Clarity refers to the imperfections within a diamond. Diamonds are naturally occurring stones that are subjected to a lot of pressure, which makes them vulnerable to developing internal imperfections or inclusions. Flawless rating means that no imperfections are present and this makes the diamond very rare and enhances its value.
The best rating for diamonds is flawless with no inclusions. Slightly and very, very slightly included are the categories for diamonds that may have imperfections that are visible and do not affect the stone’s overall beauty. The effect on the durability and beauty of included stones ranges from moderate to severe.
Diamonds form and grow under tremendous pressure and heat. This process leads to the common occurrence of both internal and external features that affect diamond clarity. Internal characteristics are known as inclusions while external inclusions are called blemishes. These are the characteristics that gemologists use to grade diamond clarity with a scale of grades that range from the category of ‘flawless’ to ‘included’.
Diamond clarity evaluations are based on the size, number, position and nature of the characteristics along with the stone’s overall appearance. Although it is hard to find a diamond that is perfectly pure, the closer it is to perfection, the higher its value will be.
- Under magnification, flawless diamonds have no visible inclusions and blemishes.
- There are no visible inclusions in internally flawless diamonds.
- Very, very, slightly includes have slight inclusions that are hard for even skilled graders to view under magnification.
- Slightly included diamonds have noticeable inclusions.
- Included diamonds have obvious inclusions that may affect brilliance and transparence.
Development of the Clarity Grade System
Inclusions and blemishes are often too small to be noticeable to people who are not trained diamond graders. To the untrained eye, different diamond clarity grades may appear to be the same but are quite distinct in regards to overall quality. Accurate and expert assessments of the clarity of diamonds are essential.
The clarity grade system was developed due to the misinterpretations of terms that jewelers used. If you want to buy a diamond in any part of the word, jewelers are likely to use the terms and categories in the grading system.
Rarity of Perfect and Flawless Diamonds
- Since diamonds form naturally under turbulent and extreme conditions, achieving a totally pure crystalline structure is virtually impossible.
- Flawless rating in grading labs is assigned when there are no inclusions that can be viewed under a specified power of magnification. This means that inclusions can be seen in higher powered microscopes and perfectly pure diamonds can be elusive because of the possibility of foreign impurities being present.
- The ability to see inclusions will be influenced by how powerful the magnification is while viewing the stone.
- Stringent conditions are necessary for creating flawless or internally flawless diamonds and this contributes to their rarity. Such stones are in high demand among investors and collectors. This is why it is not surprising to see larger diamonds attracting astronomical prices during auctions.
- Smaller sizes of flawless and internally flawless diamonds are often more affordable and accessible. They are a popular option for engagement rings that symbolize unconditional and pure love.