A flawless diamond is very rare and valuable
The clarity of a diamond assesses the degree of flawlessness. Most imperfections are not visible to the naked eye and require magnification to be detected. Under 10x magnifications, the clarity of a diamond is appraised by looking at the inclusions (internal objects) and blemishes (external marks). Almost all diamonds will contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon or small non-diamond crystals to a certain degree. It is part of the formation process of diamonds and varies per diamond, making every stone unique. However, the fewer inclusions or blemishes there are, the rarer the diamond is, significantly affecting the diamond’s value.
GIA clarity grading scale
Using the GIA International Diamond Grading System, diamonds are classified with a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to obvious inclusions visible to the naked eye (I3).
Diamond Clarity Grading:
- FL (flawless): no inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. Extremely rare.
- IF (internally flawless): no inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. Extremely rare.
- VVS1 & VVS2 (very, very slightly included): inclusions are difficult to see for a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
- VS1 & VS2 (very slightly included): Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification yet can be characterized as minor and are invisible to the naked eye.
- SI1 & SI2 (slightly included): Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
- I1, I2 & I3 (imperfect): Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and affect transparency and brilliance.