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What you need to know about diamonds: A four part series – Clarity

Buying a diamond does not have to be an uncomfortable experience. In order to ensure your purchase is right for you, we are here to give you the tools and information you need to properly evaluate diamond quality and value with confidence. Every diamond is unique, and there are a variety of factors which affect the price of a diamond. Focus on those factors most important to you, and choose a diamond that satisfies your standards for beauty and value. Every Diamond Shoal Diamond has been certified by the GIA after a thorough, independent evaluation. Here you will learn how each of the four C’s (Carat Weight, Cut, Color, Clarity) and GIA diamond grades are established, and how those grades affect the diamond’s price.

Because they are formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure; virtually all diamonds contain “birthmarks”; small imperfections inside the diamond, called inclusions, or on its surface, called blemishes. Clarity refers to the degree to which these imperfections are present, even though most imperfections can only be seen with magnification. Diamonds which contain numerous or significant inclusions or blemishes have less clarity because the flaws interfere with the path of light through the diamond. Diamond cutters make every effort to cut a stone so that inclusions are not visible through the table of the finished diamond.

The GIA Diamond Clarity Grade scale has five main categories of clarity characteristics with 11 grades in all

Only about 2% of the world’s diamonds are actually flawless. Most retail stores carry VVS as their highest grade. VS or SI are considered by most to be “fine quality” diamonds.
Essentially, much is made of a diamond’s clarity, but of the Four Cs, it is the easiest to understand, and, according to many experts, generally has the least impact on a diamond’s appearance. Diamonds with the least and smallest imperfections receive the highest clarity grades. Because these imperfections tend to be microscopic, they do not generally affect a diamond’s beauty in any discernible way.