DIAMOND CLARITY CHART
Diamond clarity is a measure of flawlessness, specifically the degree to which inclusions are present. Inclusions are tiny, often microscopic, imperfections. In significantly “included” diamonds, can affect transparency and brilliance.
Some inclusions are present in most diamonds. Diamond cutters will generally try to hide inclusions in less visible positions, such as near the girdle.
Clarity is graded using an 11-point scale developed by the GIA ranging from flawless to inclusions (surface blemishes). Grading assesses number, size, color, reflectivity, and position of all flaws visible under 10x magnification. Diamond experts are the only professionals who can perform diamond grading.
Diamond Clarity Scale
Diamond clarity ratings on a GIA diamond clarity grading scale:
|FL||Flawless||No inclusions or blemishes found under 10x magnification. Flawless diamonds are extremely rare.|
|IF||Internally Flawless||Only minor blemishes and no inclusions are found under 10x magnification. VVS1, VVS2, Very, Very Slightly Included gradings. Inclusions are difficult to see under 10x magnification and are invisible to the naked eye.|
|VVS1 VVS2||Very, Very Slightly Included||Minor inclusions are visible under 10x magnification. In most cases, inclusions are not visible to the naked eye.|
|VS1 VS2||Very Slightly Included||Minor inclusions are visible under 10x magnification. In most cases, inclusions are not visible to the naked eye|
|Slightly Included||Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification. Inclusions may or may not be visible to the naked eye.|
|Included||Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and/or brilliance. Inclusions are visible to 10x magnification and also to the naked eye and may affect the diamond’s durability.|
What’s a good color and clarity for a diamond?
The GIA Colorless range grades include grades D, E and F, and Near Colorless (G, H, I and J grades). If a colorless diamond what you are looking for then you can opt for F rated color as it is the least expensive colorless grade, and the difference between it and a D color rating won’t be visible to the naked eye.
If you want to get the best value for your money for a diamond with good clarity, then consider graded stones of VS2 or SI1, and choose one that looks the clearest to you.
You can also consider SI2 diamonds, as although they may contain some visible inclusions, they will be most likely towards the sides of the stone. You can set the stone in a mounting that conceals the diamond’s periphery, making these flaws less visible.
So are Flawless or Internally Flawless graded stones really worth the price tag? Diamonds graded VS2 or SI1 do not look that different to the naked eye and the difference from F & IF clarity grades can only be seen under 10x magnification. The decision is yours.
DIAMOND CLARITY TIPS:
- The intense faceting of brilliant cuts hides inclusions better than step-cuts like emerald or Asscher cuts.
- Buyers set on perfection should choose diamonds that are VVS2 or better.
- Flawless to the naked eye, clarity grades of VS1 and VS2 diamonds make up about half of all diamond purchases.