Diamond Clarity

Diamond Clarity

Inclusions found on a diamond can be considered nature’s birthmarks. Thes distinguishing characteristics make the stone unique. The amount of inclusions and blemishes has a direct impact on its clarity and value. Flawless diamonds containing no inclusions are extremely rare and very expensive. A majority of the commercially sold diamonds contains inclusions that are undetectable to the unaided eye. Retail stores sometimes rate their clarity higher than it really is.

Key Points

  • Clarity is the third most important characteristic because most imperfections cannot be seen unless under professional magnification.
  • Clarity refers to the tiny imperfections called inclusions. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades. Diamonds with no inclusions are considered to be flawless.
  • To maximize your budget, an eye-clean diamond (grades VVSI-SI1), which means it has no visible inclusions to the naked eye is a popular choice.



Flawless, Internally Flawless

Under 10x magnification, inclusions are not visible, rarest clarity grade.

  • FL: No visible blemishes, <1% of diamonds
  • IF: Very slight blemishes, <3% of diamonds

VVS1, VVS2

Very, Very Slightly Included

Under 10x magnification, inclusions are so small, it is difficult to see.

  • VVS1: Inclusions in bottom-half, pavilion
  • VVS2: Inclusions in top-half, crown

 


VS1, VS2

Very Slightly Included

Under 10x magnification, inclusions are minor, slightly visible.

  • VS1: Slightly less inclusions than VS2
  • VS2: Slightly more inclusions than VS1

 


SI1, SI2

Slightly Included

Under 10x magnification, inclusions are noted, more visible.

  • SI1: Inclusions possibly invisible to the eye
  • SI2: Inclusions often visible to the eye

I1

Included

Under 10x magnification, inclusions are obvious, visible to the eye.