Most diamonds contain natural internal features called “inclusions” which were formed during the crystallization process that occurred millions of years ago. It is the type, amount, size, and position of inclusions that determine the clarity grade of a diamond. The clarity grading system established by the G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) is as follows:
- FL – flawless. No external or internal imperfections
- IF – internally flawless. No internal inclusions
- VVS1 – VVS2. Very, very slight inclusions
- VS1 – VS2. Very slight inclusions
- SI1 – SI2. Slight inclusions
- I1. Inclusion barely visible to the trained naked eye
- I2 – I3. obvious inclusions seen with the naked eye
Diamonds are graded for clarity only by an experienced professional using a 10 power magnification process in normal light. From “SI2” all the way up to “Flawless” there are zero inclusions that you can see with the naked eye and, consequently, any inclusions that are present WILL NOT affect the brilliancy of the stone.
Brilliance is not affected until you reach a clarity grade of I2. We often describe an “SI” clarity as a diamond which we could immediately see inclusions when viewed under 10X magnification. A diamond that is graded a “VS” has inclusions that we have to look for under 10X magnification, while “VVS” stones have inclusions we literally have to search for.
If the diamond is over 47 points, these categories are always sub-graded into one or two depending on the extent and position of the inclusions. From this description, you can easily see that clarity grading, (as well as colour grading), can be somewhat subjective. Therefore, it is extremely important that the grading of a diamond be done accurately.
This is exactly why we only sell certified diamonds!