Understanding Diamond Clarity Grading
Did you know that- like snowflakes- each diamond is unique? Formed deep in the earth under intense heat and pressure, almost all diamonds have inclusions- bits of minerals, crystals, or other irregularities below the surface. No two diamonds have the same inclusions, and flawless diamonds are extremely rare. Most of us- even jewelry professionals- will not see a flawless diamond in our lifetime.
Together, these inclusions are known as clarity characteristics, and both give the diamond its unique identifiers and (among other traits) help to define its value.
By having a familiarity with the internationally recognized GIA diamond clarity scale, you can understand the quality and grading of your diamond.
The are eleven clarity grades, from least to most included are:
- Internally Flawless
- Two categories of Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)
- Two categories of Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)
- Two categories of Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)
- Three categories of Included (I1, I2, and I3)
Many of these inclusions are only visible under 10x magnification, and a diamond's clarity grading doesn't mean it's a "good" or "bad" diamond. A diamond's clarity grade is considered along with its cut, color, and carat weight to determine the diamond's value.