A Beginners Guide to Diamond Clarity
This week at Hatton Jewels, we look at some of the most popular areas to understand when looking at diamond clarity, such as how it affects the value of your diamond and jewellery, and debunk some of the most common misunderstandings about diamond grading and the 4Cs
First off, a bit of backstory. The universal standard for judging the quality of a diamond was first introduced by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the mid-20th century and this International Diamond Grading System is now used to assess diamonds from all over the world.
According to the GIA, a diamond’s clarity grade describes “the appearance and placement of characteristics both inside the diamond and on its surface”. Because diamonds were formed deep within the earth, where they were subject to intense heat and pressure, it is very rare to find a stone without any structural imperfections. When these unique birthmarks are located on the stone’s surface they are called blemishes, and if the flaws are on the inside they are known as inclusions.
The GIA clarity scale, above, measures the extent of these internal and external flaws, and knowing how the scale works can help you find the right diamond within your budget. It is important to remember that no two diamonds are exactly the same and almost every diamond has imperfections of some kind when viewed under the 10X magnification used during the grading process.
When looking at clarity, it is important to think about the other 4Cs, as they play a role in how important it is to select the right clarity, based on your budget. For example, some diamond cuts are more forgiving than others when it comes to clarity. The broad, flat facets of step cuts like the Emerald and Asscher cuts will accentuate any imperfections in the diamond so any inclusions below VS2 are likely to be visible to the naked eye. A brilliant-cut diamond, on the other hand, can help disguise inclusions by breaking up the light as it is reflected from the many facets on the diamond’s surface.
Some experts also believe, clarity should come second to colour, and that the the beauty of a super white diamond is so wonderful that it outweighs a few inclusions.
If you are interested in finding out more about diamond clarity, or any of the other 4Cs, why not get in touch with one of our resident gemologists at Hatton Jewels, who can provide guidance on all aspects of diamonds. With your new knowledge of diamonds, you could also try our unique: Design Your Own Engagement Ring
Our master jewellers will help you every step of the way in designing the ring to match your needs. If you need more information, why not get in touch or book an appointment at our boutique shop in Hatton Garden, London’s famous jewellery quarter. We hope this guide has provided a useful intro into diamond clarity, and the beautiful world of diamonds!