diamond clarity

Diamond Clarity demystified

The clarity of a diamond is one of the diamond 4Cs. In this short guide we explain diamond clarity in simple terms. Most importantly we explain the impact that it has on the value and price of a diamond.

As part of the formation process, diamonds develop both internal and external characteristics. Clarity is a measure of the purity factor of a diamond. In other words, clarity describes the lack of internal inclusions and external defects of a diamond.

The majority of diamonds contain impurities. These are mostly very small inclusions that are hardly visible with a loupe.

Internal
  • A pinpoint represents the smallest inclusion.
  • A crystal inclusion is larger than a pinpoint.
  • Grain or dark crystal inclusion.
  • Clouds or feathers are made up of a large group of pinpoints.
  • A cleavage is a crack in the diamond that starts on the surface.  As such, they compromise the overall strength of the diamond. Cleavages can occur during the polishing process of the diamond.
External
  • Polishing lines.
  • Scratches, which can occur during polishing or careless handling of diamond.
  • bearded girdle consists of very small cleavages located at the girdle.
  • Burn marks are white spots on the diamond surface resulting from polishing.
  • Pit or cavity that can result from an inclusion that reached the surface of the diamond during polishing and causes a chip of the diamond to fall out from the stone.
  • A nick occurs when a small chip breaks off from the girdle, breaking the roundness of the diamond.

The International Diamond Council approved a clarity grading scale. This scale ranges from loupe clean (flawless) to piqué (included).

A diamond can only be considered loupe clean if it has been found free of internal inclusions after a thorough examination by a diamond grader. The assessment needs to be carried out with a loupe 10X and under normal light conditions.

Other clarity grades and their definition:

VVS1 and VVS2

Very very small internal imperfections, which are very difficult to identify with a loupe 10X. The size, position, as well as the number of these inclusions determine the difference between VVS1 and VVS2.

VS1 and VS2

Very small internal flaws, which are relatively easy to find with the use of a loupe 10X. The difference between VS1 and VS2 is down to the size, location and the number of imperfections.

SI1 and SI2

Small internal inclusions that are very easy to find with a loupe 10X. The difference between SI1 and SI2 is down to the size, position and the number of imperfections.

I1, I2 and I3

Internal imperfections that are visible to the naked eye when looking through the top (crown or table) of the diamond. The size of these imperfections, as well as how they influence the brilliance determine the differentiation between I1, I2 and I3.

The assessment of the clarity grade is determined by a number of factors that influence the value of a diamond. For this reason, experience plays a very important role in the correct evaluation of the clarity grade.

Flawless diamonds are very rare and represent perfection. For this reason, they are the most expensive. The price of a diamond decreases with the clarity grading.

For your peace of mind, make sure you receive a report that specifies the diamond grade. For more information on diamond certification, click here. If you require assistance, contact our expert staff on 0845 548 9858.

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