Diamond Buying Guide: Diamond Clarity Education
Clarity refers to the absence of imperfections and blemishes in a diamond. Almost all diamonds have minor imperfections. The fewer imperfections there are in a diamond, the higher its clarity grading. According to experts, clarity generally has the least impact on a diamond’s appearance. This is true because the few imperfections a diamond may have tend to be microscopic and generally will not noticeable affect a diamond’s beauty. It is also important to note that as a diamond’s size increases, the size of the facets also increase (diamond facets allow you to see into a diamond), and therefore the larger the diamond, the greater the importance of the its clarity.
How Clarity Is Graded:
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed a clarity scale, which contains 11 grades. Most diamonds fall into the VS (very slightly included) or the SI (slightly included) categories.
The components to consider when grading Clarity are: Size. Nature, Position, Color, and Quantity.
|Flawless (FL)||No inclusions or blemishes. No internal or external imperfections. Very rare.|
|Initially Flawless (IF)||No inclusions and only blemishes are visible under 10x magnification. Very rare.|
|Very, Very Slightly Included
(VVS1 & VVS2)
|Inclusions are difficult to see under 10x magnifications by skilled graders. Highly sought after.|
|Very Slightly Included (VS1 & VS2)||Inclusions are visible to skilled graders using 10x magnification, but are minor. Very affordable.|
|Slightly Included (SI1 & SI2)||Inclusions are noticeable to skilled graders using 10x magnification.|
|Included (I1, I2, & I3)||Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.|
The above information is based on GIA grading standards.