The definition of diamond clarity is: a quality of diamonds relating to the existence and visual appearance of internal characteristics of a diamond called inclusions and surface defects called blemishes.
The third of the 4Cs is diamond clarity. This grade will tell you about the physical quality of the stone; whether it has any blemishes on the surface or whether there are any inclusions; tiny dots, perhaps of carbon, that render the stone imperfect.
Most inclusions cannot be seen by the naked eye, so when a diamond is being graded for clarity it will be under a very powerful magnification usually 10 times larger, so that an accurate grade can be given. Below is an easy to read chart that clearly indicates the grades, the description, the clarity explanation and the diamond quality:
|Grade||Grade Description||Clarity Explanation||Diamond Quality|
|FL||Flawless||No flaws~internally or externally||Very rare ~ Most expensive|
|IF||Internally flawless||No internal flaws||Rare ~ Expensive|
|VVS1||Very, very small inclusions~Level 1||Inclusions very difficult to see under 10xmagnification||Expensive|
|VVS2||Very, very small inclusions~Level 2||Inclusions difficult to see under 10x magnification||Less expensive|
|VS||Very small inclusions||Inclusions noticeable under 10x magnification||Less expensive|
|VS1||Very small inclusions Level 1||Inclusions noticeable under 10x magnification||Less expensive|
|VS2||Very small inclusions Level 2||Inclusions noticeable under 10x magnification||Less expensive|
|SI||Small inclusions||Inclusions easily seen under 10x magnification||Less expensive|
|SI1||Small inclusions Level 1||Inclusions easily seen under 10x magnification||Less expensive|
|SI2||Small inclusions Level 2||Inclusions easily seen under 10x magnification||Less expensive|
|LI||Large inclusions||Inclusions visible to naked eye ~ Small loss of brilliance||Less expensive|
|LI1||Large inclusions ~ Level 1||Larger inclusions visible to naked eye~small loss brilliance||Cheap|
|LI2||Large inclusions ~ Level 2||Larger inclusions visible to naked eye ~ Brilliance dulled||Cheapest|
|LI3||Large inclusions ~ Level 3||Larger inclusions visible to naked eye ~ Diminished brilliance||Cheapest|
One would imagine that tiny imperfections, either within or on the surface of the diamond would detract from the beauty of the stone. Surprisingly, it has the least detrimental impact.
The imperfections within the stone are generally very tiny. As you can see from the chart above, in most of the grades they cannot be seen by the naked eye alone and can only be seen with 10x magnification, so to the naked eye the diamond is still stunningly beautiful.
Those diamonds that have the least imperfections will be amongst the stones that carry the highest values.
There are several types of inclusions and blemishes. See below for a list of familiar terms:~
- Included crystals or minerals
- Internal graining
- Polish lines
- Grain boundaries
What Does Eye Clean Mean?
Eye-clean is a term used in the diamond industry to describe a diamond which to the naked eye has no flaws, inclusions or blemishes. When you look at your diamond you will see nothing but perfection, and these diamonds represent excellent value for money, because they are more affordable than perhaps, a flawless diamond graded (FL) or an internally flawless diamond, graded (IF). This grade of diamonds is very rare and therefore are at the higher end of the price scale.
Small inclusions or blemishes can be useful when documenting or insuring a stone. Every diamond is completely unique. No two stones can have the same make up, so any inclusion will identify your stone as being exactly what it is.
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