In this post lets talk about the second C of a diamond i.e. clarity grade of a diamond. Clarity grade of a diamond is the next most important aspect of evaluating a diamond. Clarity basically deals with blemishes (external) and inclusions (internal defects) found in a diamond. These serve as the fingerprint of a diamond, two diamonds may have the same grade of color, quality of cut and carat weight but it can never have the same blemishes and inclusions. Therefore it’s important to know what clarity grade your diamond is and what individual inclusions it has.
Blemishes and inclusions can occur naturally in a diamond and or during the cutting process, setting process or in wearing a finished piece. To go into the details of each type of blemish and inclusion found in a diamond is beyond the scope of this post. Let’s take a look at the GIA scale of clarity for a diamond.
Fl (Flawless): No blemishes, No inclusions seen under 10x magnification. The diamond is absolutely transparent.
IF (Internally flawless): No inclusions, only insignificant blemishes can be seen under 10x magnification which does not affect transparency.
VVS1-VVS2 (Very very small inclusions): Very few and very small inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification which are extremely difficult to see.
VS1-VS2 (Very small inclusions): Very small inclusions seen under 10x magnification, these are difficult to find.
SI1-SI2 (Small inclusions): Small inclusions that easy or very easy to see under 10x magnification. They are centrally located and get noticed immediately and may be visible to the naked eye.
I1-I2-I3 (Inclusions): These are very obvious inclusions that often easily eye visible with the diamond in the face-up position. In I3 they may threaten the durability of the diamond.
Flawless and Internally flawless diamonds are very rare and consequently very expensive. In my opinion, a VS to SI1 grade diamond is a good option especially if your budget is a little tight.
Be aware that some diamonds may be treated to enhance their clarity especially by using laser treatment and crack filling techniques. When buying a diamond ask your jeweler if the piece has been treated with such techniques.
You can practice using a 10x loupe to see if you can spot cracks, and chips on the diamonds you already have, this will not make you an expert but will certainly help you get acquainted with your diamonds. Another thing that you can do is when shopping for a diamond in a jewelry store, ask the jeweler to magnify the diamond you are interested in and identify the inclusions or blemishes present in a diamond for you. This will help you in understand the diamond clarity report if it is available.