A diamond is one of the most expensive stones in the world today. They are very hard and allow high light dispersion that is why diamonds are used both for industrial applications and for jewelries.
In the world of jewelry, diamonds are judged based on 4 Cs – Color, Carat, Clarity and Cut. Clarity refers to the presence or absence of any flaw on the surface or within the body of the diamonds.
A diamond with perfect clarity is very rare and very expensive. Jewelers use a special kind of magnifier called a loupe to examine diamonds for imperfections like trace minerals or scratches.
There are two factors that jewelers consider when judging diamonds for clarity. One of these factors is called Diamond Inclusions. Diamond Inclusions refer to imperfections inside. These may include colored spots and cracks.
The other factor is Diamond Blemishes. These blemishes include surface flaws and other exterior blemishes that may have been results of cutting and polishing the stone.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and other similar organizations use diamond grading for clarity with a 10x magnification.
Diamonds, based on clarity, are tagged as:
FL – Flawless: no internal or external flaw found
IF – Internally Flawless: no internal flaw but may have very slight external flaw
VVS1, VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly Included: Very difficult to see inclusion under the 10x magnification
VS1, VS2 – Very Slightly Included: Inclusions cannot be seen with the unaided eye; less expensive than VVS1 and VVS2
SI1, SI2 – Slightly Included: Inclusion can be seen under 10 x magnifications and may be seen with the unaided eye
I1 & I2 & I3 – Included: Inclusions may be apparent
Since FL and IF diamonds are extremely rare and expensive, many people choose to buy diamonds within the lesser grades without sacrificing quality and style. In fact, diamonds that have no inclusions visible to the unaided eye are considered eye-clean and are excellent choices. The tiny inclusions really do not affect the brilliance of the diamonds.
A more important thing to consider is the location of the diamond’s flaw more than the flaw itself. A relatively bigger flaw can be located in a less noticeable area thereby making it no such big deal whereas a tinier flaw can be located in a position that makes it more exposed.
There are also treatments to enhance the clarity of a diamond. One popular treatment is the diamond laser treatment to remove certain kinds of inclusions. The other kind of treatment is the diamond fracture filling which is very useful for tiny cracks. These fillings though are not permanent so the diamond may need to be regularly brought to the shop for refilling. Whatever kind of treatment is used to enhance diamond clarity, the procedure should be performed by an experienced jeweler.
Most inclusions in diamonds do not really affect the structural integrity or performance. So, when choosing the best diamonds that suits your taste and style with limited budget, it is always a good idea to consider carefully the other 3 Cs.
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