Clarity

Diamond rings -

FL Loupe Clean
(flawless)

Diamond rings -

IF Loupe Clean
(internally flawless-minor surface blemishes)

Diamond rings -

VVS1-VVS2
(very, very small inclusions)

Diamond rings -

VS1-VS2
(very small inclusions)

Diamond rings -

Sl1-Sl2
(small inclusions)

Diamond rings -

l1-l2-l3
(inclusions visible to the naked eye)

Every diamond is unique. Nature ensures that each diamond is as individual as the person who wears it. Naturally-occurring features - known as inclusions - provide a special fingerprint within the stone. Inclusions, which are sometimes referred to as "nature's fingerprints", are natural identifying characteristics such as minerals or fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers and are usually not visible to the naked eye unless magnified.

When light enters a diamond, it is reflected and refracted out. If there is anything disrupting the flow of light in the diamond, such as an inclusion, a proportion of light will be lost. As a result, brilliance could be diminished. The number of inclusions can determine the degree of brilliance lost.

Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, known as clarity, which was established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The clarity scale, ranging from FL (Flawless) to Included (I), is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10x.

To view inclusions, jewelers use a magnifying loupe. This tool allows jewelers to see a diamond at 10x its actual size so that inclusions are easier to see. Even with a loupe, inclusions in the VVS(Very Very Slightly Included) to VS(Very Slightly Included) range can be very difficult to find. In fact, VVS inclusions are so tiny, most jewelers need a microscope to see them.

The position of inclusions can affect the value of a diamond. You may not notice a significant difference between a VS1 and a VS2. However, you should consider the number, size, brightness, nature and position of the inclusions. There are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, thus these diamonds are much more valuable.

What's the difference between VVS1 and VVS2, or SI1 or SI2? The numbers represents levels within each grade. The 1's will be cleaner (have fewer or smaller inclusions) then the 2's. This allows for more specific grading categories.

Some inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus having less effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond could impact the dispersion of light, sometimes making the diamond less brilliant.