Diamond Clarity Grade: The Guide to Diamond Clarity and What is Diamond Clarity
What is diamond clarity?
The diamond clarity grade is a means of flaw classification. Diamond clarity grading identifies the diamond based on its internal and external characteristics – referred to as flaws. When internal, they are called inclusions; when external, blemishes.
A common misconception is that the higher the clarity, the more brilliant the diamond. Not necessarily! Generally, flaws seen only from the pavilion side are the least visible, while flaws under the table are the most visible. In fact, except in the lowest grades, the clarity grade hardly affects a diamond’s visible appearance. Only the professional eye would be able to differentiate among the highest grades on the diamond clarity chart.
Diamond clarity rating
The diamond clarity chart used varies depending on the diamond clarity grading scale chosen. The most widely recognized diamond color clarity scale in America is the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) system, and in Europe, the CIBJO (International Confederation of Jewelry, Silverware, Diamonds, Pearls and Stones).
The diamond clarity grade declines from VVS (Very Very Slight) to VS (Very Slight) and SI (Slight Inclusion). Tip: The diamond clarity SI2 and SI1 grades cannot normally be seen without magnification, and yet diamonds with these grades are available at very affordable prices.
In contrast, starting from the I1 diamond clarity rating, the flaws can be seen without magnification; diamonds with this clarity diamond rating are thus much less expensive. These stones remain highly desirable if their color and cutting are highly appealing.
Diamond clarity enhancement
Laser drilling and fracture filling
Techniques such as laser drilling and fracture filling help remove inclusions and disguise tiny cracks. Be very careful when buying clarity enhanced diamond rings, as some treatments are not permanent. Diamonds treated with fracture filling may darken over time if exposed to heat and sunlight.
And be wary of the term ‘enhanced’, for it essentially means the same as ‘treated’. Clarity treatment helps improve the appearance of stones with low diamond clarity, but make sure you find out which treatments were used, and that the diamond is thus priced accordingly.
Diamond cut clarity color
Of the factors diamond cut clarity color carat, clarity is the second least important in determining diamond beauty; carat weight is the least important.
Ranking in order of decreasing impact on diamond beauty: carat, clarity, color, cut – diamond clarity grades are not that important if aesthetic appeal is the most important for you.
Do remember the diamond clarity information here on your next purchase!