Two years ago we briefly discussed the 4 C’s of diamonds in this blog post. It’s been a while since then, and we think it’s time for a little refresher. In the next few months we’ll be discussing the 4 C’s — that is clarity, cut, carat and color — in depth. Welcome to The 4 C’s Series! This month we’re talking all about the clarity of a diamond.

Almost all diamonds have some sort of inclusion or blemish. These are microscopic markings either on the surface of or within the stone that affect what we call the “clarity” and value of the diamond. Inclusions are found inside the stone, whereas blemishes are found on the surface of the diamond. Both affect clarity. All in all, the fewer inclusions, the higher the clarity and value. The most desirable and expensive of diamonds are “flawless” and have little to no imperfections.

Inclusions and blemishes can occur at many different stages of a diamonds life. Some markings are created while the stone is forming, some come about when a diamond is cut and others are made when a stone is set in a piece of jewelry.

Most blemishes and inclusions are too small to see with the naked human eye and require a jeweler’s loupe or a 10-power magnifying glass. After a jeweler examines a diamond’s imperfections, he or she will determine the best setting to display the stone. There are four key factors to consider when grading a diamond’s clarity — size of markings, number of markings, location of markings, nature of markings (does the inclusion or blemish affect the diamondʻs durability?).

You already know we firmly believe that knowledge is power. We want to help you confidently choose and wear the diamond of your dreams, even if we’re not by your side. We hope this article will help you to better understand how the clarity of a diamond affects it’s value. Next month we will talk a little bit about the cut of a diamond, we hope you’ll join us. Please give us a call or leave us a comment below with any jewelry questions or concerns you may have.