Inclusions found on a diamond can be considered nature's birthmarks, the distinguishing characteristics that make the stone unique. When grading a diamond, the amount of inclusions and blemishes has a direct impact on its clarity and value. Flawless diamonds containing no inclusions are extremely rare and very expensive. A majority of the commercially sold diamonds contains inclusions that are undetectable to the unaided eye.
Diamond Clarity Grading
Gemmologists grade the results of the analysis on a diamond clarity chart. The different grades on this chart and their features are as follows:
FL and IF – Flawless, Internally Flawless
As the name suggests, diamonds with these grades are flawless. The 10x magnification doesn’t show any internal inclusions when you view a diamond with this clarity. However, such diamonds may or may not have surface flaws or blemishes.
VVS1 and VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Included
This grading means there are only some inclusions that are hard to see even with 10x magnification. Inclusions in the VVS1 gems are visible from the bottom-up view while that of VVS2 are visible in the face-up view.
VS1 and VS2 – Very Slightly Included
When small inclusions, such as crystals of other elements, show up in diamonds under the 10x magnification, they get this clarity grading. You need to look very hard to find these imperfections. Of VS1 and VS2, the former has a high clarity grade than the latter.
SI1, SI2, and SI3 – Slightly Included
Diamond with a presence of clear inclusions under magnification feature this low on the clarity chart.
I1, I2, and I3 – Included
These diamonds contain obvious inclusions. You can see the inclusions in these diamonds with 10x magnification and often with the naked eye. Such diamonds tend to have low transparency and usually lack brilliance.