All that Glitters, Part II
Welcome to instalment two of your “I do in a day” diamond guide! Last week we talked stone colour. Today we'll look at the second “C” of diamond buying: Clarity.
The clarity of a diamond refers to any marks located on the outside or inside of the stone created during it's development. Marks on the inside are referred to as “inclusions”, and those on the outside as “blemishes”. Every diamond has different irregularities, therefore, these marks make up what can sometimes be referred to as it's fingerprint.
Blemishes, or scratches on the outside of a diamond, generally do not have such an impact on value. Their external location means they rarely effect the structure or strength of the stone.
Internal impurities can consist of foreign materials trapped inside the diamond. These can show up as tiny cloudy patches. A diamond can also contain small cracks, sometimes called “feathers”. An internal crack can compromise the structure, and in turn the value of a diamond, greatly. They also effect the sparkle or brilliance of the stone.
Specialists will measure clarity using a “Flawless/Internally Flawless” to “Included” grading. “FL” or “IF” indicates a diamond that is free from imperfections, internally and externally. These are incredibly rare and, as you can imagine, very valuable! However, to the naked eye, “Very Slightly” and “Slightly Included” diamonds will still give off a magnificent bling-bling!
It is nice to imagine yourself waltzing around with the purest of ices decorating your finger, but remember to refer to your budget when investigating your diamond's clarity. If you like it on first sight, what more is there to it? (Avoid trying on those super expensive rings from behind the counter “just for kicks”. Before you know it, you'll be crying as they make you take it off!)