A diamond’s clarity refers to the type, number and placement of blemishes or inclusions found in the diamond. There are many determining factors that contribute to this and a diamond’s clarity will greatly affect its value, price and rarity. Most natural diamonds have some or both of these to a degree and are commonly referred to as birthmarks or identifying factors.
Inclusions are internal imperfections in a diamond, while blemishes are external. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the most widely accepted grading system and below is their grading system for clarity.
(FL) Flawless –
No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
(IF) Internally Flawless –
No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
(VVS1 and VVS2) Very, Very Slightly Included –
Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
(VS1 and VS2) Very Slightly Included –
Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
(SI1 and SI2) Slightly Included –
Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
(I1, I2 and I3) Included –
Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification, which may affect transparency and brilliance
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