Always remember that diamonds are gifts provided to us by mother nature. The polished diamond that ends up gracing your earlobes, dripping across your neck, or resting gently upon your finger didn’t always look the way it does now. No matter how gorgeous diamonds may be, they’re not without their flaws. And the more flaws a diamond has, the more value it loses. That’s where evaluating a diamond’s clarity comes into play.
Diamonds are formed in an environment of immense pressure and exponential heat. During the formation process in these harsh conditions, the diamond is exposed to conditions that result in inclusions and blemishes. These blemishes and inclusions are the two culprits that lead to a lesser clarity in diamonds. Many factors need to be carefully inspected and examined during the clarity classification process.
These factors include assessing: the number, nature, size, positioning and relief of blemishes on the diamond as well as how all of the above factors influence the overall aesthetic appeal of the diamond. No diamond is completely and utterly free from flaws, even though to the naked eye many of them appear to be. The closer to perfect a diamond is, the higher its value becomes.[greeting]
Let’s have a look at the different grades of diamond clarity, when examined under 10x magnification by highly experienced professional diamond graders:
- Flawless: No blemishes nor inclusions are visibly present.
- Internally Flawless: No inclusions are identifiable and only blemishes are visibly present.
- Very, Very Slightly Included: Slight inclusions are visibly present upon extremely close examination.
- Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are visibly present upon close examination.
- Slightly Included: Inclusions are visibly present and will be seen clearly when examined.
- Included: Inclusions are plainly present and can be easily spotted upon standard examination.
Even though you may not be able to see it with your own two eyes, the clarity of a diamond is a reflection of its overall quality. To ensure you’re getting the best of the best, be sure that when you purchase your own diamond that its clarity has been expertly and accurately assessed by a reputable company.
Where Does this Clarity Scale Originate From?
Similar to GIA’s color scale, the clarity scale was established so that jewelers would use the same terminology, leaving no room for misinterpretation. Before this grading system was implemented, terms like ‘pique’ and ‘loupe clean’ were commonly used to describe a diamond’s clarity.
This wasn’t very descriptive. These days, GIA’s color scale is used all over the world regardless of a jeweler’s location or any language they may use.
How Do Inclusions Come to Be?
A blemish is an external flaw found on a diamond and is usually caused by harsh environments or mishandling during cutting & polishing. An inclusion is an internal diamond flaw that occurs when small crystals get trapped inside of a diamond while it’s still in its formation phase.[greeting]