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How to Understand Diamond Clarity

As an independent retailer, understanding the blemishes and inclusions that influence a diamond’s ultimate clarity grade is essential in procuring a great range of diamonds for your customers. When attempting to understand a diamond’s clarity, gemologists will look for two things: surface flaws (blemishes) and internal flaws (inclusions).

Diamond Clarity
The grading system used for diamond clarity

Naturals: They refer to the original parts of the rough diamond that are left on the newly cut diamond for saving the diamond weight.

Scratches and cuts: They can be results of natural stress lines or due to the cutting process. If you’re looking for a diamond with as few blemishes as possible, make sure you work with a high-quality diamond cutter for the best result.

Crystals: The most common inclusions are crystals (tiny bubbles), which at one point were minerals absorbed into the diamond during its formation process .Tinier versions of these bubbles – or pinpoints – are typically so small that gemologists can only spot them with powerful microscopes.

Knots: They are also common inclusions: a knot is a tiny diamond crystal that has been pushed to the surface of the cut diamond.

Cavities: They are small holes that are created in an effort to remove knots.

Beards: They are tiny marks that resemble feathers.

Growth lines (similar to stress lines): They arise as a natural result of the formation process.

Clouds: They are groups of inclusions closely clumped together that resemble clouds underneath the microscope.

The grading system used for diamond clarity:

  • Fl: The diamond is flawless.(no inclusions or blemishes under 10x magnification)
  • IF: The diamond is internally flawless.(only small blemishes on the diamond surface under 10x magnification)
  • VVS 1 -2: There are minute inclusions in the diamond. (under 10x magnification)
  • VS 1-2: There are very small inclusions in the diamond. (under 10x magnification)
  • SI 1-2: The diamond is slightly included. (under 10x magnification)
  • I 1-3: The diamond has some obvious inclusions and blemishes.(under 10x magnification)