You may be aware of the fact that formation of natural diamonds are a result of carbon’s intense exposure to heat and pressure in the earth and this leads to the creation of impurities on the interior as well as the exterior of the stone. In addition, a diamond can suffer damage when it goes through the cutting process.
All these flaws and impurities can reduce the value of diamonds. On the contrary, this is one of the main reasons why most people can even afford to buy diamonds; a flawless, perfect diamond is way too expensive.
Evaluation of Diamond Clarity
In order to gauge the perfection or imperfection of diamonds Gemological Institute of America (GIA) designed a clarity grading scale that is divided into 6 categories. These categories are further explained below:
- Flawless (FL) – This is the highest of all clarity levels and it specifies that the stone is absolutely perfect. If you observe a FL diamond under a 10x magnified microscope, you won’t observe any blemishes or inclusions at all. Flawless diamonds are exceedingly expensive and extremely rare to find.
- Internally Flawless (IF) – A diamond of this clarity reveals slight blemishes and no inclusions under 10x magnification. Stones of FL and IF clarity levels are known as ‘single grade’ diamonds corresponding to their high quality and rare availability.
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – This clarity levels corresponds to those stones that have slight inclusions and can be only be observed under 10x magnification by expert graders. This clarity level is characterized among the high ones and diamonds belonging to this category are somewhat affordable as compared to the above ones. VVS1 is considered slightly higher as compared to VVS2.
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Diamonds belonging to this category have minor inclusions that are comparatively larger than the ones in the above category. These flaws are not visible to the naked eye but can be observed upon close inspection of a microscope.
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – The inclusions of the stones belonging to this clarity level can be observed easily through a 10x magnified microscope. However, these flaws are invisible to the naked eye unless they are skilled graders and have years of experience.
- Included (I1, I2 and I3) – Diamonds that are categorized as ‘Included’ have the most visible inclusions and exclusions. The visibility of these flaws is so evident that an average person can spot them easily upon seeing them closely. This is the reason that Included diamonds are the least expensive of all. You won’t find these flawed stones at reputable jewelers or online stores as people usually discard them due to their inability of reflecting light.
Clarity of Colored Diamonds
People purchasing colored diamonds are far less concerned about its clarity as compared to the ones purchasing colorless ones. This is because colors have the capability to conceal spots and feathery cracks but you can’t argue that these imperfections are clearly visible in colorless stones.
However, if you can afford to purchase a flawless stone then you shouldn’t settle for a blemished one because a perfect stone is considered a good investment. Their rare availability makes them extra precious and if at some point you decide to re-sell that stone, you won’t have to settle for a low amount!