A qualitative metric called diamond clarity assigns a numerical value to each diamond’s outward appearance. A diamond will receive a higher clarity grade if it has fewer flaws and imperfections.
One of the most significant of the four Cs, a diamond’s clarity can significantly affect how much it costs. But a lot of flaws that affect a diamond’s clarity grade aren’t apparent to the untrained or naked eye. People are most drawn to the 4 C’s for the clarity and the color.
Diamond Clarity Chart
Diamond clarity charts are used by grading organizations like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and American Gem Society (AGS) to evaluate diamonds based on their appearance and assign each stone a clarity grade within a specified scale. This enables customers to understand the level of clarity that each diamond has.
I stands for “included” on the diamond clarity scale, and FL is for “flawless.” There are subgrades for each clarity grade that reveal further details regarding the extent of the diamond’s inclusions.
Categories of Diamond Clarity Scale
There are six distinct categories and a total of eleven distinct grades in the GIA Diamond Clarity Scale.
|Flawless (FL)||No imperfections or inclusions apparent at a 10x magnification|
|Internally Flawless (IF)||Under 10x magnification, there are no inclusions that can be seen|
|Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)||Inclusions so minute a skilled grader would struggle to detect them at 10x magnification|
|Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)||Although difficult to see under 10x magnification, inclusions can be distinguished as minor inclusions|
|Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)||Inclusions are discernible under 10x magnification|
|Included (I1, I2, and I3)||Under 10x magnification, inclusions are visible and may reduce transparency and sparkle|
Factors Determining Clarity Grades
Experts will take note of the diamond’s look while it is face up, with a microscope at 10x magnification, and eye visibility when determining the clarity of diamonds on a clarity scale. However, a higher power than 10x will be applied in order to detect any potential diamond inclusions. Otherwise, it can be too challenging to figure out.
A diamond’s grade and “score” on the diamond clarity chart are influenced in large part by five criteria. Size, nature, number, placement, and inclusion relief are these five factors that are taken into account when grading diamonds.
One of the significant elements in establishing a diamond’s clarity grade is the size of the inclusions. This is because the larger inclusions will have a greater visual impact on a diamond.
The term “nature” refers to the different kinds of inclusions that can be detected in diamonds as well as their depth. Other properties of inclusions that are visible inside the diamond are also covered by this aspect.
Instead of being called inclusions, blemishes are more commonly used to describe inclusions that are located on the surface of a diamond and do not extend inside the stone.
The number of inclusions a diamond contains is another factor that grading organizations consider. Even little inclusions in a diamond can have a significant impact on its clarity and look if there are many of them.
The more inclusions, blemishes, and other clarity flaws a diamond have, the more they affect how beautiful they are.
An inclusion’s position refers to its precise location within the diamond. The inclusion will be more noticeable to the eye and have a considerably greater impact on the clarity grade if it is located nearer to the center of the table.
It could be more challenging to perceive the inclusion if it is close to the girdle, which is much farther away from the central table. When inclusions are found close to a diamond’s pavilion, they can reflect, and as the facets serve as mirrors, the inclusion will then be mirrored.
The relief refers to how apparent the inclusions are in compared to the diamond, or more simply, how starkly the inclusions contrast with the diamond. The hue may appear darker the greater the relief, which may have an impact on diamond grading.
Types of Inclusions in Diamond Clarity
Although every sort of flaw in a diamond can be referred to as inclusion, there are several different kinds of inclusions that can change how a diamond looks. That is why this is considered one of the most important 4 C’s of diamonds. A few are listed below.
A cloud in a diamond is a collection of numerous tiny pinpoint flaws that are grouped together rather than one single flaw. Because they make a diamond appear dull and foggy, clouds can diminish its brightness. We refer to a diamond as being hazy if it has a number of big clouds.
An internal inclusion known as graining appears as a result of uneven crystal development. A diamond with graining will have internal lines that are white, colored, or reflective and will appear quite hazy.
Diamonds can have surface blemishes or fissures called “cavities.” Depending on the sort of minerals that are present within the diamond’s body, they may seem colorless or colored. If the cavity’s crystal inclusions are colored, they will be significantly more noticeable in appearance and probably be visible to the unaided eye.
Final Thoughts On Diamond Clarity:
The subjectivity and complexity increase when determining the ideal clarity grade for each diamond shape and price range. There isn’t a single “optimal” clarity grade for every type of diamond due to the wide variety of shapes and cut quality grades that diamonds come in. A diamond’s chance of displaying inclusions can also be influenced by its size. A diamond’s table becomes wider as its carat weight rises, which enhances the chance that inclusion will be noticeable. Choose a clarity grade range based on the diamond shape you’re thinking about rather than relying on a single clarity grade that applies to all diamonds.