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Information About Diamonds - Diamond Color Vs Clarity Diamonds are graded according to what is referred to as the 4Cs which stands for Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight. The cut of a diamond will have a great affect on the brilliance or ability of the diamond to reflect light through the individual facets that make up the diamonds surface. Some diamonds, usually smaller diamonds, are single cut with fewer facets while larger diamonds are full cut with many more facets. Remember your science classes in school when you learned that the angle of incidence equals the angle of refraction? Well that is what is happening with the cut of a diamond. The better the cut the more light enters the diamond and refracts back out to give the brilliance you see. This is why the round diamond gives off more brilliance than the oval, marquise, heart, emerald, and pear shaped diamonds. When the shape is other than round, it changes the ability of how much light can refract back out the top of the diamond. Diamond Color Diamonds come in almost every color including steel grey, blue, white, yellow, orange, red, green, pink, and even purple, brown and black. When being graded they are separated into either the Normal Color range or the Fancy Color range. Diamonds considered to be of Normal Color range are a pale yellow or light brown color while diamonds considered to be in the Fancy Color range have a more intense yellow or brown color to them. Pure diamonds are considered to be completely colorless or transparent. The grading system for diamonds in the Normal Color range most recognized and used by the Gemological Institute of America ("GIA"), uses a scale of letters. • Colorless: D, E and F. • Near colorless: G, H, I, and J • Faint yellow: K, L and M • Very light yellow: N, O, P, Q, and R • Light yellow: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z The D, E and F color rated diamonds are rarer and of more value then the other diamonds respectively going down the scale because of the limited supply and due to consumer preference for a whiter color diamond. However, a low-color diamond with few impurities is still of value as a gemstone. Fancy Color diamonds are considered to be of a color more brilliant or intense than the Z color of white diamonds and are graded according to the following categories • Faint • Very Light • Light • Fancy Light • Fancy • Fancy Intense • Fancy Vivid • Fancy Deep • Fancy Dark This also includes any light color diamonds other than those that are in the light yellow or light brown range. This will include colors such as pale blue which will be categorized as light or faint blue. Diamond Clarity The clarity of a diamond refers to the visibility of inclusions, blemishes or defects when viewed under a 10 power magnification. There are numerous types of inclusions or internal characteristics that can be present in a diamond which are categorized into clouds, feathers, crystals or minerals, knots, cavities, cleavage, bearding, and internal graining. Blemishes are categorized as polish lines, grain boundaries, naturals, scratches, nicks, pits, and chips. The GIA grading system for the clarity of diamonds separates them as follows: • F: flawless (no inclusions or blemishes) • IF: internally flawless (small blemishes on the diamond surface but no internal inclusions) • Very Very Slightly Included: VVS1 and VVS2 (inclusions are difficult to see) • Very Slightly Included: VS1 and VS2 (inclusions are somewhat difficult to see) • Slightly Included: SI1 and SI2 (inclusions are fairly easily detected) • Included: I1, I2 and I3 (inclusions are very easily seen) All of these categories are graded under 10x magnification and conducted by skilled diamond graders. Other grading systems that are also well known include the American Gemological Society ("AGS"), the European Gemological Laboratory ("EGL"), and the International Gemological Laboratory ("IGL"). Each has its own technique and guidelines for grading diamonds and other gemstones. Click Here for Deals on Loose Diamonds and Colored Diamonds