Clarity grade is a measure of the number and size of minor flaws or “inclusions” that a diamond contains. An inclusion is any spot, scratch, bubble, or line that occurred when the diamond was still being formed deep in the earth. Nearly every diamond has inclusions, but most inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Gem laboratories use a magnifying glass (at 10x magnification) to determine the amount, size, position, nature, and color of the inclusions. The clarity of diamonds ranges from “flawless” to “included”.
Did You Know?You should avoid diamonds with visible flaws that affect their overall beauty or durability, but it is not necessary to select a flawless diamond. To make sure that your diamond has no visible flaws, we recommend stones with a grade of SI2 or higher. However, some SI diamonds can provide great value as many are virtually flawless to the naked eye.
Use the interactive scale below to distinguish between clarity grades.
- FL, IF(Flawless, Internally Flawless)
- VVS1, VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)
- VS1, VS2 (Very Slightly Included)
- SI1, SI2 (Slightly Included)
- I1, I2, I3 (Included or Imperfect)
These rare diamonds contain no flaws (FL) or only very insignificant blemishes (IF) when viewed under 10x magnification.
The tiny inclusions in these stones are very difficult to see, even at 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2 (Very Slightly Included)
These stones contain inclusions that are visible only under 10x magnification.
SI1, SI2 (Slightly Included)
Diamonds at this level have inclusions that are clearly visible under magnification and may be visible without magnification.
I1, I2, I3 (Included or Imperfect)
In these diamonds, the inclusions are clearly visible without magnification.
What makes a diamond sparkle? It is created by the cut of the diamond, which is why you should pay close attention to the first of the 4C’s.
Although diamonds come in a variety of colors, you should know that it is in fact the lack of color, or “whiteness,” that increases the value of a diamond.