What is Clarity
Clarity refers to the actual look of the diamond and if it has any inclusions or defects such as marks or spots inside or outside of a diamond itself. Below I will discuss the whole diamond clarity ratings and what each mean, but feel free to check out The 4 C’s to Consider When buying a Diamond Ring, for a more in depth explanation on Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat which are all important factors when choosing the right diamond for you.
“Diamond clarity refers to the absence of Inclusions and Blemishes”
What is an inclusion
An inclusion is an imperfection or a blemish within a diamond, most diamonds do have them but they are generally hard to see with the naked eye hence the use of a loupe (magnifying glass). However, there are diamonds that don't have inclusions, which are considered flawless, but these are very rare to find and really expensive.
What type of inclusions are there?
Its important to not think of inclusions as bad things, they are merely the finger print of your diamond and make your diamond unique to you. As mentioned above, there are diamonds that are flawless that you can purchase, but why spend so much money when you really don't have to? Diamonds with inclusions can be just as beautiful as those without and not all inclusions can be seen unless using more than 10x magnification which means you wont see them just by looking at them but there are certain inclusions you will want to steer clear from. Lets dive into what type of inclusions are out there.
Pinpoint inclusions are a very common inclusion that resemble tiny black spots or dots. With black dots inside of a diamond it leaves the diamond with less glisten or shine, depending on how big they are. Usually, they are not that big nor can they be seen with the naked eye.
Diamond cavities are what the name suggests, actual holes within the diamond. This type of inclusion is very rare and they decrease the value of a diamond drastically. Most of the diamonds with this inclusion are not used for jewellery but to create drill bits.
Feather inclusions are tiny, hair fine lines or cracks within the diamond and can also be found on the diamond surface too. Its wise to be aware of the location of these inclusions because if struck they will be susceptible to chip piece of the diamond away.
This type of inclusion is when a crystal is formed within the diamond. This inclusion is the most common and depending on what mineral was trapped inside of the diamond will determine the colour of the crystal inside, some can be coloured whilst others are colourless.
When there are three or more inclusions within a diamond it creates an inclusion known as the cloud inclusion. It doesn't appear as a cloud, as the title suggests but more hazy and white coloured.
The diamond clarity rating
To help you understand what i3 is and what it means its best to know the rest of the clarity ratings. They start from the highest rating of Flawless (FL) through to the lowest rating which is Included (i1,i2 & i3).
FL - Flawless
A FL diamond that shows no inclusions at all, not even under magnification. There are less than 1% of all diamonds to receive the flawless rating which makes them incredibly rare and expensive.
IF - Internally flawless
A IF diamond that has no inclusions internally but may have imperfections on it’s surface such as minor polish marks, surface graining or extra facets. Just like a Flawless diamond, they are incredibly rare.
VVS1, VVS2 - Very, Very Slightly Included
A VVS1 diamond has very small inclusions that are still difficult to see even under 10x magnification. However, they still remain clean to the naked eye. Where as a VVS2 diamond has the same minor inclusions that are difficult to see but they may be a lot darker than those in a VVS1 diamond.
VS1, VS2 - Very Slightly Included
A VS1 diamonds has untraceable inclusions to the naked eye but under 10x magnification they can be seen but are not easy to spot. While a VS2 diamond also has inclusions that are invisible to the naked eye and can be spotted under 10x magnification more obviously. Sometimes difficult to tell a difference between the two.
SI1, SI2 - Slightly Included
A SI1 diamond has inclusions that can be visible to that naked eye depending on how the diamond is faceted which helps to camouflage them. These inclusions tend to be smaller in size than the SI2 which has larger inclusions. Still very beautiful diamonds and budget friendly.
i1, i2, i3 – Included
i1, i2 and i3 diamonds all have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. i3 has the worst inclusions because they result in the diamond being less sparkly and bright.
Each of the diamond clarity ratings have their own draw backs but it all boils down to what you are willing to compromise on. You could buy a diamond with slight inclusions so that you have a bigger budget to be able to choose a larger carat or you might like the thought of purchasing a smaller carat diamond to get a flawless clarity, Etc.
When you are looking for a diamond, you may come across an i3 Clarity diamond. And when you do you may think that it’s a good deal but that’s not always the case. It’s useful to get familiar with the diamond clarity ratings because it will help you determine and decide on which clarity you want your diamond to be. Here at Sonny's Jewellers we have expert gemologist's that can go through any concerns you may have when purchasing your diamonds. Just visit us in-store or send a message. We would love to hear from you and help you along the way of choosing what's right for you.