The greater a diamond's clarity, the more brilliant, valuable, and rare
it is--and the higher it is on the Diamond Quality Pyramid.
Virtually all natural diamonds contain identifying characteristics, yet many
are invisible to the naked eye. Under the scrutiny of a jeweler's 10x-magnifying
loupe or microscope, natural phenomena--called inclusions--may be seen.
These are nature's birthmarks, and they may look like tiny crystals,
clouds or feathers.
Diamonds categorized as internally flawless reveal no such inclusions.
Flawless stones are at the peak of the Diamond Quality Pyramid and are treasured
for their rarity and beauty. Diamonds with very, very small inclusions are
graded as VVS1 or VVS2. The larger the inclusion, the lower the grade and
the less rare the diamond. Inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye
are graded I1 to I3.
The number, color, type, size, and position of surface and internal birthmarks
affect a diamond's value. Major inclusions can interfere with the path of light
that travels through a diamond, diminishing its brilliance and sparkle and
therefore its value.