Inclusions are imperfections contained within a diamonds natural structure. They include cleavages, pinpoints, feathers, grain lines and bearded girdles. The prevalence and location of inclusions will influence a diamond’s clarity grade.
Gemological labs do not factor in location when grading diamonds for clarity. A diamond with an inclusion in its table (middle) will receive the same clarity grade as one with an identical inclusion near its girdle (off to the side), all other factors being equal.
While location is not important to diamond grading labs, it is certainly a factor for retailers and their clients. Inclusions located in the center of a diamond can be very apparent even when mounted in jewelry. Inclusions off to the side are easily concealed by prongs.
Within the industry, dealers often use the term “eye clean” to describe diamonds with a favorable inclusion location. When looking at an “eye clean” diamond face up, the inclusion is not easily detectable.
Clarity grade determines market price. The location and visibility of an inclusion will affect a diamond’s marketability. In retail stores, clients may be off-put by diamond jewelry with noticeable inclusions. Because of this, diamond buyers often offer slightly more for “eye clean” diamonds.