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Clarity
Almost all diamonds contain tiny natural birthmarks known as either inclusions (if they are internal) or blemishes (if they exist on the surface). The fewer the imperfections, the rarer and more valuable the diamond. Clarity is graded using a very precise and complex method that evaluates the size, location, and visibility of these imperfections. In many cases, inclusions are not discernable to the naked eye and require magnification to become apparent. To assign a clarity grading, experts view a diamond under 10x power magnification.

A higher clarity is more desirable because it improves the rarity and therefore the value of a diamond. But since many inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, a higher clarity does not necessarily mean the diamond will appear more beautiful. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of the purchase when selecting the right clarity. In general, we recommend clarity of SI2 or better since a laboratory-certified clarity rating of SI2 represents the point at which inclusions are technically not apparent to the average naked eye.

The diagram below shows the top view of a round diamond with a sample of inclusions (marked in red) for each clarity grading. The size of the inclusions is not in actual terms for display purposes. Keep in mind that the inclusions plotted in red are usually not visible to naked eye until the I1-I3 clarities. We also provide a schematic of the technical clarity scale with a description of each term.

FL-Flawless
These stones have no imperfections inside or on the outside of the stone under the magnification of a loupe of 10x power.

IF-Internally Flawless
These stones have no inclusions under a loupe with a 10x power magnification.

VVS1,VVS2-Very Very Slightly Imperfect
These stones have very small inclusions, which are very difficult to see under a loupe with a 10x power magnification.

VS1,VS2-Very Slightly Imperfect
These stones have small inclusions that are slightly difficult to difficult to see under a loupe with a 10-power magnification.

SI1,SI2-Slightly Imperfect
These stones have inclusions which are fairly easy to see under a loupe with a 10 power magnification, or visible to the naked eye.

I1,I2,I3-Imperfect
These stones have inclusions that range from eye visible to very easily seen to the naked eye.