Because natural diamonds are created under an incredible amount of pressure and not grown in a laboratory, it’s no surprise that most diamonds have flaws.
A diamond’s “clarity” grade is all about the flaws (or lack thereof). There are two types of flaws:
- Blemishes: found on the surface of the diamond
- Inclusions: found within the diamond
“Inclusions” are flaws such as air bubbles, cracks, and non-diamond minerals found within the diamond. “Blemishes” are scratches, pits, and chips (some blemishes occur during the cutting process, most often at the girdle).
Because they are less common, diamonds with no or few inclusions and blemishes are more highly valued and priced.
HERE’S HOW DIAMONDS ARE GRADED FOR CLARITY
Diamonds are examined for flaws and inclusions under 10x magnification. Grades range from Flawless (diamonds which are completely free of blemishes and inclusions), to Included 3 (diamonds which possess large, heavy blemishes and inclusions that are visible to the naked eye).
CLARITY GRADE DESCRIPTIONS
- FL (Flawless): No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare, these diamonds come with a price tag to match their rarity.
- IF (Internally Flawless): no internal flaws, but some surface flaws.
- VVS1-VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included 1 and 2): Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
- VS1-VS2 (Very Slightly Included 1 and 2): Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
- SI1-SI2 (Slightly Included 1 and 2): Minute inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible by the unaided eye.
- I1-I2-I3 (Included 1, 2, and 3). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification as well as to the human eye.
While the presence of these clarity characteristics (inclusions and blemishes) do lower the clarity grade of a diamond, they can also be viewed as proof of a diamond’s identity. GIA certificates include what is known as a “plot” of a diamond’s inclusions — think of it as a “diamond fingerprint.” Since no two diamonds are exactly the same, comparing the uniqueness of your diamond’s clarity characteristics with the plot provided on the diamond certificate offers assurance that the diamond you pay for is the same diamond you receive.
WHICH DIAMOND CLARITY GRADE SHOULD I CHOOSE?
While Flawless diamonds are the rarest, a diamond does not have to be flawless to be stunning.
Diamonds with VVS and VS grades are excellent choices for both value and appearance. Although “SI” and “I” graded diamonds may just be what you prefer. We at Treasure Diamonds Recommend you visually inspect one to three options with one of our qualified experts and be sure they will make sure to help you choose the most suitable Diamond best value for your money, budget and requirements.