Diamond clarity refers to the degree to which a diamond is free of blemishes and inclusions. A diamond's clarity grade is one of the most important factors in determining its value.
The Diamond Clarity Scale
The GIA defines the three main categories of diamond clarity as follows:
Flawless (FL): Flawless diamonds are rare and therefore extremely valuable. These diamonds have no inclusions or blemishes visible to the naked eye, making them ideal for use in jewelry. Flawless diamonds are commonly used in engagement rings and other high-end pieces of fine jewelry.
Internally Flawless (IF):There are no internal inclusions visible under 10x magnification, but there may be very minor surface blemishes such as tiny feathers or slight chips on the surface of the stone. These blemishes will not affect the brilliance or beauty of the diamond because they are on the outside rather than inside it
Very Very Slightly Included (VVS): VVS diamonds also have no visible inclusions, but they may have very tiny ones that can only be detected under 10x magnification. These diamonds are slightly less valuable than flawless ones, but they're still considered high quality and very desirable.
Very Slightly Included (VS1): VS1 diamonds have minor surface blemishes that aren't easily visible to the naked eye but can be seen with magnification. These are some of the most common grades of diamond because they're still beautiful and affordable, yet still high quality enough to make excellent jewelry pieces.
SI1, SI2, SI3 (Slightly Included) - Inclusions are noticeable under normal lighting conditions and may affect transparency slightly. Small inclusions remain within the surface of the stone; they cannot be felt by hand when touching the top of each diamond facet with your finger tips while wearing gloves during examination process.
How Do Flaws Affect a Diamond's Sparkle?
The GIA defines a flaw as “a characteristic that affects a diamond's external appearance but does not affect its value." A diamond with many small flaws may have less brilliance than a similar diamond with fewer flaws, but it will still be worth more than a diamond of equal weight and color that has no visible imperfections.
Does Grade Affect Price?
The answer to this question is yes and no. The grade of a diamond does not directly affect its price, but it does affect how much you can expect to pay for it. The most important factor in determining a diamond's price is its cut, followed by its carat weight and color.
However, there are some other factors that will affect the price of a diamond. One is clarity and another is the inclusion level in the stone. These factors can impact the price of a diamond because they affect the appearance of the stone.
When you understand how diamond clarity is graded, you can make informed decisions about what you buy or sell.
Hopefully, this diamond clarity guide has been helpful. I hope it has allowed you to understand exactly how individual diamonds are graded and why. Plus, as you've probably noticed, there is no focused market for higher clarity diamonds (except for the most exclusive of products such as VVS1). The real value in a diamond comes from its color and cut, and that's the reason why lower clarity grades are so affordable compared to higher clarity grades. Even if you plan on wearing your diamonds every day, chances are that they'll still look great after several years of wear without having to worry about their mounting or setting becoming damaged due to prongs that are too thin or light colored stones.
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