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4Cs of Lab Grown Diamonds: Clarity

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Picking a diamond based on visible qualities can undoubtedly make or break the look and the value of your piece. When choosing the right diamond, it is important to consider colour, carat and cut, three out of the 4Cs.

However, one of the Cs, clarity, isn’t easy to spot on your own. Yet, this quality plays a pivotal role in picking your next high-quality diamond.

While each C is noble in its own way, knowing how to choose good clarity in a diamond can make a significant difference when it comes to its value. Plus, clarity can enhance a diamond’s appearance, making it stunning to behold.

So, what does diamond clarity mean?

Clarity measures a diamond’s transparency by looking at how many inclusions are present or absent. These characteristics include cracks, foreign materials and flaws that can affect a diamond’s overall appearance.

Diamonds with higher clarity have fewer inclusions, an absence that increases their value. Though we can’t see most of these types of imperfections with the naked eye, clarity still matters when choosing an ideal diamond for your next piece.

Be sure to keep in mind that when determining a diamond’s clarity, the definition and standards for measurement are the same regardless of whether it is a mined or a lab- grown diamond. This is because lab grown diamonds have virtually the same chemical composition as mined diamonds, along with an added human touch.

In this article, we will examine different clarity grades, what they signify, factors that can influence a diamond’s clarity and how to pick the right diamond based on this essential quality.

A Guide to Understanding Diamond Clarity Scale

Let’s take a closer look at the 11 specific grades that make up the Gemological Institute of America’s Diamond Clarity Scale. This GIA scale is made up of six categories, with somesplit up into different levels of grades:

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Fig 1. This illustration showcases the GIA's clarity scale. As the scale goes from Included to Flawless, less imperfections are found in a given diamond. 

1.Flawless (FL) diamonds, when looked at with 10x magnification, contain no visible blemishes or inclusions.

2. Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds don’t have any inclusions under 10x magnification but might still contain blemishes.

3. Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2) are divided into two grades. These diamonds have inclusions but are hard for a skilled grader to see when looking at 10x magnification.

4. Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2) have two grades as well and have inclusions under 10x magnification that can been seen with effort.

5. Slightly Included (SI1, SI2) are two grades that have minor inclusions that arevisible with effort when viewed under 10x magnification

6. Included (I1, I2, I3) diamonds contain obvious inclusions for all three gradeswhen examined under 10x magnification. Inclusions in these diamonds could affect their brilliance and transparency.

Factors that Influence Diamond Clarity

Understanding clarity grades can put you on the right track to finding a gorgeous diamond that fits your budget. But familiarizing yourself with factors that influence adiamond’s clarity can save you time and money when making your selection.

There are different types of inclusions, such as crystals, feathers, clouds, knots andcavities. And depending on the type and severity, some can lower your diamond’s valuemore than others.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking at diamond imperfections.

The location of inclusions plays a pivotal role in a diamond’s clarity. Inclusions near thecenter of the diamond or close to the table (the diamond’s top) can affect the value more because these flaws are easier to spot with your naked eye. Pavilion inclusion, or thosenear the bottom of the diamond are less noticeable.

Larger inclusions can negatively affect clarity and value for the same reason.Remember, the smaller the inclusion, the harder it is to see.

Be sure to also pay attention to the colour of inclusions and if they are clusteredtogether. When examining these flaws, darker colours and imperfections that are closetogether are easier to spot, which can affect a diamond’s value.

When considering relief of inclusions, it’s wise to keep in mind where nicks andscratches are located. Imperfections on or near the surface can affect a diamond’sclarity because of their obvious visibility. However, internal inclusions can be much harder to spot.

But whenever you’re in doubt, consult a professional. Let’s look at how the experts determine diamond clarity

How do the Professionals Grade Clarity?

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Professionals often use a jeweller’s loupe that allows them to examine a diamond at 10x magnification to look for inclusions. They start by cleaning the diamond and choosing ample lighting when looking for inclusions. Once the diamond is under magnification, an expert will check for inclusions andblemishes based on size, colour, location, number, type and relief.

Finding What Works for You

Depending on your needs, choosing a diamond may not rest solely on clarity. Because higher clarity can raise the value and price of a diamond, considering other qualities likecut, carat and colour can complement diamond clarity and fit nicely for many budgets.

Remember that a diamond’s cut can enhance its brightness, giving you a brilliant lookeven if you’re choosing one with lower clarity.

If you’re looking for a diamond that is high in clarity, you can adjust the price by loweringthe carat size by incremental amounts till an ideal balance is met - starting off at around 0.1ct. Going this route can save you money without losing a noticeable difference in size.

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Fig 2. Three round cut diamonds with different clarity grades. 

Choosing non-round diamond shapes and slightly lower grade colours can also makeroom in your budget.

The key is finding a balance with the 4Cs. That balance can of course look different for everyone, which can be advantageous when choosing your next diamond because you have multiple combinations and options.

In conclusion, considering clarity when picking a diamond is important because this can add value and allure to your gem. Taking advantage of a skilled grader’s expertisecan help you find a diamond with excellent clarity that meets your needs.

At Vena Nova, we are experts in the lab grown diamond field. If you’re considering a synthetic diamond for your next piece, our team will be more than happy to walk you through the world of diamonds and diamond clarity, to help you find the perfect stone.