Clarity is the fourth “C” to be mentioned because it deals with the internal appearance of the stone. What one can see inside a stone is like an entire galaxy! Inclusions are fascinating to behold and are what identify one diamond from any other. They are like God’s fingerprint. No two diamonds are alike and what separates one from another is their internal structure.
Diamonds are graded on how easily these inclusions can be seen under 10X magnification in dark field illumination. If nothing is visible on the outside or the inside, a stone receives the rarest of all grades, Flawless. The GIA clarity grades range from Flawless to Very Very Slightly Included to Very Slightly Included to Slightly Included and into Imperfect. Like the colour grades, these grades are ranges of rarity, not beauty. The rarer the clarity, the more expensive the stone will be.
In my opinion, one should pay for what CAN be seen, not what can’t be seen. An accurately graded SI1 stone will not have any inclusions visible to the unaided eye. In the SI2 category, inclusions will be visible from the pavilion, or bottom portion of the stone. I1-I2-I3 stones will have inclusions visible to anyone’s eye. I would strongly recommend avoiding the Imperfect category for anything being worn on the hand as there could be durability problems. Depending on your mindset, anything SI2 or rarer is fine for virtually any piece of jewelry. Keep in mind, the price goes up significantly in the upper ranges and you won’t be able to SEE that difference without magnification. You make the decision if that’s important to you.
Yantz Bradbury Associates
P.O. Box 10123
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office: (301) 335-6687
Serving MD, VA and DC Metro Area