Jewelry Basics
 

The Four Cs of a Diamond: Diamond Clarity

Clarity is the degree to which a diamond is free from flaws, which can hinder light as it passes through your diamond. When forming, natural microscopic characteristics can be trapped within or on the diamond. Internal markings are called inclusions, while the external ones are referred to as blemishes. These inner and outer characteristics are inspected by gemologists, who use 10x magnification to assign a clarity grade to each diamond. Diamonds with few to no inclusions are considered particularly rare and valuable.

Gemological labs measure diamonds on a scale from included all the way up to flawless.

Grade Description
FL

Flawless

IF

Internally Flawless

VVS1

VVS2

Very Very Slightly Included

VS1

VS2

Very Slightly Included

SI1

SI2

Slightly Included

I1

I2

I3

Included

So, how important is diamond clarity? This depends on other diamond qualities such as shape and size. In step-cut shapes such as emerald-cut diamonds, the shallow pavilion and open table can make inclusions and other markings easily visible. In larger carat sizes, characteristics can be more noticeable due to larger facets. Overall, clarity grade is a matter of personal preference in combination with budget. Your perfect diamond may have inclusions that aren’t visible to the naked eye and no one will ever know!

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