The use of diamonds for personal adornment dates back to far antiquity, reaching as far back into the 2nd century BCE, where it is mentioned in the Arthashastra, a legendary Sanskrit text influential across the civilizations of South Asia but once thought lost.
A brief overview of diamond gemstones
The Arthashastra mentions the diamond trade in India as part of a larger treatise on finance, perhaps foretelling the importance of diamonds in the modern world. And indeed, diamonds are exceedingly important these days. Many industrial tools rely on diamond as materials to function, ranging from metal engraving to heavy drilling. These industrial uses of diamond are essential to the modern world. But for personal adornment, few things beat a gemstone quality diamond, whether it’s a similar diamond earring stud or a large medallion loaded down with shining gems. Of course, not all diamonds are created equal. There are many differences between diamonds, and even gemstone quality diamonds, far different from industrial grade diamonds, can vary widely in quality and subsequent cost. The DeBeers corporation, which to this day practically holds a monopoly on the mining of diamonds, has long advised that diamond buyers look for “the four Cs”; carat (mass of the diamond, as measured in units of 200 mg), color (which can vary depending on the impurities that go into the diamond deep beneath the earth), cut (the way in which the gem itself is cut, which can be a simple or incredibly intricate shape) and clarity. While each of the four Cs is important in their own way, particularly in regards to determining the diamond’s cost, of particular note is aspect of a diamond’s clarity.
How to look at the diamond clarity?
A diamond’s clarity is the quality of a diamond that consists of the existence and visual appearance of characteristics on the inside of the diamond, created by millions of years of geological pressure (called inclusions) and defects on the surface of a diamond (called blemishes). An inclusion itself can be many things, ranging from imperfections of the crystalline structure to any number of non-diamond substances inside the diamond, such as a foreign substance or another diamond crystal. The number, color, size, location, visibility and orientations can all affect the clarity of a diamond. Clarity grades are assigned ratings of a diamond that measure clarity under ten times magnification, ranging from hazy, cloudy diamonds that do not affect a diamond’s prized ability to transmit and scatter light on the low end of the scale to almost impossible flawless diamonds with a bare minimum of inclusions and blemishes in its structure. The higher the clarity grade of a diamond, the more valuable it will be on the open market, with flawless gems being the most expensive. Determining the clarity grade of a diamond first requires it be examined under a magnifying glass that increases an examiner’s view by ten times and allows them to see the characteristics of the diamond. With this device in place, the grader can examine the diamond for elements of clarity.
The first element of clarity is the size of the inclusion or blemish. The larger the characteristics of a diamond, which are usually immediately noticeable if they are particularly large, the lower the clarity grade of the diamond will be. The next matter to attend to is the number of characteristics inside the diamond. Luckily for diamond buyers, this assessment is made by determining how easily the characteristics of the diamond can be seen, as opposed to the actual number of inclusions and blemishes. The next aspect of a diamond’s clarity is the position of its characteristics. The most advantageous thing to do is to find an eye clean si1 diamond. This will give you the possibility to save money and still get a high quality diamond without any visible inclusions.
If a characteristic of the diamond is in a spot where it would be easy to see, that will lower its clarity rating far more painfully than it will if the inclusion or blemish is on a side of the diamond that is not so easily seen. Another factor is the nature of the characteristic, particularly whether or not the characteristics are internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes). The nature of these characteristics also counts for determining the risk of damage to the stone, and a stone that’s easier to break will receive a lower clarity rating than one that will hold together. If you apply the tactic of choosing an eye clean SI1 diamond you will be able to invest more into the carat weight of a diamond. Finally, the color of the characteristics is taken into account, as colors that detract from the diamond’s pale appearance lower its clarity grade. For more information on diamond clarity please check out the following post: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_clarity