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Diamonds Clarity and Grade

How Clarity of Diamonds is Determined and Graded

Clarity is an important aspect of a diamond, and it is important to know how to grade the clarity of a diamond before you buy one. It is actually quite easy to learn how to grade the clarity of a diamond.

What is Diamonds Clarity

There are basically two things that you must understand: Diamonds with visual inclusions and blemishes, and those that are ‘eye clean’ meaning that there are no inclusions or blemishes that can be seen with the naked eye. From there, the clarity of diamonds is further broken down into subcategories.

  Illustration   Diamond clarity grades
Fl grade


Fl - There are no inclusions or blemishes in the diamond.

Internally Flawless grade

Internally Flawless

IF - There are no inclusions and diamond might have some insignificant blemishes.

Very Very Slightly Included grades

Very, Very Slightly Included

VVS1+VVS2 - Very minor inclusions that are hard to see under 10x magnification.

Very Slightly Included grades

Very Slightly Included

VS1+VS2 - There are minor inclusions invisible to untrained eye, making it less expensive than the above VVS grades.

Slightly Included grades 1 and 2

Slightly Included

Sl1+Sl2 - Slight inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification, but invisible to the naked eye.

Slightly Included grade 3

Slightly Included

Sl3 - This grade is available by EGL, but not GIA. Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and just visible to the naked eye.

Included grade 1


I1 - For those on a small budget. Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, and maybe just visible to the untrained eye.

Included grades 2 and 3


I2+I3 - These inclusions are visible to the naked eye and such diamonds are often used in discount jewelry.

Many people mistakenly think that diamond clarity refers to how clear it is. This isn’t so. Diamonds clarity actually refers to the internal and external imperfections of the diamond.

In essence, diamonds clarity is based on presence or absence of diamond's flaws, internal inclusions, and external blemishes. These are small diamond imperfections that determine the diamond's value.

Diamonds Clarity Scale

The best diamonds, of course get a grade of FL or IF – Flawless or Internally Flawless – meaning that it is perfect.

A grade of I-1, I-2 or I-3 means that the diamond is imperfect, with a grade of I-3 being the worst.

Other grades are:

  • VVS1 and VVS2, which means that the diamond is very, very slightly imperfect;
  • VS1 and VS2, meaning the diamond is very slightly imperfect;
  • SI-1 and SI-2, which means that the diamond is slightly imperfect.

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