When searching for your perfect diamond you will inevitably discuss diamond clarity and come across internal diamond characteristics referred to as “inclusion” and external characteristics referred to as “blemishes.”. Natural diamonds are the product of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep inside the earth, thus creating these “inclusions” and “blemishes.”
While no diamond is going to be perfectly pure, the closer it is, the higher its rarity and value. There are 11 specific diamond clarity grades (shown in the chart above). Often times many inclusions and blemishes are not visible to the untrained eye. To the naked eye, an SI2 diamond may look exactly the same as a VS1, yet these diamonds are significantly different in terms of quality and value. This is why our GIA Graduate Gemologist educates our customers before purchasing, the expert and accurate assessment of diamond clarity is extremely important.
Diamond Clarity Characteristics:
Bearded Girdle – Tiny feathers that extend from the surface of the girdle into the stone; often from the cutting process.
Bruise – Usually shows at a facet junction; a small area of impact with very tiny root-link feathers.
Cavity – An opening created when a surface reaching crystal drops out, is forced out during polishing or when a feather breaks away.
Chip – A very shallow opening from damage to the diamond’s surface, often occurring at a girdle edge.
Cloud – Tightly grouped pinpoints that are too tiny to notice individually, but when in a grouped together put off a hazy appearance.
Crystal – An actual mineral crystal that is contained within a diamond.
Feather – Industry term for a break in a diamond or gemstone, usually white and feathery in appearance.
Grain Center – A tiny, concentrated area of crystal distortion that can either be white or dark. It might have a thread-like appearance.
Indented Natural – A section of the rough diamond’s un-touched surface that dips below the the polished surface.
Internal Graining – Curves, lines or angles that might appear reflective, colored or whitish; often caused by irregularities during crystal growth.
Internal Laser Drilling – Laser drilling inside a diamond that leads to a surface reaching feather or expands a pre-existing feather around a dark inclusion, thus reaching the surface.
Knot – After fashioning, when a white or transparent diamond crystal extends to the surface.
Laser Drill Hole – A very, tiny tunnel produced by a laser beam that reaches the diamond surface.
Needle – At 10x magnification looks like a thin, elongated crystal.
Pinpoint – A very small crystal that at 10x magnification looks like a tiny dot.
Twinning Wisp – A series of crystals, clouds or pinpoints that form in a diamond’s growth place. Often associated with twinning planes and crystal distortion.