When considering adding a stone to your collection, the 4Cs (Carat, Clarity, Colour, and Cut) are the main factors that should be concentrated on when assessing the stones. Carat we know refers to the weight of the diamond. Colour is actually derived from the purity of various compound elements. Cut describes the art and style of how the gemologist cut the stone. But what really is the definition of Clarity?
The actual definition of what diamond clarity is, basically describes the diamond's overall appearance in relation to the number of both internal and external imperfections in the stone. Each stone is assessed and then graded according to a standardized grading scale.
Clarity Grades (the Clarity Scale)
Diamond clarity is broken down to six categories, of which many contain a number of clarity grades. As the clarity grades move along the scale to a lower clarity grade, the overall value of the diamond decreases. Still, even though the clarity grade may drop, it might not necessarily affect the unmagnified appearance of the stone.
The table below defines the various levels of clarity in the GIA clarity scale for both white and colour diamonds.
|FL – Flawless||A stone that is completely flawless. This is an extremely rare find.|
|IF – Internally Flawless||A stone that has no internal flaws at all but does have surface flaws. Also, an extremely rare find.|
|VVS1/VVS2 – Very Very Slight Inclusion||A stone with very small internal inclusions. These inclusions can only be determined with a X30 magnification.|
|VS1/VS2 – Very Slight Inclusion||A stone with very small internal inclusions. These inclusions can be determined with a X10 magnification.|
|SI1/SI2 – Slight Inclusion||A stone that has slight inclusions that can be determined with a X10 magnification.|
|I1/I2/I3 (P1/P2/P3) - Inclusion or Pique||A stone that has inclusions most often visible with the naked eye. Inclusions of this level drastically bring down the diamonds value.|
Clarity in Colour Diamonds
In a colourless diamond, clarity is a very important measurement to scale. However, diamond clarity does not play as much of an important role in fancy coloured diamonds as it does in colourless stones. When purchasing a fancy coloured diamond, the colour and intensity are far more important than the clarity of the diamond itself.