Diamond Clarity refers to the assessment of flaws found within a diamond, measuring the stones ‘purity’ when inspected under 10x magnification. Clarity is often impossible to notice with the naked eye, so many rely on getting the help of trained professionals to assess their diamonds.
Like everything within the jewellery industry, diamond clarity is another massive subject and the best place to start when exploring this topic is to understand how these stones are formed naturally, click here to learn more…
Breaking Down Diamond Clarity:
As these infamous stones are formed naturally, diamonds often have what are known as ‘inclusions’ and ‘blemishes’.
Inclusions – a naturally occurring flaw present INSIDE the diamond, can often be found at formation such as air bubbles, crystals and cracks. Naturally formed diamonds free of inclusions are rare which gives them their high price point!
Blemishes – a flaw present on the EXTERIOR of the diamond, typically during the cutting or setting process, but sometimes when the stone is worn including chips and scratches.
How is Diamond Clarity Assessed?
To assess the clarity of a diamond, the quantities, size, nature and placement of any inclusions and blemishes present will determine its clarity, and also how these ‘flaws’ affect the appearance and shine of the overall stone. So to put it extremely simply, the less of these ‘flaws’ present in a diamond, the higher the clarity and purity of the stone. As mentioned previously, the majority of these ‘flaws’ will be invisible to the naked eye, so it’s important to source your diamonds from reputable sources to ensure that they have been checked thoroughly by professional diamond graders. This way you can be educated into the true quality of the stone and understand the price point behind it.
Most larger diamonds come with a certificate, this will detail all flaws present in the stone and also the cut, size and colour of the diamond:
FL – Flawless: No flaws (inclusions and blemishes) visible when inspected under 10x magnification
IF – Internally Flawless: No inclusions visible when inspected under 10x magnification
VVS1 & VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly Included: Very, very slight inclusions visible (but very difficult to see) when inspected under 10x magnification
VS1 & VS2 – Very Slightly Included: Very slight inclusions visible when inspected under 10x magnification
S1 & S2 – Slightly Included: Slight inclusions visible when inspected under 10x magnification
I1, I2 & I3 – Included: Obvious inclusions when inspected under 10x magnification which may affect brilliance and transparency
Down to the positioning and types of flaws found present, the numbers 1, 2 or 3 will be given. These numbers mark the marginal differences between the flaws, with 3 being given to a slightly more prominent flaw, and with 1 given to a slightly less prominent flaw. So for example, a diamond graded VS1 will be slightly less included than a diamond graded VS2.
How Do You Choose The Best Clarity Diamond?
With all of these grades of diamond clarity to consider, it’s no wonder that people often get overwhelmed with how to choose the best clarity of diamond!
It’s definitely worth remembering that many inclusions are near to impossible to see with the naked eye, and even the professional diamond graders can have a hard time noticing them. Whilst the size of the inclusion does matter, the positioning of the flaw is also a very important aspect to keep in mind. Flaws found within the table of the stone can affect the overall shine of the diamond, as it stops the light being able to properly refract within the stone.
Typically, the most popular grade of diamond purchased is SI1 (slightly included 1) because this grade offers a balance between a gem with respectable clarity, but also a more manageable price point.
If you are considering purchasing a diamond and are unsure how to best go about it, book your free design consultation here today to come and chat with one of our in house jewellery experts, who will walk you through the process and help to settle any of your concerns.