The 4 C's of Diamonds: Clarity
Our third foray into the four C's of diamonds will address diamond clarity. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) refers to diamond clarity as "the absence of inclusions and blemishes". Inclusions are flaws found within the diamond, while blemishes are surface flaws. The clarity scale runs from FL (flawless) to I3 (included), with very slightly included (VS) and slightly included (SI) being in the middle of the scale. Flawless diamonds are quite rare and therefore more expensive, while included diamonds are more common and less expensive.
Inclusions and blemishes are often hard to see and discern with the naked eye; magnification is critical for viewing and understanding the clarity of diamonds. In addition, diamond clarity is often "mapped out" on diagrams (see image below). Clarity is yet another diamond characteristic that has a huge impact on diamond prices.
GIA again has a great interactive tool that allows you to explore more about diamond clarity.