Clarity refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond. Inclusions are natural identifying characteristics such as minerals or fractures which appear while diamonds are being formed in the earth.
The number, size and location of inclusions can disrupt the flow of light through a diamond and as a result may diminish the brilliance or sparkle of a diamond. Therefore, the fewer the inclusions, the greater the clarity, the rarer and more valuable the diamond.
Diamonds are graded on a scale ranging from flawless to imperfect based on the inclusions in the diamond. The most widely used system for grading a diamond’s clarity was developed by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Each grade and description was developed so that trained gemologists all over the world working with a ten-power magnification could all give a diamond the same grade
FI – Flawless : No blemishes or inclusions- Ordinary wear could cause a flawless diamond to lose its flawless status, and therefore they are rarely used in jewellery.
IF – Internally Flawless : No inclusions and only insignificant blemishes – Diamonds, with no inclusions and only tiny scratches or pits that can be removed by repolishing, are classified as IF.
|VVS-1 & VVS-2 : Very, Very Slightly Included, very minor inclusions that are difficult to see – The inclusions in this grading are so small that the average person will likely not find them under a ten-power microscope.|
|VS-1 : Very Slightly Included : Small inclusions that are difficult to see – An average person has a very hard time finding inclusions on diamonds in this category when using a ten power microscope.|
|VS-2 : Very Slightly Included : Small inclusions that are somewhat easy to see – The inclusions on a diamond in this category are the same as those in VS1, but the inclusions are more numerous or larger.|
|SI-1 : Slightly Included : Inclusions that are easy to see – The unaided eye probably cannot see any inclusions.|
|SI-2 : Slightly Included : Inclusions that are very easy to see – The inclusions of these diamonds can be seen through the bottom of the stone, but not normally through the top.|
|I-1, I-2, I-3 : Imperfect : inclusions that are obvious – The inclusions of diamonds in these categories are easily seen. Diamonds with an I3 rating often look shattered. I2 and I3 diamonds may have inclusions that could affect the durability of the diamond.|