Clarity is one of the important factors in diamond pricing, along with color. While the color does affect a diamond's appearance, obvious inclusions (often called "flaws") may distract the recipient's eye from a stone's overall beauty.
Let's take a look at clarity in detail to understand how it affects the price.
Clarity greatly varies from one diamond to another, and no two are exactly alike. Diamonds are graded and identified uniquely according to the type and number of inclusions present in them.
The following chart gives an idea how each grade might look under a 10x loupe microscope:
|FL||Flawless||No internal or external inclusions of any kind visible under 10x magnification to a trained eye, the most rare and expensive of all clarity grades.|
|IF||Internally Flawless||No internal inclusions visible under 10x magnification to a trained eye, but there may be some tiny external irregularities in the finish.|
|VVS-1||Very Very Slightly Included 1||Usually just one tiny inclusion visible only to a trained eye under 10x magnification.|
|VVS-2||Very Very Slightly Included 2||Tiny inclusions visible only to a trained eye under 10x magnification.|
|VS-1||Very Slightly Included 1||Very small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.|
|VS-2||Very Slightly Included 2||Several very small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.|
|SI-1||Slightly Included 1||Small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.|
|SI-2||Slightly Included 2||Several small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.|
|SI-3||Slightly Included 3||Inclusions that may be visible to the naked eye for a trained observer.|
|I-1||Included 1||Flaws that are visible to the naked eye.|
|I-2||Included 2||Many flaws clearly visible to the naked eye that also decrease the brilliance.|
|I-3||Included 3||Many flaws clearly visible to the naked eye which decrease the brilliance and compromise the structure of the diamond, making it more easily cracked or chipped|
How it affects the price?
All other factors being equal, as the grading decreases the price decreases exponentially. This is because diamonds with greater quality (correspondingly with lesser inclusions) are that much rarer. Along with the type and number of inclusions, their position also makes an impact on the value and brilliance of a diamond. Inclusions at the edges of a diamond can be hidden by the setting selected. However, inclusions in the middle of a diamond may significantly affect it’s radiance and beauty and so it’s value.