Diamond clarity is assessed with the help of a microscope or a tenfold magnifying glass. In order to make choosing and assessing diamonds easier, the Gemological Institute of America has developed the clarity grade consisting of six categories and some subcategories.
Classification of diamond inclusions
Spot – the smallest defect, without volume
Inclusion – a defect inside the diamond, which appears as a dimensional object of a certain size, shape and color.
Line — a defect resembling a thin line
Cavity — a split in the structure of the diamond
Cloud — a shaded area
Flawless (FL) – No surface or internal defects. Such diamonds are very rare and expensive. Just a few shops can offer the gems to their clients.
Internally Flawless (IF) – No internal defects, however there are surface ones, which can be detected only by a specialist using a microscope. The diamonds of this kind are also pretty rare and cost much.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS and VVS2) — The diamond comes with insignificant inclusions, hardly noticed even by an experienced specialist using a microscope.
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) the gem has slight inclusions, which can be easily detected with a tenfold magnifying microscope. The diamonds of the category are a nice option for those who want to make a good impression and still stay within a certain budget.
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) — There are defects, detected under a microscope. Moreover, the flaws can also be seen even without magnifying equipment.
Included (I1, I2 and I3) — flaws, various defects are detected without a microscope, the eye catches all the visual imperfections. Many experts advise to avoid buying diamonds of I category as their defects make the gems look faded.
What clarity category to choose?!
The question causes no problem if we know the purpose of buying a diamond. In case of investment, it’s reasonable to prefer FL,IF,VVS clarity categories as the price of the diamonds with such characteristics grows every year.
If you are looking for a present like earrings, a necklace, a bracelet or an engagement ring with diamonds, the best option is to choose VS and SI. The diamonds of the clarity categories look almost the same as the flawless ones; moreover the difference can be detected only with the help of special equipment. In addition, these diamonds are wonderful and their price will definitely surprise you.