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The “C” of clarity refers to a stone’s purity. Clarity is evaluated by viewing the stone under 10X magnification. Virtually all diamonds contain tiny natural birthmarks that are present to varying degrees. After all, nature is rarely perfect, and that extends to diamonds! These marks serve as the identifying “fingerprint” that makes every stone unique.
These tiny identifying marks consist of “naturals” on the outside or inclusions on the inside of the stone. Inclusions refer to anything that is trapped within the diamond crystal. Nearly all diamonds, even those of the highest quality, have some inclusions, which fall into these categories:
Mineral inclusions: A dark spot from a trapped bit of mineral
Naturals: Open cavities interrupting the diamond surface that were a part of the original diamond crystal
Feathers: Internal cracks or fractures caused by either internal or external stress during the diamond’s formation.
While there are several grading systems used in the industry, the most recognized and commonly used system is the one developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
As a rule, the less visible the location of the inclusion, the less impact on the stone’s value.