Learn: THE 4 Cs

Diamond Clarity

Clear and flawless to unique and intriguing
Totally perfect diamonds are the rarest of all and their price reflects their rarity, but most diamonds have some kind of small mineral deposit, known as an inclusion. This includes feathering or graining, similar to that of natural wood, and needling which are created by the crystallisation of another natural substance in the Earth’s mantle layer becoming locked into the diamond as it forms

Types of inclusions/characteristics:
Trace elements – submicroscopic minerals which moved through the Earth’s mantle layer as fluid several million years ago and were present in the formation process
Natural feathers or fissures – similar to a microscopic hairline crack

Crystallisations:
Graining – subtle irregular crystal growth similar to natural wood grain formation
Needles – a circular crystal present during formation pressurised into a fine linear shape
Clouds – a smattering of tiny crystals creating a cluster effect within the diamond
Blemishes – a minute scratches of tiny crystals creating a cluster effect within the diamond

At the higher end of the grading scale these characteristics are barely perceptible, and as you scale down, any organic inclusions within diamonds can give a particularly unique effect

Here’s what the clarity grades mean:

FL means a stone is Flawless inside and out, and IF means that it is Internally Flawless but may have superficial and oh-so microscopic scratches on the surface. These are the rarest and highest valued diamonds, commanding a serious price tag.

VVS1
or VVS2 stones are very, very slightly included, but these are pretty much undetectable even when looked at under 10x magnification.

VS1
or VS2 stones are very slightly included with minute characteristics that are barely visible to the naked eye.

SI1
grade stones – the most commercially sought – are slightly included but it’s still barely noticeable to the naked eye. These are true budget optimisers and with just the right choice of cut, can offer big results when it comes to brilliance and fire, aka the bright clear light and coloured glimmers that a diamond emits when it glints. Our diamond selection stops here on the clarity scale.
We don’t use any diamonds graded lower than SI1 this but here’s how the grading is classified for diamonds on the rest of the scale.

SI2 grade stones have inclusions that are visible under a 10x loupe magnifier and can sometimes be seen by the naked eye.

I1, I2 or I3 or included diamonds have the most internal and external inclusions or blemishes which can affect brilliance and transparency. These are the easiest diamonds to come by and are the least expensive.

At VASHI, you’re able to be part of the whole design process. You’ll sit right at the workbench with our craftspeople. You can handle, feel and inspect loose diamonds in-store, witnessing first-hand how light reflects and refracts through the unique structure of each one. Then choose your stone by what looks good in person, not just on paper.