Every potential diamond that you might consider buying has what is known as a birthmark. They happen because they are formed inside of the earth while under extreme amounts of pressure and heat.
These blemishes or birthmarks are imperfections (inclusions) that can be found on the surface of the diamond. So when trying to determine the clarity of a diamond, they are typically referring to the amount of imperfections that are present within the diamond itself.
When you’re looking at a diamond that has a significant amount of inclusions, you’re basically seeing something with much less brilliance because of the flaws that the diamond has. It prevents light from having a clear path through the diamond itself, which unfortunately takes away from the clarity.
The wide majority of diamonds will receive a grade from the 11 point diamond clarity scale that was designed by GIA.
With that in mind, we will go through the scale and provide a brief explanation of what each point stands for.
when you have a completely flawless diamond, it means that there aren’t any blemishes or visible inclusions. Each one of the diamonds is looked at using a 10 X magnification, so if no inclusions are present, the diamond is considered flawless.
Internally Flawless (IF)
When a diamond is designated internally flawless, it will not contain any inclusions at all. But it will have some blemishes that the skilled grader will discover when looking at the diamond under 10 X magnification.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1+ VVS2)
For a diamond to receive the very, very slightly included designation, it’s very difficult for a skilled grader to notice the existing inclusions when looking at the diamond under 10 X magnification. In this case, the inclusions do exist; it’s just really hard to notice them.
Very Slightly Included (VS1 + VS2)
If a diamond is going to receive this specific designation, a skilled grader will have the ability to notice these inclusions on the diamond quite clearly when looking at it under a 10 X magnification. The major difference is that the inclusions are mainly going to be categorized as minor, so we are still talking about a very clear diamond.
Slightly included (SI1 + SI2)
When a specific diamond has been determined to fall in the clarity category of being slightly included, the diamond will receive that specific designation because a skilled grader using 10 X magnification could clearly see these inclusions when determining the quality and clarity of the diamond. When diamonds are designated as SI1, the inclusions are still invisible to the naked eye. If it is designated SI2, the inclusions are quite visible to the naked eye.
Included (I1 + I2 + I3)
It should be fairly obvious that when a diamond is included, the inclusions themselves are very noticeable under 10 X magnification. The brilliance and transparency of the diamond are going to be affected at this level.
Here’s an image with further information:
This is a full explanation of the diamond clarity chart. Please use it to determine the clarity of your next diamond purchase.
You should also familiarize yourself with the 4 c’s of buying diamonds. Knowing them will be a great value to you when you shop for diamonds. Learn it all on this page.