Clarity grading is the easiest to understand and learn out of the 4 C's of diamond, and carry the least effect on a diamond's appearance in general.
Grading a diamond Clarity in actuality is the process and observation of a diamond, under a microscope or a jewelers loupe, as we measure the number and size of the tiny imperfections that occur in almost all diamonds.
What we try to find when grading a diamond clarity are the Inclusions, the actual tiny natural imperfections that occur in all diamonds like: blemishes, Pinpoints, Needles, Clouds and Feathers among the few.
Most diamonds develop these "birthmarks" we call inclusions, at the moment they are formed deep within the earth, because of the extreme heat and pressure they go through while growing. These extra "characters" they acquire are either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes).
Diamonds without these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value. which leads to the simple conclusion that: the less inclusions a diamond has the more valuable it is. the more inclusions a diamond has the less valuable it is.
- Clarity Grading Scale Description
- FL Flawless - Shows no inclusions or blemishes under a 10x magnification when observed by an experianced grader. A diamond can still be considered Flawless if it has small extra facets on the pavillion, as long as they can't be seen face up. It can even have internal graining as long as its not reflective, colorless, and not whitish, while at the same time not affecting the transparency of the diamond.
- IF Internally flawless - Shows no visible internal inclusions, but may have minor surface blemishes visible when using 10x magnification. Many times simpl repolishing a diamond like this can take it from a IF to an IF, but it is rarely done.
- VVS1-VVS2 Very, very slightly included - Minute inclusions that are difficult for even an experienced grader t see under a 10x magnification.In VVS1's the inclusions might be so minute that might be removed by simply repolishing. In VVS2's the inclusions are mainly pinpoints, tiny feathers, minute cavities, or internal graining.
- SI1-SI2 Slightly included - Refers to diamonds which have small inclusions that can be easily located using a 10x microscope.
- I1-I3 Imperfect -Contains very obvious inclusions that can usually be seen with the naked eye.
It is quite important to choose a diamond that does not have any inclusions or impurities. If you want that your diamond should be completely clean then go with diamonds graded VS2 or higher. It is also a good idea to match the clarity grade of your diamond with the color. If you are looking diamonds in the D-F color range, pick clarity grades of VS2 or higher. Diamonds in the G-I color range matched with SI clarity are brilliant.