Four C's of Diamond Clarity

Clarity

  • Clarity is a gauge of the number and size of the small imperfection that occur in almost all diamonds.
  • These imperfections do not affect the aesthetic of a diamond in a distinct manner as most of these imperfections are microscopic.

Amongst the four C’s of diamonds, Clarity is the easiest to understand and has the least impact on the appearance of the diamond. Clarity refers to small and natural imperfections that are present in all the diamonds except few flawless ones and these are also termed as blemishes, inclusions etc by gemmologists. Diamonds with the slightest and tiniest imperfections are graded as the highest clarity grades.

clarity-diamonds

FL Flawless: Flawless diamonds have no inclusions or blemishes measurable under 10X magnification, and are exceptionally rare.

IF Internally Flawless: Internally flawless diamonds have no detectable inclusions but have very few surface blemishes under 10X magnification, and these diamonds are rare and very precious.

VVS1/VVS2 Very Very Slightly Included: Inclusions and blemishes are extremely difficult to detect under 10X magnification for even a expert grader.

VS1/VS2 Very Slightly Included: Inclusions and blemishes are detectable under 10X magnification however there are minor flaws which shall not affect the beauty of the diamond as they are that do not impact the diamond's beauty and are frequently indiscernible to a naked eye.

SI1/SI2 Slightly Included:Inclusions and blemishes are easily detectable under 10X magnification and sometimes can be seen to a naked eye.

I1, I2, I3 Included:Inclusions and blemishes are clear under 10X magnification and usually noticeable to the naked eye. These flaws have a tendency to have a negative impact on the transparency and/or brilliance of the diamond.

What Clarity Grade Should I Choose?

As you now understand that the diamond with minimum flaws is considered as a higher clarity grade and therefore FL or Flawless diamonds are exceptionally rare and the most expensive being more beautiful. FL diamonds are very rare and therefore IF grade or Internally Flawless is considered as the most precious grade in the international diamond market. Please note that although many diamond perfectionists emphasize of FL or IF diamonds considering them as flawless, it is just that these flaws are not noticeable by 10X magnification, but they still have some flaws.

In the world of diamonds, SI and VS diamonds are the ones that have no clearly visible imperfection by a naked eye and are considered as a highly priced diamond. Their inclusions are very minor and unnoticeable.

The diamond with high brilliance and cut in a good shape such as round brilliants, there is no visual divergence between a FL grade and SI grade even though it has a vast gap in the clarity chart.

Fancy shaped diamonds such as Asscher or Emerald are designed to attain transparency over sparkle and therefore its is easy to detect an inclusion in them with a naked eyes. It is therefore advisable not to buy a Fancy shaped and step cut diamonds with clarity grade not less than VS2.

It is important to know at this stage that the bigger the size of a diamond, the bigger shall be the size of its facets and therefore visibility to inclusion increases. For example diamonds below 2 carats, grade SI1 or higher are good options but over 2 carats will at least need a clarity grade of VS2 or higher.