Clarity is referred to as the purity or quality of a diamond and is the relative measurement of the inclusions and blemishes as determined by a gemologist using a special scope and a 10x magnification loupe.
No two diamonds are exactly alike, and this has to do with their clarity. The grade of clarity a diamond has depends on if it has any inclusions or blemishes, which are common. Put simply, the higher the clarity of a diamond, the fewer inclusions or blemishes. So-called “flawless” diamonds, or those with no inclusions or blemishes, are the most highly desirable — and the most expensive.
Think of an inclusion or blemish as a marking on the diamond perceived by the eyes (with magnification!) as a discoloration or mark. If the marking is within the diamond itself, it’s called an inclusion. If the marking is on the surface of the diamond, it’s called a blemish.
What causes inclusions and blemishes? They can occur while a diamond is forming — minerals can be trapped inside the stone — or when the diamond is cut, polished or set in a piece of jewelry When an expert looks at a diamond, he or she uses a gemological hand loupe and microscope to determine the diamond’s clarity. The jewelers’ loupe, a small 10-power (10x) magnifying glass, is typically the tool used to show a customer the characteristics of a diamond and is the standard magnification when assessing diamond clarity.
Five factors affecting the clarity grade
- Size of inclusions
- Number of inclusions
- Locations of inclusions (An inclusion located in the center of the diamond will affect the grade more than one in a facet.)
- Nature or type of inclusion (If the inclusion might affect a diamond’s durability, its value will be downgraded.)
- Relief, the color and depth/placement of inclusions
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