Below is an example of diamonds ranging from I-F. As you can see, the stones range from Included or Imperfect (I 1-3) to Internally Flawless (IF).
Depending on the quality of diamond you are searching for, price will be adjusted by the level of clarity in the scale. Many of the larger jewelry retailers will have GIA certifications. The certifications will provide a plot map of the diamond and its internal and external characteristics. For the inexperienced eye, the certifications provide trustworthy summary of the stone, some call it the diamonds fingerprint. If a certification or a private appraisal is not provided, then it is vital as a buyer to have some skills grading clarity. Here is a brief description of each category graded by the GIA.
- Flawless- A Flawless diamond will show no blemishes or inclusions under a 10x magnifier.
- Internally Flawless (IF)- IF diamonds show no inclusions yet may have minor blemishes using the 10x magnifier.
- Very Very Slightly Included (VVS 1 and VVS 2)- In a VVS1, inclusions and blemishes are present but very hard to see even by the most experienced eye. VVS2 stones have slightly more noticeable flaws that are still miniscule in general.
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)- Most diamonds fall in this category due to the rareness of Flawless and Internally Flawless stones. They contain small crystal clouds and possible light fractures within.
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)- Contain noticeable flaws under a 10x loupe like crystals and carbon spots.
- Included (I1, I2, and I3)- Contain obvious flaws that have a great impact in the overall value and reflective sparkle that diamonds have. The I3 is the worst of the three and has little demand in the market.