Determining a diamond’s quality: Clarity
Clarity refers to how flawless a gem appears to the naked eye, and under a 10x magnification loupe. Blemishes are flaws found on the outside of the diamond. Inclusions are internal flaws. These flaws will affect a diamond’s brilliance by interrupting the path of light through the gem. Both play a significant role in determining its value.
- Flawless diamonds (F) have no inclusions or blemishes that are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
- Internally Flawless diamonds (IF) have no inclusions but rather only blemishes visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
- Very Very Slightly Included diamonds (VVS1 or VVS2) have inclusions that are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.
- Very Slightly Included diamonds (VS1 or VS2) have inclusions that are clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor.
- Slightly Included diamonds (SI1 or SI2) have inclusions that are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification.
- Imperfect diamonds (I1, I2 or I3) have inclusions that are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance. These inclusions and blemishes can be seen with the naked eye.