Of the 4Cs, clarity
is the third most important characteristic because most imperfections
cannot be seen unless under professional magnification. (Cut is
the most important 4C to consider)
Clarity refers to the tiny
imperfections called inclusions. Diamonds with the least and smallest
inclusions receive the highest clarity grades.
your budget, choose what's called an eye-clean diamond (grades VVSI-SI1),
which means it has no visible inclusions to the naked eye.
Clarity refers to the tiny, natural
imperfections that that are present in all but the rarest diamonds. The less
inclusions, the better the clarity. Gemologists refer to these imperfections by
a variety of technical names, including blemishes and inclusions. Because these
imperfections tend to be microscopic, they do not generally affect a diamond's
beauty in any discernible way.
Diamond Clarity Grade
FL & IF
magnification, inclusions are not visible, rarest clarity grade.
See FL & IF Graded Diamonds
FL: No visible
blemishes, <1% of diamonds
IF: Very slight
blemishes, <3% of diamonds
Very, Very Slightly
magnification, inclusions are so small, it is difficult to see.
See VVS Graded Diamonds
VVS1: Inclusions in
VVS2: Inclusions in
Very Slightly Included
magnification, inclusions are minor, slightly visible.
See VS Graded Diamonds
VS1: Slightly less
inclusions than VS2
VS2: Slightly more
inclusions than VS1
magnification, inclusions are noted, more visible.
See SI Graded Diamonds
possibly invisible to the eye
SI2: Inclusions often
visible to the eye
magnification, inclusions are obvious, visible to the eye.
See Diamond Jewelry
I1 Grade loose diamond
are not offered by Blue Nile
Under 10x magnification, inclusions are
obvious, visible to the eye.
Grade not offered by Blue Nile.
Expert Buying Tips
"eye-clean" diamond - one that has no imperfections visible to the
unaided-eye through the crown. An excellent value, diamonds of this clarity are
much less expensive than flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) diamonds,
which are extremely rare and command higher prices.
If you're considering
a diamond with an SI clarity grade, call to speak to a diamond and jewelry
consultant who will review the diamond to ensure the imperfections are not
visible to the unaided eye.