Not all diamonds are without “birthmarks”
The diamond clarity scale is only used for colorless loose diamonds since colored diamonds are graded on their own. All the colorless diamonds are not evenly bright or “clean” as diamonds can have inclusions or blemishes. Inclusions in a diamond are internal structural imperfections and blemishes are on the outer side of the diamond. These natural fingerprints make every diamond unique but also less valuable. Diamonds that are loupe clean, without any inclusions or blemishes are rarely found and rarity will affect a diamond its value. Some diamonds have inclusions or blemishes that can be seen by the “naked-eye”. Other colorless diamonds have tiny inclusions or blemishes that can only be seen under 10 x magnification.
In order to grade the diamonds on their clarity, a diamond clarity scale was developed. The GIA diamond clarity grading scale is used by most diamond experts. However, the IGI, AGS, CIBJO and HRD Antwerp also have a diamond clarity grading scale (adaptions from the GIA grading scale) to grade the diamond clarity.
The definition of the clarity scale
The explanation of the diamond clarity scale in this paragraph will be about the GIA clarity grading scale since the GIA is the most authoritative diamond grading lab. The definitions of the diamond clarity scale by GIA are:
No inclusions or blemishes of any sort are visible to a skilled grader using 10 x magnifications. This grade is especially rare for bigger diamonds above 3 carat. Thus, diamonds that are 8 carat and flawless will command a high price and have many people gasp at the sight of it.
IF (internally flawless)
No inclusions and only blemishes on the surface that is visible to a skilled grade using 10 x magnifications
VVS1 and VVS2 (very, very slightly included)
inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see using 10 x magnification. This clarity is mostly chosen because flawless diamonds are extremely rare. In addition, the VVS1 and VVS2 appear flawless to the “naked-eye” especially with diamonds up to 5 carat.
VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included)
Inclusions clearly visible under 10 x magnification but can be characterized as minor
SI1 and SI2 (slightly included)
Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. These are especially visible with Emerald cut diamonds.
I1, I2, I3 (imperfect)
Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may effect transparency and brilliance
Choosing a clean diamond
Finding a clean diamond that you fancy is sometimes difficult. Besides the clarity of a diamond, other points such as color, cut and carat do matter. The Diamond Registry is a matchmaker in the diamond industry since 1961. In order to help you find the diamond you are looking for you can fill in a free request on our website. By filling in this free request our wholesale diamonds experts will source the worldwide inventory of GIA certified for the loose diamond you want.