Diamond Clarity

This refers to the presence of identifying characteristics and inclusions of the diamond. There are two types of inclusions: internal and surface inclusions.

Diamonds with no or few inclusions and blemishes are more highly valued than those with less clarity because they are rarer.

Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. Grades range from Flawless (diamonds which are completely free of blemishes and inclusions), to Included 3 (diamonds which possess large, heavy blemishes and inclusions that are usually visible to the naked eye).

  • FL
    Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
  • IF
    Internally Flawless: No internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
  • VVS1-VVS2
    Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
  • VS1-VS2
    Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
  • SI1-SI2
    Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
  • I1-I2-I3
    Included (three grades). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification and may be visible to the human eye.

While the presence of these clarity characteristics does lower the clarity grade of a diamond, they can also be viewed as proof of a diamond's identity. GIA certificates include a "plot" of a diamond's inclusions - like a "diamond fingerprint."

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