Diamond clarity is a term that refers to, as the word suggests, the clarity of a particular diamond. Unfortunately, the details about this grading system are not as simple as one might hope it to be. Diamond clarity really is a complex grading system that is used to rate the quality of a diamond by specifically looking at how “clear” the diamond is and whether or not it contains any type of blemishes, cavities or inclusions. The more imperfections the diamond contains, the lower it is graded on the diamond clarity scale – this also means diamonds with more imperfections cost significantly less than diamonds with fewer imperfections. At the same time, a diamond with some imperfections may still look flawless to the naked eye. Thus, considering all your options when it comes to choosing a diamond clarity grade before proceeding with your purchase should be an important step.
Diamond Clarity Grading Scale
Consulting a diamond clarity grading scale is probably the best way to determine what type of diamond you can afford to buy for your wedding– and which one you should really opt for based on the budget you have to spend on the particular diamond. A diamond’s clarity can be graded from FL, which refers to a completely flawless diamond, to I3, which refers to an included diamond that has imperfections that can be seen to the naked eye.
Here is a basic overview of how the international diamond clarity grading system works and the different levels that can be given to a particular diamond:
- Fl – This is the most expensive type of clarity grade and is known as flawless diamonds. Diamond stones rated as flawless do not contain cavities, inclusions, blemishes or any other kinds of imperfections. This is the rarest type of diamonds stone on the market.
- IF – This grade is also very expensive and is known as internally flawless diamonds. These diamonds do not contain any inclusions, but, when placed under 10x magnification, slight blemishes may be noticed.
- VVS1 / VVS2 – These diamonds are flawless to the eyes, but they contain slightly visible inclusions when placed under 10x magnification. VVS1 refers to Very Very Slightly Included diamond stone that is rated “1st Degree”, while VVS2 refers to Very Very Slightly Included diamonds that are rated “2nd Degree”.
- VS1 / VS2 – These diamonds contain slightly more visible inclusions than VVS1 and VVS2, but they are still not visible to the naked eye. In most cases, the inclusions in these diamonds are in locations that are rather difficult to locate. The grade is known as “Very Slightly Included” and, similar to VVS1 and VVS2, the grade is also divided into “1st Degree” and “2nd Degree” diamonds.
- SI1 / SI2 – These diamonds are not as clear as VS1 and VS2 and they contain more inclusions than the other classes, but, in most cases, the inclusions and cavities are still not visible to the naked eye, except when closely and thoroughly inspected. These diamonds are also classified as “1st Degree” and “2nd Degree”.
- I1 / I2 / I3 – The lowest clarity grade is known as included. These diamonds contain inclusions that are not only visible when the diamond is placed under magnification, but also to the naked eye. Out of all the grades, included is the lowest costing diamond clarity grade.
Considering the clarity grading of a diamond should always be a vital part of your buying diamond process. This rating should be taken into account when determining what type of diamond you would be able to purchase based on your budget, and realizing which grading still look good without costing the same as a flawless diamond means you could save a considerable amount of money. Knowing more about the 4c’s of diamonds can help you make a better decision when purchasing these types of stones online.