Diamonds 101: Introduction to Diamond Clarity
Picking out a diamond is tricky business. You want to choose the best stone for the occasion that is within your budget. One of the factors in choosing a diamond is picking one that has beautiful clarity, one of the Four Cs.
What Is Clarity?
Clarity is associated with the amount of inclusions and blemishes in a diamond. Inclusions are internal characteristics and blemishes are external. These can be caused by the same heat and pressure that create the diamond itself.
The Gemological Institute of America states that, “Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone.”
How Is Clarity Determined?
GIA has created a scale that most jewelers utilize to judge a diamond’s clarity. This scale came out of a necessity to create a universal system to get rid of subjective terms that different jewelers previously used.
While the descriptions seem very specific, it must be remembered that many of the flaws listed are too small to be seen by the untrained eye. A casual consumer could view a VS1 and SI2 diamond as exactly the same, but the qualities could be very different.
Because the flaws often cannot be seen by the naked eye, GIA creates diamond plots that show the flaws as a small graphic. It will show every flaw seen under a 10x magnification that is included in the clarity grade.
While a plot may seem cluttered and full of flaws, what really impacts the clarity grade of a diamond is the visibility of the inclusions and blemishes. Because of this, two differently graded diamonds could have similar-looking plots.
A low-graded diamond could have a very clean plot but the small flaws have a big impact to the naked eye. Vice versa, a highly graded diamond could have a cluttered plot, but the flaws are hard to see due to an expert cut or location of the flaws.
When picking out a diamond, the clarity grade can be an excellent indicator of its quality. As always, consult the experts at Gold Thumb Jewelry. We are excited to help you choose the best diamond for your needs!