With a history going back billions of years, diamonds are known to be world-wide fascination, a symbol of love, struggle, rarity, and wealth. One of the first things most people learn about diamonds is that not all diamonds are created equal. Every diamond is unique. Diamonds come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and various internal characteristics.
Diamond professionals use the grading system developed by GIA in the 1950s, which established the use of four important factors to describe and classify diamonds: Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat Weight. The value of a finished diamond is based on this combination of these 4Cs.
Diamonds emit a visible light called fluorescence when they’re exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Although invisible to the human eye, UV radiation is everywhere. Fluorescent lights emit it, too. Under the right conditions, you can see fluorescence in about 35 percent of gem diamonds.
While the extremely rare Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds are the highest quality diamond clarity, you may want to consider a diamond that won’t break the bank. For the best value, select a diamond with inclusions that can’t be seen through the crown without magnification (also known as eye-clean diamonds), as a diamond with an SI or VS clarity grade. These diamonds are much less expensive and look the same as the higher grades, visually.
Some diamond shapes require a higher clarity grade than others. Emerald and Asscher-shaped diamonds are designed with a rectangular facet that emphasizes transparency and lets you see further down into the diamond, which can make inclusions more visible.
As diamond size increases, the size of the facets (the multiple mirror-like surfaces on the diamond) become more abundant. This can make inclusions more visible. Be sure to prioritize a higher clarity grade as the size of your diamond goes up.
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