The 4th and final of the four c’s we discuss in this series is the clarity of a diamond. A natural diamond is rarely without imperfections. It is a hallmark of Mother Nature to show that nothing is perfect. To evaluate a diamond’s clarity, we us a 10x magnifying glass. This is the tool everyone uses to have unity in the outcome. Under a microscope, you will always see impurities.
Imperfections in a diamond can have various causes. Generally, the impurities are black spots, air inclusions, fractures or natural roughnesses:
Besides the different types of impurities, the quality of the clarity depends primarily on the size of the imperfections. This size determines the diamond’s clarity label. The sizes of the imperfections are listed as follows, from pure to impure:
Impurities in the diamonds are the least affecting factor in the 4 C’s. Up until the SI, imperfections are not visible to the naked eye. However, a pique diamond can be placed into a piece of jewelry in such a way, that the imperfections in this diamond aren’t visible either. A good diamond cutter will always consider the placement of the impurity during the grinding process. If a black spot appears in the collet (the bottom tip), it can reflect 8 to 24 times more. In that case, a tiny speck can look like a huge horrifying impurity. Exactly for this reason it is so important to have a diamond that was cut by a professional.
The cut of the diamond affects the visibility of imperfections as well. Brilliant-cut diamonds, such as the Brilliant, Princess, Oval, Pear, Marquise and Heart shape can more easily hide minor impurities. This is in contrast to other grindings, such as the Emerald, Asscher and Baguette cut. That’s because the latter cuts have a larger table and impurities show grim.
If you really want a diamond without impurities, you should take a VVS diamond or higher. Note however that only a small 10% of all diamonds that are found have this gradation.
The most popular purity is VS. These stones appear pure to the naked eye and the impurity can only be found with a loupe. About 50% of the stones that are found are within this category. This also makes them instantly much more affordable than VVS or higher.
After VS, there’s the SI. This category has impurities that are too small to be seen easily without a magnifier. People often choose SI diamonds, so they can afford a higher carat, purer color or better cutting shape. By downgrading the clarity, you can often upgrade on one of the other C’s.
The bigger the stone, the more important the diamond’s clarity is. This is because it is in fact easier to spot impurities on a big stone. For stones larger than two carats, I encourage you to take a diamond with a purity of at least SI. At large pique diamonds, spots can often be visible.
Do you want to know more about the 4 C’s of diamond evaluation? Then you may want to read the articles about the carat, cut and color or book a free tour through our diamond factory. Our experienced guides would love to tell you everything about the 4 C’s as well.
> De 4 C’s highlighted: the first C, Carat
> De 4 C’s highlighted: the second C, Cut
> De 4 C’s highlighted: the third C, Color
As a diamond polisher at the oldest diamond polishing factory in the world I've seen, cut and polished a lot of diamonds. I'd love to share my knowledge of diamonds with you.
[…] not that strange as these stones are sometimes cheaper than real diamonds, and can also be purer. The natural “flaws” of Mother Nature’s diamonds, are of course not in synthetic man-made diamonds. Since synthetic diamonds differ from natural […]
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[…] > De 4 C’s highlighted: the first C, Carat > De 4 C’s highlighted: the third C, Color > De 4 C’s highlighted: the fourth C, Clarity […]
[…] > De 4 C’s highlighted: the first C, Carat > De 4 C’s highlighted: the second C, Cut > De 4 C’s highlighted: the fourth C, Clarity […]
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