Clarity is a huge driver on the price of a diamond. However, clarity is also one of the most misunderstood concepts of a diamond! In this blog we will dive right into understanding exactly clarity of a diamond is.
Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and within a diamond. Surface flaws of a diamond are known as blemishes, while internal defects of a diamond are known as inclusions.
The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.
- Flawless (FL) No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
- Internally Flawless (IF) No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
- Included (I1, I2, and I3) Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance
Below is a tool to understand the diamond clarity grades. Click on '<' and '>' and scroll the clarity slider to see the different clarity categories.
Does Diamond Clarity Really Matter?
Yes it does, but not in the way you think!
Clarity matters not because it means how sparkly a diamond is. Clarity matters because you can use it to your advantage to drastically bring down the price of a diamond without compromising for much.
Of course if a diamond has big black marks all over it, it will affect the appearance. However, a lower grade clarity diamond does not always mean you are compromising on a diamonds sparkle - the diamond may still be eye clean.
Many inclusions and blemishes are too tiny to be seen by anyone other than a trained diamond grader. To the naked eye, a VS1 and an SI2 diamond may look exactly the same, but these diamonds are quite different in terms of overall quality.
There's such a wide range in clarity that there are definitely many diamonds where you can compromise on the clarity without giving up that sparkle. It is important to remember that no two diamonds are completely the same. Two diamonds with the exact same clarity grading will have completely different blemishes and inclusions. It is important to be educated on diamonds and make sure your jeweller can explain to you where the blemishes and inclusion are and whether or not it affects the visual appearance and sparkle of your diamond.
Here is a quick video we created to explain the carat characteristic of a diamond.
Hope you guys enjoyed this blog and video and that it helps some of you out there that are looking for diamonds, diamond rings or engagement rings. Please feel free give us a call or send us a message if you have any questions.
To learn more about diamonds head on over to our 'Learn About Diamonds' page.