What is diamond clarity?

Diamond clarity refers to the minor defects, or inclusions, on the surface and within a diamond or gemstone. These inclusions or blemishes can include small cracks, bubbles, and other mineral deposits that may have formed inside the diamond during its formation process or on its surface.

How are diamond clarity grades determined?

Diamond clarity is determined by examining the diamond under a microscope or a jeweler's loupe with 10x magnification. The inclusions and blemishes in the diamond are then assessed and graded based on their type, size, location, number, and overall effect on the diamond's appearance.

When grading a diamond's clarity, the grader will look for inclusions and blemishes on the diamond's surface and inside the stone. They will also consider the location of the inclusions and blemishes and how they affect the diamond's brilliance and sparkle.

What are the different diamond clarity grades?

The diamond clarity grade scale ranges from Flawless (FL) to Included (I). The exact clarity grading scale is as follows:

  • Flawless (FL) and Internally Flawless (IF): Diamonds with no visible inclusions or blemishes when examined under 10x magnification.
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Diamonds with inclusions that are extremely difficult to see under 10x magnification.
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Diamonds with inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification but are minor and do not affect the diamond's overall appearance.
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Diamonds with inclusions that are noticeable under 10x magnification and may be visible to the naked eye.
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3): Diamonds with inclusions that are visible to the naked eye and can affect the diamond's appearance and durability.

diamond clarity grades


Which diamond clarity should I choose?

Here's the thing about clarity, generally anything graded above slightly included (SI 1/ SI 2) are going to be what we call "eye clean", meaning that the inclusions are too small to be seen with the naked eye. 

Opting for Slightly Included and Very Slight Included diamonds is a great value for your money, for the reasons listed above. As with color, the larger the diamond the greater the chance of seeing inclusions with the naked eye, so keep that in mind when choosing diamond 1 or 2 carats and above.

diamond clarity faq