DIAMOND CLARITY SCALE
- (Fl-IF) Flawless or internally flawless both very rare clarities. Flawless is the highest grade with no imperfections.
- (VVS1-VVS2) Very slightly included. Very small inclusions and hard to find using 10x magnification. Trained jewelers may have difficulty finding inclusions in this range.
- (VS1-VS2) Minor inclusions hard to find under 10x magnification. Slightly easier to notice for the trained professional then VVS1-VVS2 clarities.
- (SI1-SI2) Slightly included. Can see inclusions with minor effort using 10x magnification. Can not see any inclusions with the naked eye.
- (SI3) Inclusions are very noticeable using 10x magnification but cannot be seen with the naked eye. SI3 diamonds are technically I1 diamonds that are eye clean. SI3 is only used by EGL certified diamonds.
- (I1) Very noticeable using 10x magnification and can see minor inclusions with the naked eye.
- (I2-I3) Extremely noticeable inclusions. Inclusions can be seen without effort with the naked eye. Lowest clarity gradings acceptable for jewelry.
Clarity Up until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard within the jewelry industry to judge diamonds. Around that time, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the first, and now globally accepted, standards for classifying diamonds. The standards created by GIA include classifications for Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight.
Today, the 4C’s have become a universal method for assessing and assigning individual diamond characteristics for any diamond in the world. The use of the 4C’s for diamonds means diamond quality can be communicated in a universal language that both industry tradespeople and consumers alike can understand.
The term “Clarity,” when referencing a diamond refers to the absence or presence of inclusions and blemishes inside or on the surface of a diamond. Diamonds without any inclusions or blemishes are categorized as “flawless,” (no inclusions inside or outside of the stone under 10X magnification) or “internally flawless (no inclusions inside the stone under 10X magnification). Diamonds that are flawless are extremely rare, and many jewelers will go throughout their entire career without ever seeing or holding one. The Clarity Scale developed by GIA is made up of 11 different grades, and the system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief and quantity of clarity characteristics (blemishes and inclusions) that are visible under 10X magnification. The scale ranges from FL (flawless under 10X magnification) down to I3 (heavy inclusions visible to the naked eye). Learning about the types of inclusions and blemishes that occur in a diamond is an important step in the process of finding the perfect diamond, especially if you are on a budget.
Pinpoints, clouds, feathers, irregular crystals, bearding, graining and cavities are all elements that will affect the clarity grade of a diamond. Some diamonds have one of these inclusion or blemish elements present. More often, diamonds have several of these elements present in the same stone. At Jewelers Connect, we offer our clients the benefit of engaging with experienced jewelers who understand that each diamond has its own unique personality, and will work with you to interpret the diamond based on its individual properties together with the GIA Grading Report. GIA Grading Reports will summarize the clarity grade based on an internal and external plot of a diamond. This plot, a diamond-shaped black and white image, is marked-up to indicate the location and type of inclusions and blemishes that have been identified within the diamond. But those squiggly lines and little dots on a piece of paper don’t tell the real story of the stone it is associated with. That little cluster of pinpoint dots that looked so harmless on paper might turn out to be a cloud inclusion that stares back at you every time you admire your ring. Or perhaps you believe the 1 carat emerald-shaped diamond you are shopping for will be the perfect stone for you because it’s graded at an SI2 and GIA says inclusions in the SI clarity range are only noticeable to a skilled grade under 10X magnification. But wait! Did you know that doesn’t apply to emerald-cut diamonds? Their long, flat facets act as a mirror, and chances are, unless you step up to a VS clarity for an emerald-shaped diamond in anything over a carat in weight, the inclusions or blemishes in your diamond, depending on their placement, will be visible to your naked eye. Just like you, every
diamond is unique and has its own personality and characteristics. When it comes to assessing clarity in your hunt for the perfect diamond, the professional jewelers in our Jewelers Connect network will help you find the individual stone that speaks to you.