One of the most beloved aspects of a diamond is its brilliant shine, which is best seen through a flawless, or nearly flawless diamond. This is known as diamond clarity and is one of the 4 Cs, along with cut, color, and carat. In colorless diamonds, the idea is to get a diamond that is as colorless and as clear as possible without any spots, stains, flaws, and inclusions. Since many of a diamond’s flaws cannot be seen to the naked eye, one must depend on clarity grades in order to know a diamond’s true clarity level. Here are the various grading considerations when it comes to a diamond’s clarity.
The highest clarity level a diamond can receive is FL – flawless. This means that a diamond has absolutely no flaws, which is incredibly rare. Next, an IF – internally flawless diamond is a stone that does not have any internal flaws but may have surface flaws. Such stones are also quite hard to come by. VVS1/VVS2 are stones with very very slight internal inclusions that are only detectable with x30 magnification. VS1/VS2 diamonds refer to diamonds with very slight internal inclusions. These inclusions can be seen with the assistance of x10 magnification. S1/S2 stones have slight inclusions determined with x10 magnification, and lastly, I1/I2/I3 (P1/P2/P3) stones have inclusions or piques visible to the naked eye.
Though there are overall grades, there are different types of imperfections that lead to these grades. These inclusions can be internal or external, and depending where they are located, can be noticeable or unnoticeable. Types of flaws include crystal, feather, needle, cavity, indented natural, natural, extra facet, cloud, and chip.
With all the advanced technology available today there are ways to improve the clarity of a diamond, but it may come at a cost. Though plenty of diamonds have made it through new and improved, others have lost a great deal of carat weight and did not receive an upgrade in terms of the clarity.
The clarity of a diamond is certainly an important aspect, but it is not the only one. In color diamonds for example, a diamond’s clarity is far less important than its color. In colorless diamonds, clarity plays an important role, but it can balance out with the other main factors such as its size, cut, and color.