
  • Slightly Included 2 (SI2): This diamond has inclusions that can be seen with a strong magnifying lens from four meters away.
  • Included (I1 or lower): This diamond is full of noticeable imperfections and flaws, such as clouds or feathers.

What Are Diamond Inclusions And Blemishes?

Diamonds come from the earth. As diamonds are excavated they go through a process of cutting and polishing to improve their appearance for jewelry use.

However, before any work takes place on these stones, some flaws make them unique pieces. These imperfections or blemishes can be considered as eye clean diamond flaws, which are a type of inclusions.

Inclusion: It’s a stone or foreign object trapped within an already mined diamond.

Blemish: Anything on the surface of a polished and cut diamond, including scratches, nicks, and discoloration from contact with other gems or with chemicals.

The Different Types Of Inclusions

All that said, there are different types of inclusions and blemishes in diamonds as explained below:

Crystals / Mineral Inclusions

Crystals or mineral Inclusions are natural inclusions that form inside the diamond while it is being formed deep within the earth.

Cloudy / Milky Inclusions

Cloudy or milky inclusions are caused by the presence of air bubbles that were trapped inside a diamond while it was being mined.

Silk / Spiderweb Inclusion

Silk or spiderweb inclusion is created when tiny cracks form on the surface of a stone during its mining process and are then filled with fluid minerals like quartz and calcite.

Fluorescent Inclusions

Uv fluorescence is a type of fluorescent inclusion which occurs when there’s the presence of natural traces, such as iron or titanium in the diamond. These trace elements emit invisible ultraviolet light that can be seen under UV lamps while they’re not visible to the naked eye. 

Feathers

Feathers are bits of carbon that got trapped in the diamond while it was being formed.

Knots

These are pieces of the diamond’s surface that got broken off and trapped inside the stone.

Nitrogen Spots

Nitrogen spots appear when nitrogen molecules have leaked into an already mined diamond during its time underground. This can cause white spots on a blue colored diamond, for example.

Moldy Diamonds

This is a type of inclusion that can form on the surface of a diamond due to prolonged exposure to water or humidity. It’s caused by mold growing on the exterior and interior surfaces of diamonds, which then eats away at the gemstone.

Indented Natural

This is a type of inclusion that occurs when there’s a natural gap inside an already mined diamond. 

Pinpoints

These are small fragments of a diamond or surrounding minerals that got trapped inside an already mined diamond.

Twinning Wisps

This is a type of inclusion that occurs when the diamond was being formed, and two crystals are fused.

How To Buy Eye Clean Diamonds?

If you’re ready to buy eye clean diamonds, make sure the diamond is graded by an AGS jeweler. All diamonds are not created equal and your best bet for a sparkly stone with no imperfections is one that’s been certified as “flawless” or has received at least a grade of “eye clean” by the AGS.

Eye clean diamonds, also known as no inclusions or flawless diamonds are considered very valuable because they’re so rare and beautiful. Luckily for you, eye clean diamonds can be found at a variety of different prices to match your budget! Look for one with a GIA lab certificate and have it appraised before you buy it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, eye clean diamonds are among the best options for diamond buyers. They have a clear and clean appearance without any inclusions or flaws that might disrupt the clarity of the gemstones’ characteristics.

However, there is no universal definition as to what constitutes an “eye clean” stone because this term can be subjective based on where one purchases the diamond.

Always confirm that eye clean diamonds are what you buy for optimum beauty and value.

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