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Buying a Diamond Designing Your Ring Carat Clarity COlor Cut Gem Lab


Few diamonds are pure diamonds through and through. Most form with unique external and internal characteristics that can be likened to identifying birth or beauty marks. Gemologists call these distinguishing marks "blemishes" when they are found on the surface of stones and "inclusions" when they are found inside. Some blemishes such as pits or nicks occur naturally while others such as polishing marks are introduced by man at the time a stone is cut and polished. Just as diamonds are graded for color, so they are also graded for clarity - again using a system developed by GIA and modified slightly by leading labs in Europe and Asia. The GIA clarity-grading system consists of 5 categories FL (flawless), VVS(very, very slightly included), VS (very slightly included), SI (slightly included), and I (included) - which are subdivided into 11 grades, two for each category except I which has three.

Clarity Grades

At Passion Fire diamonds, we stock only diamonds which are individually considered "clean to the eye" by our Master Gemologist Appraiser. The larger the diamond, the higher the clarity grade must be in order to remain "eye-clean." We stock only diamonds over 3/4 carat. While we sell higher clarity grades, anything higher than VS-1 is available only by special order. We confirm each clarity grade before we accept a diamond.

We do not rely on any one lab over another lab for our quality grading.

Clarity Enhancement

In recent years, diamond technologists have found ways to either remove or camouflage visible inclusions using a variety of clarity-enhancement processes. Two worth noting here: laser-drilling and glass-filling. Using lasers, technologists drill to black spots near the surface of stones, then inject acid which completely dissolves them. The process leaves only microscopic hairbreadth drill holes which usually require a jeweler's eyepiece (called a loupe) to see. When these holes are "filled" with a resin having the same refractive index as diamond, they are called Clarity Enhanced and Glass Filled. Passion Fire does not sell any clarity enhanced diamonds.