Diamond University – Clarity Grading

What is Diamond Clarity?

Clarity refers to the amount of internal trace minerals found within diamonds, and how they affect a diamond’s appearance. A diamond with no internal flaws is considered “flawless”. Even though a diamond may look perfect to the naked eye, it is very likely that it possesses some flaws. The more flaws, the lower the clarity grade.

What are inclusions?

These flaws often consist of “”inclusions,” which are naturally-occurring blemishes within the original stone. These internal flaws affect the way that light passes through the diamond, which inhibits its ability to sparkle. There is nothing that can be done to fix an inclusion aside from cutting down the stone to remove it, but doing so reduces the value of the stone significantly. Some flaws are on the surface, which a professional diamond cutter may carefully remove by re-cutting and polishing the diamond. Re-cutting reduces the carat weight of the diamond, but may greatly improve the cut and clarity.

GRADE DESCRIPTION
FL Flawless. No internal or external flaws. Most valuable.
IF Internally flawless. The diamond has no internal flaws, but may have a couple of minor surface blemishes. These may be removed by an expert diamond-cutter, but at the loss of some of the diamond’s carat weight.
VVS1-VVS2 Very, very small inclusions. May have minute inclusions/imperfections, but these are difficult to see even with magnification.
VS1-VS2 Very small inclusions. May have small inclusions/imperfections, but these are difficult to see with the naked eye. Magnification is required.
SI1-SI2 Slight inclusions. Has slightly more small inclusions/imperfections, visible under magnification and possibly with the naked eye.
I1-I3 Imperfect. Possesses interior, irreparable flaws. Least valuable.