What Is Diamond Clarity? All Entries
Diamonds are one of the world’s most valued and beloved gemstones... with good reason. They have a natural fire to them that causes them to sparkle and reflect light in a way that captures everyone’s attention. Each diamond is graded based on a variety of different qualities--but one of the most important is its clarity.
What Is Diamond Clarity?
A diamond’s clarity refers to its quality and visual appearance. While inspecting a diamond using a microscope, gemologists look for the appearance of inclusions, which are internal characteristics, and blemishes, which are surface defects.
A diamond is created when carbon is exposed to tremendous pressure and heat deep beneath the Earth’s crust. During the process gases, solids, and liquids can become trapped in the mineral, creating inclusions. Many of these inclusions are not visible to the naked eye and don’t affect a stone’s ability to reflect light or its structural integrity, but the number of inclusions can influence its clarity grade.
How to Grade a Diamond’s Clarity
Grading a diamond’s clarity is a very in-depth process. Gemologists use 10-power magnification, which makes the stone appear 10-times larger, to inspect stones and give them a grade. The scale for grading clarity has five main clarity characteristic categories, and 11 grades in each.
The Grading System
FL Grade diamonds are considered to be completely flawless, with no internal characteristics or faults found after a thorough inspection. These diamonds are the rarest and most desired gemstones. Internally Flawless (IF) Grade stones have no internal flaws but have minor finish faults that block them from being considered completely flawless. The VVS Grades (Very, Very Small Inclusions) feature a few internal inclusions that are difficult to be seen with the naked eye, as well as very minor blemishes. Very Small Inclusions (VS) Graded diamonds have some slightly larger inclusions or multiple smaller ones. Diamonds that earn the SI, or Small Inclusions, Grade have inclusions that are partially visible to the naked eye. If a diamond has multiple inclusions that are easy to see with the naked eye and/or major faults, it is given the Imperfect (I) Grade.
Unsure of what grade your diamond’s clarity is? At Ralph Mueller and Associates, our GIA-certified gemologists can evaluate your stone and provide an appraisal using our on-site lab. We can also let you know how much your stone is worth if you are considering selling it, providing you with the most up-to-date prices according to the current world market conditions. Contact us today at 480-949-9299 to find out how much your stone is worth.