Diamond Standard – Clarity

Almost all natural diamonds contain some minute inclusions present when they were formed billions of yours ago. However, some very rare diamonds are judged to be completely flawless, making them extremely valuable. The very fact that rough diamonds can be graded into 14,000 categories is an indication of the variety that nature brings to diamonds, making every single gem unique. In most cases these natural inclusions cannot be seen by the naked eye. However, it is important to remember that value is a reflection of rarity so that whilst inclusions give each diamond a unique character and personality which many customers seek, the fewer the marks made by nature, the rarer and more costly the diamond becomes.

The nature of inclusions varies – they can be crystalline, fractures, feathers or light cracks and other natural formations. White Flakes called feathers are fractures to the diamond whereas black spots are natural inclusions. The number, size and position of the inclusions all affect the clarity of a diamond and in some case its brilliance, but also give it individuality.

Some diamonds with natural internal fractures that reach the surface of the gem are treated by a method known as fracture filling. Other diamonds can also be drilled to eliminate some internal flaws or inclusions and the hole made by the laser filled using the same technique that is used to fill natural fractures. However, it is illegal in most countries to sell such diamonds without declaring that they have been treated in this way most often to enhance clarity.

Diamonds are one of nature’s rarest gifts, formed from pure carbon under tremendous heat and pressure in the depths of the earth billions of years ago. During this natural process, other minerals and gases often added a natural fingerprint to the gem that makes every diamond quite unique. These inclusions that in most polished gem diamonds cannot be seen by the naked eye provide a signature that gives each and every gem its own very special character and personality when viewed under 10 power magnification. In the majority of gem diamonds set in diamond jewellery these tiny inclusions in no way affect the beauty and fire of the gem. However, the fewer the inclusions the rarer the diamond becomes and thus more valuable.

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