Diamond Education — Clarity
Clarity is the evaluation of a diamond’s internal and external characteristics. The fewer inclusions or blemishes, the more desirable the diamond. Inclusions are inside the diamond; blemishes are on the outside of the diamond. To locate most of these tiny characteristics, a jeweler will use a ten power microscope, then, evaluating the size, location, nature, number, and color of all the inclusions and blemishes, a clarity grade is assigned. This characteristic is more than cosmetic; a heavily included diamond can be susceptible to breakage.
There are six main categories:
- Flawless (FL): Extremely rare. No inclusions or blemishes.
- Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions and only minor blemishes.
- Very Very Slightly Included (VVS): Very minute inclusions seen under scope.
- Very Slightly Included (VS): Minor inclusions seen under scope.
- Slightly Included (SI): Noticeable inclusions seen under scope and a small percentage visible to the naked eye.
- Included (I): Significant inclusions seen with the naked eye. Notice that inclusions are visible to the naked eye only in the I grade.
In most cases, there’s no link between clarity and beauty.