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Clarity

CLARITY (like Colour ») takes experience and expertise to determine. In general, we like to sell diamonds that are eye-clean and of good colour.

Perfect clarity means the absence, or near-absence, of “inclusions”. Inclusions (sometimes known in the trade “internal characteristics”) are tiny flaws, usually invisible to the naked eye. They come about as part of the formation of the diamond, billions of years ago. They can (for example) be feathery, cloudy or grainy. Some experienced cutters and designers regard interesting inclusions as part of the character of an exceptional stone.

The most widely-used scale of clarity is that devised by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the 1950s. This scale rates diamonds as from Flawless (FL) to Very Slightly Included (VSI), to Slighly Included (SI) to Included (I).

There are divisions within each grade, making eleven grades in all, from Flawless (FL) to Included Category 3 (I3).

On the high street, grades of Flawless (FL) and the near-perfect Internally Flawless (IF) are very rare indeed.

VVSI (Very Very Slightly Included) or VSI are considered extremely high-end, and Slightly Included and Included diamonds or gemstones can be both beautiful and valuable. All other characteristics (Carat », Colour » and Cut ») come into play, and no one of the “Four Cs” should be considered in isolation from the others.