Clarity refers to the presence or absence of certain diamond identifying characteristics, known as inclusions. The location, size, types and color of these inclusions all help to determine where a diamond falls on the clarity grading scale. Clarity is only one characteristic of quality, so don’t use the terms interchangeably. Keep in mind that the higher the clarity, the more rare, and consequently more expensive. Only about 2% of the world’s diamonds are flawless.
The right blending of the four C’s will put a diamond into the right price range for your client. Color and cut (the most obvious after carat weight) influence the price most significantly.
Remember: your client determines which diamond is the “right” quality; our job is to provide objective and accurate information.
The most widely accepted standard for clarity grading is the scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Its greater number of classifications makes it the strictest system. (An alternative scale is the AGS, which has slightly fewer classifications.)
|IF||No inclusions visible at 10x|
|VVS1||Minute inclusions; extremely difficult to see at 10x|
|VVS2||Minute inclusions; very difficult to see at 10x|
|VS1||Minor inclusions; difficult to see face-up at 10x|
|VS2||Minor inclusions; somewhat easy to see face-up at 10x|
|SI1||Noticeable inclusions; easy to see at 10x|
|SI2||Noticeable inclusions; very easy to see at 10x|
|I1||Obvious inclusions at 10x; visible to the unaided eye|
|I2||Obvious inclusions; easily visible to the unaided eye|
Inclusions are internal characteristics that can be colorless, white, black, green, or red.