The formation of a diamond occurs deep within the Earth under extreme heat and pressure. Diamonds were brought to the surface by large volcanic eruptions and it is as a result of these natural processes that can leave a diamond with slight imperfections known as blemishes (the imperfection is present on the surface of the diamond) and inclusions (the imperfection is within the diamond itself). Whilst a diamond without any imperfections is usually more desirable, it may be said that each imperfection is what makes a diamond unique and often adds to its character and charm.
A diamond clarity scale is made up of six categories:
A flawless diamond is rarer than any other, with absolutely no blemishes or inclusions present even under magnification by an expert.
Internally Flawless (IF)
An internally flawless diamond has no inclusions present but a small blemish on the surface may be visible under magnification.
Very, very Slightly included (VVS1, VVS2)
A VVS1 or VVS2 diamond may contain very small inclusions that are barely visible even under magnification.
Very slightly included (VS1, VS2)
Diamonds with VS1 or VS2 clarity will have small inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye but can be seen under magnification.
Slightly included (SI1, SI2)
Slightly included diamonds contain inclusions that are visible under magnification and, upon close inspection, may be seen with the naked eye.
Included (I1, I2, I3)
Included diamonds have a number of noticeable inclusions that are visible to the naked, untrained eye.