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Diamond clarity is a key component in the grading, evaluating, and pricing of colorless diamonds. It also has a significant impact on the beauty and sparkle of a diamond. Every natural diamond has some level of inclusions, which is a key difference between lab created and mined diamonds. However, not every inclusion is visible to the naked eye, i.e. too small to view without magnification.
What is diamond clarity?
The term diamond clarity indicates the extent to which a diamond lacks physical and chemical inclusions. This is important because a diamond with too many or too intrusive inclusions will have decreased brilliance and beauty, making the stone less appealing and less valuable.
Such inclusions usually occur during the natural formation of the stone but can sometimes be man-made during the cutting and polishing process too.
How is diamond clarity graded?
The most widely accepted clarity grading scale is from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
Which diamond clarity grade should you choose?
The higher you go on the clarity scale the better the quality is but the prices rise exponentially as well. For most people, the IF, FL, VVS1, and even VVS2 grades tend to be unnecessarily expensive with few noticeable differences between these grades.
The clarity grades that offer the best trade off between beauty and value are the VS and SI grades. These often look equal to diamonds with higher clarity grades. Instead of focusing on the clarity grade per se, it’s best to look for a visually clean diamond, regardless of the grade.