Diamond Clarity

How clear a diamond is will influence its price and desirability. Learn more about clarity and how it will influence your purchase decision.

Clarity Explained

Loose diamonds that are completely clear are the most sought-after and the highest-priced. Surface irregularities and inclusions are the factors that determine a diamond’s clarity. Many diamonds have inclusions, such as trace minerals, scratches, and other tiny flaws that may detract from the beauty of the stone. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) use an extensive system of standards and rules to describe the location, number, size, and type of inclusions a diamond has. Below you will find a table summarizing the standards for assessing the clarity of diamonds.

A visual representation of the clarity scale used to evaluate diamonds.

  • FL Diamonds, IF Diamonds
    Flawless, internally flawless. No flaws internally or externally. Extremely rare and beautiful diamonds.
  • VVS1 Diamonds, VVS2 Diamonds
    Very, very slightly included. Very hard to see inclusions under 10X magnification. Diamonds of excellent quality.
  • VS1 Diamonds, VS2 Diamonds
    Very slightly included. Inclusions usually not visible to the naked eye. Cheaper than VVS1 or VVS2 grade loose diamonds.
  • SI1 Diamonds, SI2 Diamonds
    Slightly included. Inclusions visible under 10X magnification and might be visible with the naked eye. Good value.
  • I1, I2 & I3 Diamonds
    Included. Inclusions (maybe large feathers or large included crystals) obvious under 10X magnification. May affect transparency and brilliance.

The Best Clarity Grade

Experts typically recommend that you select loose diamonds that are "eye clean," meaning they have no inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. These diamonds are an excellent value and are much cheaper than FL, IF-grade diamonds. They will not contain visible inclusions that will detract from the brilliance or beauty of the stone.

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