Clarity is one of the “4Cs” that determines the final value of the stone. It is classified in degrees, many of which are not visible to the naked eye and require a ten-magnification lens that only a gemologist knows correctly to use.
The clarity grades are divided into 11 subdivisions established through an international scientific agreement. These characteristics concern the perfection of the crystal both inside and outside. They have a decisive influence on the rarity of the stone and therefore on its price.
Stains: are represented by scratches, veins or indentations include surface features such as scratches and indentations. Sometimes these can be easily removed by polishing the Diamond.
Inclusions: they are represented by internal characteristics detectable by a gemologist with a 10 magnification lens, sometimes with the presence of small infinitesimal feathers and/or gaseous or mineral crystals, other times with clearly visible streaks even with the naked eye.
These are not removable and therefore have an impact on the degree of purity of the stone and therefore on the final value.
A gemologist will evaluate the degree of clarity of each diamond thus determining the overall impact of inclusions and/or imperfections if they exist and which will determine their correct final classification.
The size of the possible inclusion is an element of judgment that is sometimes important also for the durability of the diamond. In fact, the diamond is the hardest mineral in the world but in the presence of serious internal fractures, it can also become the most fragile.
The nature of the internal characteristics of a diamond influence more consistently than external ones. Their position, for example, if under the central table, is much more visible than the same characteristics placed on the edges or under the facet of the crown or frame according to the type of cut. A fracture close to the surface of the stone is far more important than that placed inside it.
The higher the number of inclusions, the lower the degree of clarity and therefore brightness. The presence of inclusions within a diamond is naturally constituted as indelible identifiers and can help a gemologist to recognize the stone under examination as unique.
There are various grading scales for diamonds that are internationally recognized. The most important, the most widespread at the level of the various ScientificLaboratories that issue credible certifications is that of the GemologicalInstitute of America (GIA).
This scale has 11 degrees to define the clarity of a diamond; it goes from Flawless, or lack of internal characteristics visible with the 10-magnification lens, up to the degree of inclusions 3, or a stone with internal characteristics clearly visible to the naked eye. Following are the basic word terms for GIA Clarity grades. These are intended only as a general guideline.
FL- Flawless - Free from all inclusions or blemishes at 10x magnification.
IF - Internally Flawless - No inclusions visible at 10x but will have insignificant surface blemishes only.
VVS - Very Very Slightly Included 1 - Minuteinclusions that are extremely difficult to see at 10x.
VVS2, - Very Very Slightly Included 2- Minute inclusions that are very difficult to see at 10x.
VS - Very Slightly Included 1 - Minor inclusions that are difficult to see face-up at 10x.
VS2 - Very Slightly Included 2 - Minor inclusions that are somewhat easy to see face-up at 10x.
SI - Slightly Included 1- Noticeable inclusions that are easy to see at 10x.
SI2 - Slightly Included 2 - Noticeableinclusions that is very easy to see at 10x. They may also barely eye visible in larger stones or in smaller stones through the pavilion.
I1 - Included 1 - Obvious inclusions at 10x and visible to the unaided eye.
I2 - Included 2 - Obvious inclusions at 10xand easily visible to the unaided eye and they may pose a durability issue.
I3 - Included 3 - Prominent inclusions that are extremely easy to see with the unaided eye and usually will affect the durability.
Safeguarding consumer rights is important in the world of jewelry and therefore diamond grading certificates have become a very important part of the sector.
In particular, because the evaluation of the characteristics of a diamond can only be done with the appropriate instruments that are found only in specialized analysis laboratories.
Certificates play an important role in the world trade in cut diamonds. They record the nature and quality of the examined stone which then transmits the necessary confidence to a customer to proceed with the purchase in total safety.
The certificate issued by a prestigious laboratory, recognized as such by the world diamond market, contributes to increasing the value of the stone and making any subsequent transfer of ownership safe.
Smaller diamonds of 0.25 / 0.30 carats are usually not certified because of the excessive cost of the analysis.