What Is Diamond Clarity?

The clarity of a diamond refers to its purity and rarity, as well as the degree to which it has blemishes and inclusions. Natural microscopic characteristics can be trapped within or on the diamond during formation. Gemologists inspect these internal and surface characteristics, assigning a numerical value (clarity grade) to each diamond using 10x magnification and a qualitative grading system.

The clarity grade of a diamond is determined by the number of imperfections and flaws in its aesthetic appearance. Keep in mind that no diamond is completely pure when determining the best clarity for a diamond. The closer it gets to purity, however, the clearer it becomes. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are extremely rare and highly valued.

While clarity has a significant impact on a diamond’s value, most flaws are visible to the naked or unaided eye

How Are Clarity Grades Determined & Diamond Clarity Chart

Evaluating diamond clarity entails determining the quantity, size, relief, type, and location of microscopic characteristics, as well as their impact on the overall appearance of the stone. 10x magnification is used by experienced gemologists to identify and classify these clarity characteristics by size, type, and position.

The characteristics are then plotted on a “diamond plot,” which is unique to each diamond! Diamonds are graded from “Included” to “Flawless” by gemological laboratories such as GIA and IGI.




Internally Flawless


Very Very Slightly Included


Very Slightly Included




Included (Not carried by St-Diamont)

How Are Clarity Grades Determined & Diamond Clarity Chart

The following are the various clarity grades to consider:

  • FL/IF: If you see anything on a flawless clarity diamond, it’s most likely dust. If that small particle were an inclusion within the diamond, it would almost certainly reduce the stone’s clarity to VVS2.
  • VVS1: Only a powerful microscope can see the pinpoints. VVS1 size inclusions are not visible at this magnification. Even when enlarged, a standard image can only focus on a single degree of depth.
  • VVS2: Because the pattern is often composed of many smaller VVS1-sized spots that add up to a VVS2 clarity grade, a gemological microscope is required to detect a VVS2 inclusion. Individual dots must be identified using a microscope because they are too small to see with a jeweler’s loupe.
  • VS1: In contrast to VVS2 clarity inclusions, a VS1 never necessitates the use of a microscope. It is, however, still tiny and will never be seen with the naked eye.
  • VS2: VS2 clarity inclusions are almost always clean to the naked eye.
  • SI1: The SI1 clarity diamond is slightly less clear than the VS2 clarity diamond. It is important to remember that a diamond’s clarity grade can be assigned based on a variety of distinct inclusion spots. A single focused inclusion determining the clarity grade is unusual. The clarity grade is typically made up of some smaller spots and clouds of tiny dots. Because each inclusion is so minor, the diamond appears flawless to the naked eye in these cases.
  • SI2: An inclusion with SI2 clarity is almost always visible to the naked eye in step cuts like the emerald and asscher. When combined with other dazzling forms, a SI2 clarity inclusion is usually visible to the naked eye. An SI2 with a black centre on an emerald cut is about as bad as it gets for a SI2. The SI2 clarity rating, like the SI1, is frequently made up of many tiny inclusions.

Types Of Inclusion

Small crystals may become trapped inside a diamond during its formation. When a crystal grows, its atomic structure can sometimes become distorted. The size, location, and visibility of inclusions all have an impact on a diamond’s clarity.

There are many different types of inclusions to consider when evaluating the clarity of a diamond. Here are some of the most common types, as well as an explanation of what they are:

  • Cloud: A cloud is not a singular flaw in a diamond; rather, it is a cluster of extremely small pinpoints that can reduce the diamond’s brilliance. A cloudy diamond is one that has a lot of big clouds in it.
  • Graining: Because of the irregular crystal development, this inclusion causes internal graining, which appears as white, coloured, or reflecting lines, giving the diamond a hazy appearance.
  • Cavity: Depending on the minerals contained within the diamond’s body, the cavities may appear colourless. Colored crystal inclusions in the cavity become much more visible and are likely to be visible to the naked eye.
  • Feather: This is a tiny fracture within the diamond that, depending on the angle from which it is viewed, may appear translucent or capture the light and give the diamond a white appearance.

How Important Is Diamond Clarity?

Clarity impacts how a diamond shines and appears when illuminated, with fewer inclusions indicating a more brilliant shine. Keep in mind that no diamond is completely pure when determining the best clarity for a diamond. The closer it gets to purity, however, the clearer it becomes.

Furthermore, the significance of diamond clarity is influenced by other diamond qualities such as shape and size. The shallow pavilion and open table of step-cut diamonds, such as emerald cut and asscher cut diamonds, accentuate the clarity of the stone and can make characteristics more visible. Similarly, larger carat sizes can make characteristics more visible due to larger facets.

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