Diamonds are formed deep within the earth under extreme heat and pressure. Because of this they often contain unique birthmarks which are in the form of inclusions (internal) or blemishes (external). The clarity of a diamond refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Every diamond is unqiue. A diamond without inclusions and blemishes is considered flawless and are extremely rare making them very valuable. Most jewelers have never seen a flawless diamond. The Gemological Institute of America has a grading scale to determine diamond clarity. (FL) is considered a flawless diamond. A diamond with obvious inclusions and blemishes is graded an (I3). Most diamonds fall into the Very Slight Inclusions (VS) or Slight Inclusions (SI). The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification.
Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification. Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification. Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification. Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification. Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification. Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.