- Almost every diamond has a small number of tiny inclusions which are categorized by the diamond´s clarity grade
- These imperfections are graded 10x magnification: In fact, many are microscopic and do not affect a diamond´s beauty in any notable way
Diamond clarity describes the visual appearance of internal characteristics of a diamond called inclusions and surface defects called blemishes. Inclusions may be crystals (for example trapped minerals or carbon) or structural imperfections like tiny cracks and cleavages.
Benchmark for grading a diamond´s clarity is the 10 times magnifying loupe. Almost every diamond has its own fingerprint defined by the nature the inclusions. However, since we are talking about 10 times magnification most of the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Only diamonds with a clarity grade of I1-I3 and some diamonds in the SI range will show inclusions to the unaided eye. It is important to note that the clarity grade rather describes the “character” of the diamond than quantify the number of inclusions. Due to their varying nature and according to their size, location, appearance and color, inclusions indicate the category of the diamond´s clarity grade. Yet, what matters and makes the clarity grade is the overall picture- not the single feature.
- Clarity may affect brilliance only in the I1-I3 range depending on their size and location.
- “Loupe clean” is a term that refers to diamonds that do not show any inclusions under a 10 fold magnification. This is defined by both, FL and IF clarity grades.
- The term “eye-clean” refers to diamonds that have no inclusions visible to the naked eye. Typically this question is only relevant in the SI clarity range since I1-I3 graded diamonds show visible imperfections and anything above SI1 usually does not.
GIA diamond clarity scale
|Flawless||FL||Loupe-Clean: No internal or external imperfections|
Neither inclusions, nor blemishes under 10x magnification
|IF||Loupe-Clean: No internal imperfections|
No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
|Very Very Slightly|
|VVS||Minute imperfections that are very difficult to see|
Even skilled graders will have difficulties finding this feature
|VS||Minor imperfections under 10x magnification|
A skilled grader easily sees what the untrained eye does not notice
|SI||Imperfections are easily spotted under 10x magnification|
In some cases inclusions are visible with the unaided eye
|Included||I||Inclusions are clearly visible to the naked eye|
These are not carried by Diamant Agentur and are only available upon request. While these diamonds can still be beautiful they are not what people usually expect from a clear diamond as a transparent stone.
Here is an video example of a "feather" (small crack) in a diamond:
Here is a short video of the same feather:
The in gemological certificates internal and external features are marked in sketches in green and red, respectively.
More about certificates you find here