Diamonds may be beautiful, but they are rarely ever perfect. The majority of them have flaws and inclusions that reduce clarity and lower the overall grade of the diamond. However, many diamond flaws are not obvious to the average jewelry customer, and are difficult to see even at 10x magnification (the standard magnification used for grading diamonds). This begs the question: if they are barely noticeable, why count them as flaws?
Even if flaws are not individually noticeable, they can still affect the overall look of the diamond. For example, one of the most important gemological features of diamonds is their “fire” or dispersion, i.e. their tendency to split light into spectral colors. Even tiny inclusions can intercept this light and negatively impact how the diamond sparkles.
Diamonds collect most of their flaws through their natural formation in the earth. However, manmade flaws like laser lines or chips also count against a diamond’s clarity grade. If you find yourself talking shop with a customer in your pawnshop or jewelry store, you can use our infographic below, to demonstrate some of the most common types of diamond flaws and how they affect clarity.