So what is Diamond Clarity (Degree Of Flawlessness)?
Every Diamond with the exception of the most rare (Flawless) will have some sort of inclusion within the stone and we should not be afraid or worried by this word. Although clarity is one of the most important of the 4 c`s there are many good quality stones that are in the S1 range and it would be fair to say that most diamonds sold will be of this type of clarity.
There are many types of inclusions that affect a diamond and also the position of the inclusions will also be a major player in how the diamond reflects light , these affect a diamonds commercial price.
All of these factors mean that a trust has to be built up between the client and the diamond specialist because in general terms most people will not have the knowledge or the ability to see these inclusions, even the experts sometimes disagree on the finer points of diamond grading.
It is always preferable for the diamond to be viewed as a loose stone in order that the stone can be looked at from the top, side and from underneath , however, as we know this is not always possible and so a broader look at the mounted stone has to be taken. A fairly good assessment of the mounted stone can be made using the same grading methods as we would use for a loose stone and many diamond rings are sold with the assessment having been made in its mounted form.
The clarity of a gemstone is assessed by examination of imperfections – that is, inclusions (internal objects) and blemishes (external marks) – under 10x magnification. Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon or small non- diamond crystals, and are natures finger print, making every diamond unique.
Most of such imperfections are not visible to the naked eye and require magnification to be detected. However, the fewer there are, the rarer the gemstone will be. Diamonds without any inclusions or blemishes are exceptionally rare and the rarity affects a diamond’s value.
Using the GIA International Diamond Grading System, diamonds are assigned a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3).
Definitions Of Clarity Grades According To Internal Defects
FL (Flawless) – no inclusions or blemishes of any sort are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
IF (Internally Flawless) – no inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled using 10x magnification
VVS1 and VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included) – inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see using 10x magnification
VS1 and VS2 ( Very Slightly Included)- inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor
SI1 and SI2 (Slightly Included) – inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
I1, I2 and I3 – inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance