Seven Things You Need to Know About Diamond Clarity – Part One

Diamond clarity is the relative absence of inclusions and blemishes. You should know about this 4Cs quality factor because it affects a diamond’s beauty and value. Here are some diamond clarity tips to help you shop smartly.

  1. Inclusions and blemishes are not “flaws”
  2. When it comes to diamond clarity, less is more
  3. Learn the grades on the GIA Diamond Clarity Scale – the global standard
  4. Find out how GIA grades diamond clarity
  5. Treatments can improve diamond clarity – but it’s not all good
  6. Certain types of inclusions can make a diamond more vulnerable to damage
  7. To be sure of diamond clarity, get a GIA grading report

1. Inclusions and blemishes are not “flaws”

Diamond clarity is one of the 4Cs (the others being color, cut and carat weight). It plays an important role in determining a diamond’s overall beauty and ultimately its value. Diamond clarity refers to inclusions in the diamond and blemishes on its surface.

Inclusions and blemishes can result from a diamond’s formation, its crystal structure, the cutting-polishing-setting processes, or general wear. Inclusions can be totally enclosed within the diamond or they can extend into the diamond from its surface. Blemishes are confined to the diamond’s surface. Gemologists use 10× magnification to determine a clarity grade.

You may hear some people describe inclusions and blemishes as “flaws.” But most gemologists think of them instead as powerful identification tools. Inclusions can help in the separation of some natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds. And because most diamonds have a unique combination of inclusions and blemishes, these clarity characteristics act like fingerprints, giving each diamond its own identity.

If you’re wondering whether your diamond’s laser inscription is considered a blemish or inclusion – the answer is neither. A laser inscription is not considered a clarity characteristic.

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