Diamonds form naturally deep within the Earth under tremendous pressure and extreme
heat, and as a result, most contain internal or external features even in their
polished state called clarity characteristics. Just as no two people are alike,
we all have individual traits, no two diamonds are alike, they have "fingerprints"
or "birthmarks". A diamond's clarity is effectively determined by viewing the gem
using 10 power magnification under controlled lighting. GIA uses 11 clarity grades
ranging from "Flawless, VVS (Very, Very, Small), VS (Very Small), SI (Slightly Included),
to I (Included). Generally clarity characteristics cannot be seen to the unaided
eye until reaching the lower SI to I grades.
The vast majority of diamonds offered on Diamonds.com are SI grades or rarer in
quality. Therefore, in the grades sold on this site, clarity is a rarity factor
that affects the price, but seldom affects the visual beauty of the diamond. One
should note that in selecting an Emerald Cut diamond vs. a Round Brilliant Cut,
the facet arrangement of the Emerald Cut makes the clarity features much more noticeable
to the eye; therefore, most consumers select a higher rarer clarity grade when choosing
such a shape.
The diagram showing the top view of a round diamond visually depicts the range in
clarity. The internal characteristics or inclusions shown in red are not the actual
size, but are used to demonstrate how they would appear under magnification. Remember,
the clarity features are not readily visible to the unaided eye until the SI2-I3
Diamonds.com does not sell diamonds graded less than I1 by AGS or GIA diamond grading
This is a false and misleading term. Correctly, a dark-appearing inclusion, is generally
not uncrystallized carbon. Diamond is 99.95% pure carbon. Over 25 mineral inclusions
have been found inside diamonds. Interestingly, the most common mineral inside diamonds
is, in fact, minute diamond crystals within the "host" diamond.