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DIAMOND CLARITY

All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below reflect the appearance of inclusions within the stone when viewed from above at 10x magnification Higher magnifications and viewing from other angles are also used during the grading process.

In "colourless" diamonds, darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade.

In fancy-coloured diamonds, light or pale inclusions may show greater relief, making them more apparent, causing a greater drop in grade.

GIA Clarity Grading System

The chart below explains the GIA grading system

for inclusions and imperfections.

 

Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include

the type of stone, point size and the location of inclusions.

 

Inclusions that are near to, or break the surface,

may weaken the diamond structurally,

therefore reducing its value significantly.

 

On the other hand, it may be possible to hide certain

inclusions behind the setting of the diamond

(depending on where the inclusion is located),

thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion.

Diamond Clarity Designations

FL - "Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification

IF - "Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. - small blemishes

VVS-1 - "Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification

VVS-2 - "Very Very Small" inclusions. VVS1 better than VVS2

VS-1 - "Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. - not naked eye

VS-2 - "Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2

SI-1 - "Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean"

SI-2 - "Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye

SI-3 - Inclusions large and obvious, little or no brilliance

Diamond Clarity Chart

Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation

A fairly common practice in the jewellery trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping." According to the American Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewellery Guides, a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. If a jeweller sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1, he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2.


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