Diamond Education — Clarity

Clarity is the evaluation of a diamond’s internal and external characteristics. The fewer inclusions or blemishes, the more desirable the diamond. Inclusions are inside the diamond; blemishes are on the outside of the diamond. To locate most of these tiny characteristics, a jeweler will use a ten power microscope, then, evaluating the size, location, nature, number, and color of all the inclusions and blemishes, a clarity grade is assigned. This characteristic is more than cosmetic; a heavily included diamond can be susceptible to breakage.

There are six main categories:

  • Flawless (FL):  Extremely rare. No inclusions or blemishes.
  • Internally Flawless (IF):  No inclusions and only minor blemishes.
  • Very Very Slightly Included (VVS):  Very minute inclusions seen under scope.
  • Very Slightly Included (VS):  Minor inclusions seen under scope.
  • Slightly Included (SI):  Noticeable inclusions seen under scope and a small percentage visible to the naked eye.
  • Included (I):  Significant inclusions seen with the naked eye. Notice that inclusions are visible to the naked eye only in the I grade.

In most cases, there’s no link between clarity and beauty.

Diamonds have an image of purity and light. They are given as a pledge of love and worn as a symbol of commitment. — Peter Singer