The clarity of your diamond

Clarity is the second of our diamond characteristics and probably the most difficult to agree upon when it comes to assessing the value of a diamond. The clarity of a diamond, as with the cut and the colour, depends upon a subjective judgement made by an experienced grader against an agreed industry standard.

So what is clarity? Nature being what it is, the vast majority of diamond crystals have internal characteristics that indicate their growth. These “inclusions” may be small particles of other minerals trapped within the diamond, or irregularities in the crystal structure itself.

There are two main international standards for judging the clarity of a polished diamond; firstly, the European standard dictated by CIBJO, whilst the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) sets a more universally adopted scale.

When looking at the internal characteristics of diamonds, the standard tool is a chromatic (colour corrected) loupe or glass with a times 10 magnification.

The median standard of diamonds in the UK is “small inclusions” – Si clarity. Therefore, the vast majority of diamonds for sale will have some form of nature’s finger print, which can only be seen with great difficulty and under magnification.

Because of the way diamonds handle light, producing scintillating flashes of reflected brilliance, they are very hard to photograph in such a way as to show inclusions and you can see that, even under extreme magnification, it still requires a diagram to pinpoint the marks.

Inclusions should not be seen as faults; they are simply the work of nature. However, as with all things, the closer to perfection you get, the more valuable the item becomes and this is why flawless diamonds command the highest price.