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“Eye Clean” is a term used by jewelers to label a diamond as having visible or invisible inclusions. In terms of its technical definition, “eye clean” means that the inclusions on any given diamond will be invisible when viewed with normal 20/20 vision face-up from about 6-12 inches away from the eye in daylight or fluorescent lighting. In short, if you can look at a diamond from an upright position and look directly through it without seeing any inclusions, it is eye clean. Eye Clean diamonds do not have to possess clarity grades of F or IF. Even diamonds with grades as low as SI2 frequently have inclusions that are invisible and enable the diamond to be labeled as “eye clean”. However, this is not the case with Emerald and Asscher shaped diamonds that are known as “step cuts”. This is the due to the fact that these diamonds contain very large tables and a different facet arrangement than brilliant cuts, which make the inclusions more visible. It is for this reason that most Emerald and Asscher diamonds that are eye clean are usually from VS2 and higher, although certain SI1s may be also be eye clean, as shown below:

What should I keep in mind when it comes to Eye Clean diamonds?
  • When looking for an eye-clean diamond, it is important to keep in mind the Carat Weight of the diamond. For example, a 0.75 carat SI1 will usually be eye clean, while a 2 carat SI1 may not be.
  • Keep in mind that inclusions for the most part are invisible to the naked eye other than on the lowest grade diamonds. This means that while a diamond grader or jeweler may easily spot the inclusion, you probably would not be able to unless you knew what you were looking for.
  • Inclusions will almost never affect the brilliance of a diamond unless the grade is I2 and lower. Think of an inclusion as a spot of dirt on your window - the room gets plenty of light, but there is an annoying spot on the glass. In general, clouds, needles, pinpoints, twinning wisps and even feathers are better inclusions than crystals when it comes to eye clean because they will usually not have any black attributes, what tends to be most visible to the naked eye.
  • It is also important to remember that “eye clean” is a subjective term because the setting in which the diamond is viewed can change how the diamond looks. For example, if the diamond’s inclusions are off to the side, they can easily be covered by the setting’s prongs, as you can see in this image (Image 1).
The same rule applies for lighting, as there are special lighting conditions under which the inclusions are highlighted while there are others that hide the inclusions more, in the way that natural sunlight would, as you can see in this image (Image 2). When the diamond is properly cut and with the correct parameters, you will be too blinded by the brilliance to even see the inclusions, even if it isn’t technically eye clean. Zoara’s collection of Real Diamond Photos will give you a great illustration of these points.

More Information 

For more related diamond information visit our Diamond Learning Center. Read up about the 4 CsDiamond Cut and more.

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