Diamond Clarity Grades

Diamond Clarity Grades

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has defined diamond clarity as the “Absence of Inclusions and Blemishes”. GIA has implemented six primary diamond clarity grades. The highest grade is known as Flawless (FL), followed by the second highest grade, Internally Flawless (IF). The size of the inclusions is the main differences between diamond quality VSS and VS quality gemstones.

Both VVS and VS are quite popular when it comes to diamond clarity grades. So what are the differences between diamond quality and how are these two grades characterized and which one should you consider when you’re ready to make a purchase?

The third highest grade is (Very-Very Slightly Included) and the fourth grade is (Very Slightly Included). It’s important to remember that when you’re ready to purchase a quality diamond that (VVS) scores higher than a (VS) diamond. The fifth grade on the scale is Slightly Included (SI) and the sixth grade on the scale is Included (I).

VSS Diamond Gemstones Defined

The clarity of VVS diamond gemstones have precise slight imperfections and when magnified with a microscope or loupe, even highly trained experts have a hard time telling the differences between diamond quality VVS and VS gemstones. The VVS is broken down into two sub-categories: VVS1 and VVS2, and VVS1 having the higher grade.

VS Diamond Gemstone Defined

With 10x magnification VS clarity diamond gemstones have inclusions typically harder to see. A minute fraction of these inclusions are more visible, however, they’re still very hard to see. VS is also broken down into two sub-categories: VS1 and VS2.

The Number One Difference in VVS Diamond Gemstones

The biggest differences between diamond quality VVS and VS is in the magnitude of the inclusions. Diamonds with a VVS grade have smaller and fewer flaws. The VS grade diamond has visible inclusions that are easier to see under magnification. Microscopically, they’re still minute, however, one or two inclusions can be detected with a jeweler’s loupe. These inclusions are not visible without magnification.

The Second Difference in VS Diamond Gemstones

The differences between diamond quality VS and VSS gemstones is VS diamonds do in fact have more inclusions. Another way to tell the difference between VS and VSS diamonds is in the number of inclusions. Typically, VS diamonds will have more. Sometimes the number of inclusions doesn’t always hold true. It’s possible for both VSS and VS diamonds to have the same amount of flaws. If this is the case, the VS graded diamond will get the upper score because the inclusions are bigger and easier to see.

The Peripheral Similarity in VSS and VS Diamond Gemstones

We’ve already determined that the differences between diamond quality VSS and VS gemstones are in the size and number of inclusions. Where these flaws and inclusions are located is closer to the periphery of the gemstone. What this means is when you inspect the diamond from the top, you won’t be able to see any visible flaws or inclusions around the center of the diamond.

The Benefit of VS Clarity Diamond Gemstones

The VVS diamond has a higher clarity grade, so why does VS get the edge when it comes to clarity? The answer is in the price. The VS clarity diamond gemstone will be less expensive than its predecessor the VSS clarity one. The price is substantially less, as much a couple thousand dollars.

A higher-ranking color or cut can make a VS diamond gemstone more expensive than a VVS diamond. It’s important to assess all characteristics when considering qualities in a diamond gemstone. When it comes to affordability, the VS clarity diamond is the clear winner. Spending more money on the cut of a diamond will add more sparkle to your diamond versus paying for a slightly better clarity.  We hope you found our diamond clarity grades guide helpful! For more information and a vast selection of quality diamonds please feel free to reach out to us!

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