DIAMOND CLARITY FLAWLESS.IF.VVS.VS.SI.I.
When we speak of a diamond's clarity, we are referring to the presence of identifying characteristics on and within the stone. While most of these characteristics are inherent qualities of the rough diamond and have been present since the earliest stages of the crystal's growth below ground, a few are actually a result of the harsh stress that a diamond undergoes during the cutting process itself.
Clarity Grading Diamonds
All diamonds are graded based on their appearance--that is, the presence or absence of blemishes and inclusions--under 10x magnification. They are graded on a scale that ranges from Flawless to Imperfect.
They have no blemishes or inclusions. To be graded as Flawless, the diamond must appear completely clean to the gemologist under both a jeweler's loupe and a microscope at 10x magnification.
Internally Flawless (IF) Diamonds
Have no internal inclusions and only very, very minor blemishes that are apparent only under 10x magnification.
Very Very Slightly Included (VVS) Diamonds
They are graded within one of two subcategories: VVS1 and VVS2. In both categories, the inclusions which are present are extremely hard to see, even for a trained gemologist. Often, even under magnification the inclusions are still only visible from the pavilion (upside-down position) and not in the face-up position. The most typical inclusions found in diamonds within these two clarity grades are a few tiny pinpoints, faint clouds, tiny feathers, or internal gaining.
Very Slightly Included (VS) Diamonds
These diamonds are also graded within one of two subcategories: VS1 and VS2. They have minor inclusions which are minute and impossible to detect with the naked eye, but which are apparent to a gemologist under 10x magnification. Inclusions which are typical in these clarity grades include small included crystals, feathers, distinct clouds, and groupings of pinpoints.
Slightly Included (SI) Diamonds
They fall within one of two subcategories: SI1 and SI2. Within both of these categories, inclusions are often centrally located and easily detectable under 10x magnification. In some cases, an inclusion may even be visible to the naked eye when the diamond is held a couple of inches away from the viewer's eye, though no inclusions will be visible when the diamond is mounted or held at normal wearing distance (12" to 16") from the eye. Typical inclusions in these clarity grades are included crystals, clouds, and feathers.
Imperfect (I) Diamonds
These diamonds actually are subdivided into three categories--I1, I2, and I3--though it is unlikely that you will ever see an I3 being sold as jewelry (because of the severity of their inclusions, they are usually used as industrial abrasives instead). However, it is not uncommon to find many attractive I1 and I2 diamonds being sold today. These grades contain inclusions that are very obvious under 10x magnification; these inclusions may even be visible to the naked eye as well.
Typical characteristics of these grades include large included crystals and feathers. Because of their lower clarity, I1 and I2 diamonds can offer an excellent cost savings for customers who are working with a smaller budget but still desire a good size diamond. If you are buying from Jewelry Depot, Inc. (JD Houston), don't be concerned about the stability or brilliance of these diamonds; we will not sell any Imperfect diamond in which the inclusions threaten the integrity of the diamond or diminish its brilliance.