Diamonds that are absolutely clear are the most sought-after and therefore the most expensive. But many diamonds have inclusions — scratches, trace minerals or other tiny characteristics that can detract from the pure beauty of the diamond. The GIA and AGSL use a detailed system of rules and standards to summarize the number, location, size, and type of inclusions present in a diamond.
FL, IF Diamonds
: Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Internally Flawless: No internal flaws. Very rare and beautiful diamonds.
VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds
: Very, Very Slightly Included: Very difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification. An excellent quality diamond.
VS1, VS2 Diamonds
: Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are not typically visible to the unaided eye. Less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades.
SI1, SI2 Diamonds
: Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible with the unaided eye. A good diamond value.
I1, I2, I3 Diamonds
: Included: Inclusions are visible to the unaided eye.
What Clarity Grade Is Best?
We recommend that you select an “eye-clean” diamond — one that has no inclusions visible to the unaided eye. An excellent value, diamonds of this clarity are much less expensive than IF- or FL-grade diamonds and typically do not contain visible inclusions that detract from the beauty of the diamond. If you’re considering an SI grade diamond, call to speak to a diamond and jewelry consultant who will review the diamond to ensure the inclusions are not visible with the unaided eye. But, if you’d rather not compromise on clarity yet are budget conscious, choose a diamond with a good cut and G or H color.