The clarity of a diamond refers to an assessment of small surface characteristics called blemishes and/or internal features called inclusions. Clarity can often be the least important consideration when buying a diamond because most inclusions are microscopic and not visible to the untrained eye. If you want to ensure a diamond is eye-clean you should consider SI1 or better in 0.12; carat diamonds and smaller, or VS2 clarity grade in larger stones particularly over 2.00 carats.
Diamond Clarity Scale
Heavily Included (I2 - I3)
Inclusions are quite obvious, visible to the eye under 10times magnification.
Inclusions are less obvious, visible to the eye under 10times magnification.
Slightly Included (SI2)
More noticeable inclusions at 10times often apparent to the discerning eye.
Slightly Included (SI1)
Inclusions are noticeable at 10times and occasionally clear to the most discerning eye.
Very Slightly Included (VS2)
Inclusions are minor and slightly more visible at 10x.
Very Slightly Included (VS1)
Inclusions are minor and slightly less visible at 10x.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS2)
Inclusions are very difficult to see at 10x
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1)
Inclusions are extremely difficult to see at 10 x.
Internally Flawless (IF)
Very slight blemishes, less than 3% of diamonds.
Inclusions are so small, it is difficult to see under 10x
No visible blemishes, < 1% of diamonds.
Inclusions are not visible under 10X, rarest clarity grade.
Select an "eye-clean" diamond - one that has no imperfections visible to the unaided-eye through the crown. Diamonds of this clarity are much less costly (and more value for money) than flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) diamonds, which are extremely rare and, in turn, expensive.
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