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June 06, 2024 3 min read

When it comes to selecting the perfect diamond, clarity is one of the crucial factors to consider. Diamond clarity refers to the presence of internal flaws (inclusions) and external blemishes on the stone’s surface. Graded on a scale ranging from “Flawless” to “Included,” each clarity grade signifies the presence and visibility of these imperfections. Let’s unravel the meanings behind the different clarity grades to help you navigate the world of diamonds with confidence. 

Flawless (FL) and Internally Flawless (IF): The Epitome of Purity 

Flawless diamonds are exceptionally rare and prized for their impeccable clarity, devoid of any internal or external flaws visible under 10x magnification. Internally Flawless diamonds may have minor surface blemishes, but no internal imperfections. These grades represent the pinnacle of purity and perfection. 

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Nearly Impeccable 

Diamonds graded as Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS) contain “minute” inclusions that are extremely difficult to detect even under 10x magnification. VVS1 diamonds have inclusions that are extremely difficult to see, while VVS2 diamonds have slightly more visible inclusions, albeit still very “minute.” These diamonds offer exceptional clarity and brilliance, making them highly desirable.

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Minor Inclusions, Maximum Brilliance 

Very Slightly Included (VS) diamonds exhibit “minor” inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification but are typically not noticeable to the naked eye. VS1 diamonds have inclusions that are difficult to see, while VS2 diamonds may have slightly more visible inclusions. Despite these minor imperfections, VS diamonds still offer exceptional clarity and brilliance, making them an excellent choice for those seeking high-quality diamonds without the premium price tag. 

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Visible Inclusions 

Slightly Included diamonds contain noticeable or very noticeable inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible to the naked eye, especially in the case of SI2 diamonds.  While SI1 diamonds may have inclusions that are “noticeable” under 10x magnification, SI2 diamonds will have “very noticeable” imperfections under 10x magnification. On occasion, despite their lower clarity grade, SI diamonds can still be eye-clean and offer excellent value. 

Included (I1, I2, and I3): Noticeable Imperfections 

Included (I) diamonds contain inclusions that are easily visible to the naked eye and may affect the diamond’s brilliance and transparency. I1 diamonds have inclusions that are relatively easy to see, while I2 and I3 diamonds will have more pronounced imperfections that impact the stone’s overall appearance. While these diamonds may offer affordability, they are not recommended for those seeking higher clarity grades. 

Understanding diamond clarity grades is essential for making an informed decision when selecting a diamond. At your second engagement ring appointment with Soha Diamond Co., our Gemologist will take a deep dive into the clarity of diamonds, explaining further the importance of clarity when choosing a diamond. Higher clarity grades like Flawless and VVS offer purity and brilliance, and lower clarity grades like SI1 provide more affordable options but may have visible imperfections. Ultimately, the perfect diamond is one that balances your budget, preferences, and desired level of clarity, ensuring that your chosen stone shines brightly for years to come. 

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