Clarity is among the four Cs - cut, colour, carat and clarity - each an important factor when purchasing your diamond engagement or wedding ring. Clarity grade measures a diamond’s visual inclusions, blemishes or lack thereof. These might be crystals, feathers, pinpoints, clouds, cavities, internal graining, scratches, pits, nicks, chips or other imperfections. Seldom do these impact the diamond’s appearance as viewed by the unaided eye.
Since no two diamonds are alike, the flaws provide an important road map that may help us identify the diamond. The higher a diamond’s clarity grade, the more prized and pricey it is.
Professional graders rate a diamond’s clarity after close inspection and examination in a laboratory outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment for magnification and ultraviolet light-filtering. Graders study the diamond’s internal characteristics such as size, position, number and colour at 10x magnification.
If value is a top priority, you may want to consider compromising on clarity down to grade SI1. Clarity reduction is recommended over similar concessions in cut, colour or carat given imperfections are usually undetectable to the naked and untrained eye.
It is, however, always advisable to seek expert advice from a certified gemmologist or accredited professional before making your final decision involving any sort of quality
Clarity is broken down into six general categories and 11 individual grades. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond clarity using 10X magnification. From highest to lowest, clarity grades are:
No internal or external flawsIF, Internally Flawless
No internal flaws. Slight external blemishesVVS1 & VVS2, Very, very slightly included
Minute inclusions. Difficult for even an experienced grader to detect
Minute inclusions. Not easily seen by an experienced grader.SI1 & SI2, Slightly included
Inclusions that are noticeable to an experienced grader.I1 & I2 & I3, Included
Obvious inclusions that may affect transparency and brilliance. These diamonds are not carried by Diamond Emporium