Diamond clarity is basically a quality of diamonds based on the visual appearance of internal characteristics of a diamond called ‘Inclusions’ and defects on the surface of a diamond which is called ‘Blemishes’ (external characteristics)
Clarity refers to the tiny particles that occur almost in all the diamonds. So, Clarity is one of the fundamental attribute of a diamond out of the 4C’s and Expert says, it is the easiest to understand as it has least impact on diamond’s appearance.
Clarity is a measure that how clearly a diamond is able to allow light to pass through it and reflect it. And for evaluating the diamond, clarity is determined by the factors like size, number, position and nature of the inclusions and also how these factors affects the overall appearance of a diamond. Hence, Diamonds with the least and smallest imperfections receives the highest clarity grades.
Understanding Diamond Clarity
There is most commonly used scaling system known as GIA Clarity grading scale (used to find out a clarity grade for diamonds). These diamonds are graded on 10x loupe magnification to assign the final clarity to the diamonds.
GIA Diamond Clarity Grading Scale
|Clarity Grades||Clarity Description|
|FL (Flawless)||• No Inclusions (Internal Flaws) OR Blemishes (External Flaws) are visible under 10x Loupe |
• Rarest diamonds of all the clarity grades
• Hence, Extremely Valuable
|IF (Internally Flawless)||• As per the clarity, No internal Flaws i.e. No Inclusions within the diamond|
• But has very minor Blemishes on the surface – Visible only under 10x Loupe
• Very Rare and Expensive
|VVS1 (Very Very Slightly Included 1)||• Has Very Very Slight Inclusions within the diamond|
• Invisible to the Untrained Eye & Difficult to find out under 10x Loupe
• Generally, only seen from the BOTTOM of the diamond i.e. from Pavilion view
|VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included 2)||• Slightly more inclusions then VVS1|
• Can be visible by Experts under 10x Loupe but cannot be seen from the Untrained eye
• Generally, only seen from the TOP of the diamond i.e. from Crown view
|VS1 ( Very Slightly Included 1)||• Has Very Slight Inclusions on the diamond|
• Inclusions are detected under 10x Loupe but considered as minor
• Less Expensive then VVS1
|VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)||• Slightly more inclusions then VS1|
• With 10x Magnification, Inclusions are visibly detected
• Usually located at difficult to spot locations so very hard to see from the naked eye
|SI1 (Slightly Included 1)||• Inclusions are easily detected under 10x Loupe Magnification|
• At times, also visible through naked eye
• Very much affordable
|SI2 (Slightly Included 2)||• Noticeable inclusions and seen under 10x Loupe Magnification|
• Usually, these are visible inclusions to the naked eye when closely inspected
• More Inclusions than SI1
|I1 (Included 1)||• Inclusion are even more obviously seen than SI2 clarity under 10x Loupe|
• Sturdiness of a diamond is compromised here
• Offering cheaper Prices as it affects diamonds brilliance and transparency
|I2 (Included 2)||• Inclusion are clearly visible under 10x Loupe|
• Also, without a doubt, visible to the naked eye
• Least offered by the Companies
|I3 (Included 3)||• Has Large and Obvious imperfections |
• Inclusions are seen with the naked eye both within the diamond and on the surface
• Generally, No good companies produces this clarity
Diamond Clarity : Types of Inclusion
- Crystal – Mineral that has been trapped within the crystalline structure of the diamond. Looks like a small diamond within the big diamond.
- Feathers – Small cracks within the diamond.
- Clouds – Hazy areas within the diamond.
- Pinpoint – A very small white dot on the surface of the stone.
- Carbons – A very small black dot on the surface of the stone.
- Needles – thin thread within the diamond.
- Knots – a diamond crystal, basically a far smaller diamond, which is on the surface of the diamond.
- Cavities – holes within the surface of the diamond.
- Internal graining – Naturally occurring lines that are found in diamonds.
- Bearding – Hair-like markings on the girdle of the diamond.
These are the Inclusions (Flaws) which are either within the diamond itself or on the surface of a diamond. Diamond inclusion & blemishes affect its overall appearance. And after determining all the inclusions, diamonds are graded. So, Diamond Clarity indicates clearness of a diamond. Also it used in assessing the beauty, appearance and value of a diamond.