In a previous post we discussed diamond clarity and the GIA clarity grading scale. In this post we wanted to take a closer look at each clarity grade to give you a better understanding of why diamonds with a higher clarity grade are more rare and therefore more costly.
For diamonds in the VVS range and lower the grader is looking for clarity characteristics totally enclosed within the diamond or extending into it from the surface. For Flawless or Internally Flawless diamonds the grader is looking for clarity characteristics on the surface of the diamond.
GIA Diamond Clarity Grading Scale
F diamonds have basically no inclusions or blemishes. They are extremely rare, so rare in fact that many will never see one. A Flawless diamond can have some clarity characteristics and still be considered Flawless such as: extra facets, naturals confined to the girdle, or internal graining.
Internally Flawless (IF)
IF diamonds may have blemishes, but no inclusions. In the 1970’s GIA added this clarity grade for diamonds that didn’t meet the strict guidelines of Flawless. The blemishes on an IF diamond can be removed by polishing.
Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2)
VVS diamonds contain very tiny inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification. The inclusions in VVS1 diamonds are extremely difficult to see in the face up position and they may be visible only through the pavilion. Inclusions in VVS2 diamonds are very difficult to see.
Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2)
VS diamonds contain minor clarity characteristics that range from difficult to see (VS1) to somewhat easy to see (VS2) under magnification and to a trained grader. In some very rare cases, a VS diamond may have eye-visible inclusions. The common inclusions found in a VS diamond are clouds, crystals, or groups of pinpoints. These inclusions do not affect the diamond’s beauty and are a great choice for engagement rings.
Slightly Included (SI1, SI2)
SI diamonds contain inclusions that are visible when viewed under magnification and some may also be visible to the unaided eye. The common inclusions found in SI diamonds are crystals, feathers, and clouds. Because some SI diamonds are “eye-clean” they offer a great value for your money.
Included (I1, I2, I3)
I diamonds contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. Since 1910 does not offer I clarity diamonds.
To learn more about diamond clarity characteristics, visit our diamond education section
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