When a rough diamond is formed from carbon, deep beneath the earth, tiny traces of natural elements are often trapped inside causing natural blemishes. These are known as "inclusions" and can come in many forms, including tiny white points, dark dots, or feathery cracks. Sometimes referred to as birthmarks; inclusions are unique to each stone.
Clarity is a measurement of the relative number, size, nature and position of inclusions within a stone when examined by a skilled grader under 10x magnification and ‘daylight’ illumination. Due to the irregular nature of these inclusions the assessment is a subjective one. Thus, it is advisable to use independent and accredited laboratories to guarantee a consistent grading. It is common practise for such laboratories to use 20 to 40x magnification under microscope with dark field and light field illumination.
It is important to note that inclusions can appear either more or less prominent when viewed with the naked eye and mounted in a final piece of jewellery. We take all of these factors into consideration when we select our diamonds and this is at the heart of our expertise.
Clarity grades are as follows:
Internally Flawless - Very rare and beautiful diamond. No inclusions of any sort and only minor blemishes when examined by a skilled grader under 10x magnification and ‘daylight’ illumination.
Very, Very Slight Inclusions – An excellent quality diamond. Contains minute inclusions that are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.
Very Slight Inclusions – Inclusions are clearly visible under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor and still not noticeable to the naked eye.
Slight Inclusions - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification and difficult to see with the naked eye.
Slight Inclusions – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification and may be seen with the naked eye.
Imperfect – Inclusions but are very obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance. They are detectable to the naked eye. DbA does not carry diamonds of this grade.
The best clarity grade for your diamond needs depends on various factors including shape, cut, clarity, carat weight and available budget. We recommend the following general guidelines:
Are there specific diamond shapes where higher clarity is more desirable?
Asscher and Emerald shaped diamonds both have step facets. Inclusions may be more visible in these cuts than in brilliant cut diamonds.
An "eye clean" diamond is one that has no inclusions visible to the unaided eye when viewed from the top down. Our diamonds with clarity grades of VS1, VS2 and SI1 (eye clean) provide excellent quality at a reasonable price.
It is advisable to choose the same cut grade for each of the diamonds; however colour and/or clarity can differ by one grade. It is also advisable that the proportions and in particular the table dimensions are similar. In relation to clarity anything VS2 or above will appear the same to the naked eye.