The clarity of a diamond refers to the number of inclusions some call ‘natures fingerprints’. These marks may not be visible to the naked eye, but under a jeweller’s loupe, marks can be identified as tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. The positions of such inclusions affect the value of a diamond. The less inclusions within the diamond, the more valuable it becomes. The clarity scale ranges from IF (Internally Flawless) to I3 (Heavily Included).
F – IF: Internally Flawless: no internal flaws. Very rare.
VVS1 – VVS2: Very Very Slightly Included. Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
VS1 – VS2: Very Slightly Included. Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
SI1 – SI2: Slightly Included. Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
I1 – I2 – I3: Included. Inclusions visible under 10x magnification, limited for the human eye.
While the presence of these clarity characteristics (inclusions and blemishes) do lower the clarity grade of a diamond, they can also be viewed as proof of a diamond’s identity. Certificates include what is known as a “plot” of a diamond’s inclusions, think of it as a “diamond fingerprint.” Since no two diamonds are exactly the same, comparing the uniqueness of your diamond’s clarity characteristics with the plot provided on the diamond certificate offers assurance that the diamond you pay for is the same diamond you receive.