The formation of a diamond is not a gentle process. Most diamonds are born in extreme circumstances from primeval carbon deep in the earth’s mantle at about 500,000 to 2 million feet below the surface. They are then shot up to the surface at supersonic speeds by eruptions inside the earth. These volcanoes are very small compared to ones like Mt. St. Helens or Stromboli off the coast of Sicily, but the magma originates much deeper, which is what enables the diamonds to be extracted and carried up through the earth. The extreme heat and pressure that diamonds undergo during their ascent can cause unique “birthmarks” that affect their clarity. These are referred to as inclusions when they are internal or blemishes when they appear on the diamond’s surface.
The independent grading report that comes with every diamond we sell shows a diagram indicating the characteristics of your diamond, including any inclusions or blemishes your diamond may have and where they appear. The most important thing to remember when it comes to clarity is that a diamond’s inclusions and blemishes should not be noticeable to the naked eye, nor should they be so excessive that they affect the diamond’s durability.
We grade a diamond’s clarity according to the GIA International Diamond Grading System. The GIA Clarity Scale has a range of 11 grades that run from flawless (FL) to obvious inclusions (I3). A diamond that is higher up on the Clarity Scale will be more brilliant – and with all other characteristics being equal, more valuable – because it doesn’t have inclusions and/or blemishes that impede its ability to refract and reflect light.
Clarity Grading Scale