What is 'Clarity'?

What is 'Clarity'?

Inclusion found on a diamond can be considered as natures birthmark, this is what makes the stone unique when grading a diamond, the amount of inclusions and blemishes has an impact on its clarity and value. Flawless diamonds containing no inclusions are very rare and very expensive.

Diamond Clarity Terms to Remember

Diamond Inclusions

  • Imperfections, or flaws, inside a diamond.
  • Tiny spots of white, black, or other colors.
  • Cracks. Some cause no problems at all. Other could cause the stone to split.
  • Colored and uncolored crystals.

Diamond Blemishes

  • Flaws on a diamond's exterior surface.
  • Many exterior flaws are the result of the cutting and polishing process.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond clarity using 10X magnification. They tag diamonds as:

Fl, Flawless

  • No internal or external flaws.

IF, Internally Flawless

  • No internal flaws. Slight external blemishes.

VVS1 & VVS2, Very, very slightly included

  • Minute inclusions. Difficult for even an experienced grader to detect.

VS1 & VS2, Very slightly included

  • Minute inclusions. Not easily seen by an experienced grader.

SI1 & SI2, Slightly included

  • Inclusions that are noticeable to an experienced grader.

I1 & I2 & I3, Included

  • Obvious inclusions that may affect transparency and brilliance.

If you read the detailed explanations for each diamond clarity category, you'll find that flaws usually cannot be seen without magnification, even by an experienced jeweler. Most are tiny imperfections that do not affect a diamond's brilliance. It often isn't until you reach the bottom level of "I" categories that imperfections begin to detract from the beauty of the diamond.