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Diamond Clarity Guide

What is Diamond Clarity?

This refers to the presence of identifying characteristics on (blemishes) and within (inclusions) the stone. Diamonds with no or few inclusions and blemishes are more highly valued than those with less clarity because they are rarer. There are two types of flaws in most diamonds.

  1. Inclusions refer to internal flaws; include flaws such as air bubbles, cracks and non-diamond minerals, clouds, feathers, crystal, knots, pinpoint, lasers lines found in the diamond.
  2. Blemishes refer to surface flaws; include flaws such as scratches, pits and chips. Some blemishes occur during the cutting process.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond clarity using 10X magnification. They tag diamonds as:

  • Very, Very Slightly Included category (VVS) diamonds have minute inclusions that are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10 x magnifications. The VVS category is divided into two grades; VVS1 denotes a higher clarity grade than VVS2.
  • Very Slightly Included category (VS) diamonds have minor inclusions that are difficult to somewhat easy for a trained grader to see when viewed under 10x magnification. The VS category is divided into two grades; VS1 denotes a higher clarity grade than VS2. Typically the inclusions in VS diamonds are invisible without magnification, however infrequently some VS2 inclusions may still be visible.
  • Slightly Included category (SI) diamonds have noticeable inclusions that are easy to very easy for a trained grader to see when viewed under 10x magnification. The SI category is divided into two grades; SI1 denotes a higher clarity grade than SI2. These may or may not be noticeable to the naked eye.
  • Included category (I) diamonds have obvious inclusions that are clearly visible to a trained grader under 10 x magnification. Included diamonds have inclusions that are usually visible without magnification or have inclusions that threaten the durability of the stone.

Diamond Clarity Chart

Buying Tips

  1. The most common diamond clarity is SI1. It provides a good balance between price and diamond clarity and is generally value for money
  2. At Shining Diamonds we give customers the flexibility to choose from a selection of diamond clarity ranging from I1 to VVS1. This range of diamond carat weight is most popular, however if required we can provide diamonds with clarity even better than VVS1, i.e., Internally Flawless (IF). Please contact us for a customised quote