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What You Need to Know About Diamond Clarity Before Buying an Engagement Ring

Browsing through jewelry catalogues to search that perfect engagement ring often leaves would-be brides in a state of quandary, leading them to make ill-suited purchases they might regret in future. If you’re the one who doesn’t want any kind of indecisiveness to wreck your special day, it’s crucial to arm yourself with the right information concerning the kind of engagement ring you wish to buy. And since diamond rings continue to rule global fashion circuits, it’s imperative to gain knowledge on what makes diamond truly precious. When buying diamond engagement rings, the most crucial step to ensure you only buy the best diamond is paying attention to its clarity. Diamond clarity is one of the key factors affecting its sparkle and value and is graded taking into account the inclusions and blemishes found in it.  The main contributing factors that result in the formation of inclusions and blemishes in diamonds are their crystal structure, cut and procedures utilized in their manufacturing. While most ordinary people term inclusions and blemishes as ‘flaws’, gemologists like to regard them as identification signs that help them discern real diamonds from synthetic ones. The form and direction of these two characteristics play a significant role in affecting their appearance and price. Finding a diamond with no clarity features observed under a 10x microscope is a rare occurrence, and if you do find one, be ready to pay a hefty price to make it yours as such diamonds are placed in the category of the costliest gems. These kind of diamonds tend to look similar to low clarity diamonds with inclusions that can only be viewed under a microscope. If you are keen to track down an engagement ring that has the purest diamond encrusted in it, don’t forget to take stock of the guidelines set forth by Gemological Institute of America that influence diamond clarity.

Size

The size of the microscopic inclusions have a direct impact on its clarity. Larger the inclusions, lower is the clarity grade as these imperfections tend to interfere with the refractive abilities of diamonds.

Number

While reaching a decision on the clarity grade of diamonds, gemologists factor in the exact number of inclusions and blemishes prevailing in diamonds irrespective of their size. Diamonds with fewer inclusions scale high on the clarity grade while those with a lot of such deformities are assigned lower grades.

Location

A close watch on the site of the inclusion is kept to ascertain any interruptions likely to be caused on the clarity of a diamond. If inclusions are found on the surface, there’s a less chance of them affecting the clarity of a diamond. On the contrary, inclusions set inside the diamond greatly influence its clarity.

Contrast

Any notable difference between the appearance of inclusions and diamonds is perceived to be a major drawback that prevents diamonds to have a high clarity grade.

Pattern

The nature of inclusions also have a bearing on clarity of diamonds. Depending on the patterns they follow, inclusions are assigned different names like feather, beading, cloud, pinpoints, crystal, needle and knots among several others. Due to their varied shapes, the impact of these inclusions on diamond structure also varies and ultimately affects clarity grading.

These inferences are drawn taking into account the GIA clarity scale that places diamonds observed under a diamond loupe or microscope in eleven different grades depending on the state  and form of inclusions and other deformities found in a particular diamond. Based on these observations made under 10x magnification, diamonds with no trace of inclusions or blemishes are deemed as flawless or FL which are rarely seen by most jewelers in their entire lifetime. If a few blemishes are noticed but no trace of inclusion is found, then such a diamond is graded as IF (Internally Flawless). Very Slightly Included diamonds have inclusions that people find hard to detect but their presence can be ascertained due to their low clarity features. Diamonds with inclusions clearly detected under 10x microscope are regarded as Included in the GIA scale.

Jewelers often employ techniques to improve the clarity of diamonds with near visible inclusions and blemishes, as a measure to increase their price. In most cases, the deformities on the external surface of diamonds can be done away with polishing. For inclusions, processes like Laser drilling and fracture filling are incorporated to lighten their appearance. In laser drilling, the inclusions are bleached with acid after opening up a channel with laser drilling to reach the said inclusion. Fracture filling is a method that fills inclusions present  beneath the surface of the diamond stone with a special filling material made from a glass-like substance. This procedure needs precision to fill out the tiny fissures inside the diamond without causing any damage to its structure. If practiced by an untrained professional, this method entails a huge risk as it might end up in ruining the entire composition of diamond. Bringing this drawback of fracture filled diamonds into its perspective, the GIA refuses to grade these diamonds.