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Diamond Clarity

What is Diamond Clarity?

Diamond clarity refers to the presence of identifying characteristics on and within the diamond. These characteristics are separated into two defined categories – inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions refer to flaws within the diamond, whilst blemishes refer to imperfections on the surface of the diamond. The fewer the flaws, the greater the clarity of the diamond, resulting in higher costs, as flawless diamonds are incredibly rare.

Diamond Inclusions

Diamond inclusions refer to internal flaws. These inclusions include:

  • Air bubbles
  • Cracks
  • Clouds
  • Feathers
  • Crystal
  • Knots
  • Pinpoint
  • Laser lines

Natural diamonds are more susceptible to non-diamond mineral inclusions than lab-grown diamonds, which is why high-clarity natural diamonds are so rare and highly valued.

Diamond Blemishes

Diamond blemishes refer to surface flaws. These blemishes can occur during formation and the cutting process and include:

  • Scratches
  • Pits
  • Chips

Grades of Diamond Clarity

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

Very, Very Slightly Included category (VVS)

The VVS category is separated into two grades:

  • VVS1
  • VVS2

Whilst both have minor inclusions, VVS1 is a slightly higher clarity grade than VVS2.

Very Slightly Included category (VS)

The VS category is also separated into two grades:

  • VS1
  • VS2

Generally, the inclusions in VS diamonds are invisible without magnification. However, some VS2 inclusions may be visible to the naked eye.

Slightly Included category (SI)

Again, the SI category is separated into two grades:

  • SI1
  • SI2

These inclusions may or may not be visible to the naked eye. However, they are considered more noticeable than the VS category.

Included category (I)

Included diamonds have inclusions that are visible without magnification or have inclusions that threaten the durability of the stone. The included category is the lowest grade of clarity and least expensive category of diamond clarity.

Diamond Clarity Buying Tips

When searching for the perfect diamond engagement ring, it’s important to know what the best diamond clarity is. The most common diamond clarity is SI1. SI1 diamonds are incredibly popular because they offer buyers the great value for their money - providing a good balance between price and diamond clarity.

At Shining Diamonds, we give customers the flexibility to choose their diamond clarity - ranging from I1 to VVS1. Although, this range of diamond carat weight is the most popular, we can provide diamonds with clarity even better than VVS1, i.e. Internally Flawless (IF).

If you have any further questions about diamond clarity, contact our team at Shining Diamonds or visit us at our Hatton Garden or Brighton jewellery store. We also offer finance for all of our diamonds both in-store and online. So don’t hesitate - find your dream diamond today!

The best diamond clarity is Flawless (FL). These diamonds have no inclusions or blemishes – they are (by definition) flawless.

Slightly Included (SI1) or Very Slightly Included (VS1) grade diamonds offer the best value for money. Whilst they both have small blemishes and inclusions – making them cheaper to purchase - these imperfections are often invisible to the naked eye.

Clarity enhanced diamonds are diamonds which have been treated to improve their clarity. However, the effects of fracture filling or laser drilling aren’t permanent. Therefore, we often recommend Lab Grown Diamonds to those looking for a cheaper alternative to natural diamonds.