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by Seema susheel

Clarity is the purity of the diamond. Almost all diamonds naturally will have some very minute inclusions or grain trapped inside or blemishes on the surface, all these factors effect the clarity of the diamond.

The four c’s, criteria

There are four c’s which are considered while pricing as well as buying a diamond. The four c’s are cut, clarity, color and carat. Each of these c’s is important and only when in harmony, there is a perfect, brilliant diamond. The cut determines the way light would reflect from its surface causing the overall brilliance. The color is the amount of color seen in the diamond. The more the diamond is colorless the higher is its value. Carat is the size and diameter of the diamond. The bigger the carat weight the higher the price. Clarity is a factor that we will discuss in detail in this article.

The clarity criteria
Clarity is the purity of the diamond. Almost all diamonds naturally will have some very minute inclusions or grain trapped inside or blemishes on the surface, all these factors effect the clarity of the diamond. As the name clarity suggests when the diamond is clear without any internal inclusions and outside blemishes it’s pure and valued high. If there are no flaws in the diamond the light will reflects smoothly without any obstacles and hence the over all look of the diamond will be stunning. The clarity plays an important role in buying a diamond and grading a diamond for its value.

100% clarity = purity
The GIA or the Gemological institute of America and the AGS or the American Gem Society two national organizations in America have developed a grading system from long years of research and education. Any diamond supplier manufacturer and retailer have to follow the countries recognized and accepted guidelines to grade the diamond according to its clarity, cut, color and carat. Similarly in countries worldwide similar national organization have been made to create guidelines and grading system to value diamonds so as to ensure that the customer gets value for his money and he has an authority to verify the quality of diamond he buys. Clarity is an indication of a diamond’s purity. All diamonds, except the most rare, have tiny traces of minerals, gases, or other elements that were trapped inside during the crystallization process. To determine a diamond’s clarity a professional with a trained eye uses a 10x-power binocular microscope. There are very few diamonds which are flawless and because of this uniqueness they are graded high.

Many times almost most of the diamonds have inclusions and blemishes. The grading system checks on the position and type of the flaw and puts it in the value report of the diamond. At times the inclusion is very minute or is in a position which is not noticeable by a naked eye then the diamond doesn’t loose its value so much. The flaw doesn’t make much of a difference to the shine and look of the diamond then the buyer can make the diamond his own. In any case the buyer has the right to know the in and out of the diamond he buys. For example if the customer is given two choices to go for a diamond with a small flaw which is not noticeable and is priced lesser then the diamond which is flawless, he could go for the first one with a small flaw as he gets a bargain. A small flaw has got him a discount. Only when the retailer and the customer are aware of these inclusions will the customer have a choice.

Types of inclusions
There are certain common types of inclusions that are named so as to later grade a diamond by the type of inclusion.

One type is the Diamond crystals which are small diamonds trapped inside the bigger one. This naturally occurs while the diamond is formed. These again come in different shapes. Many customers find it interesting to find a small baby diamond inside a bigger one.

Pinpoint inclusions are tiny dotted inclusions or crystals inside the diamond. It looks like a tiny dotes of light when viewed under high magnification. These types of inclusions are not mentioned in the grading report as they are very tiny and difficult to find. They are mentioned as ‘pinpoints not shown or shown’ in the comments of the grading report.

A cloud is another type which is basically a cluster of pinpoint inclusions together giving a look of a cloud. The size of this cloud formation bigger or smaller affects the clarity of the diamond. A smaller cloud which is not noticeable is not considered as a clarity issue as its translucent and not visible from the naked eye. The light source used to evaluate the inclusions determines the visibility of the inclusions.

A needle is a long thin needle shaped inclusion inside a diamond. They appear as a streak of light inside the diamond. Many times some diamonds also have cluster of needles together.

A knot is another inclusion type which is a crystal appearing on the surface of the diamond. This crystal appears as a knot and diamonds having a knot inclusion is rejected as the inclusion is visible to the naked eye and it degrades the beauty of the diamond.

A Feather is another kind of inclusion which is basically a crack or fracture in the diamond which is referred to as feather. If the feather is located inside the body of the diamond then it doesn’t pose a threat to the durability of the diamond, but if it’s on the edge then there are chances that the diamond might break during the setting process. Seasoned buyers with an eye for detail and track record for quality diamonds won’t go for a diamond with a feather inclusion.

The clarity of the diamond you buy is an important criterion you can’t ignore as you are going to give in a lot of money to go for your dream purchase hence you can not compromise on the quality.

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