Diamond Clarity refers to the amount of Inclusions or blemishes within the internal and surface features of a diamond that can possibly reduce its brilliance. Also called the freedom of the diamond, clarity is an important measure of value determined by the stone’s internal characteristics and surface features, depending on the quantity, types, position, size and color of the inclusions or blemishes therein. The reason for gauging clarity is that impurities are possibly included in the 16-carbon lattice as it forms during the cooling down of the volcanic magma from which diamonds usually originate. Grading for clarity simply entails that the diamond grader, while using at least a 10x magnifier, assess, measure and determine the quantity and pervasiveness of the inclusions and blemishes that flaw the stone. Common flaws trapped within the carbon structure include other carbon bits and such flaws known to the grader as bubbles, feathers and clouds.

Diamond Clarity Chart

Diamond clarity grades range from being “flawless” (FL), the highest grade which means utter lack of flaw in the internal structure and surface feature of the diamond to being “included” (I1-I2-I3), the lowest grade wherein Inclusions are visible to the grader, or to any individual for that matter, even without the use of a magnifier. Expectedly, the former commands the highest value because flawless diamonds are remarkably difficult to form and are hence extremely rare. Other grades, from the highest next to “flawless” to the lowest before “included”, are internally flawless (IF), very very slightly included (VVS1-VVS2), very slightly included (VS1-VS2) and slightly included (SI1-SI2-SI3). Internally flawless is when internal flaws are extremely difficult to find whereas very very slightly included is when inclusions are difficult to find using magnification below 10x. In very slightly included grade, Inclusions are still impossible to see with the naked eye and are difficult to find using less than 10x magnification, whereas in slightly included grade, inclusions can be easily spotted with a magnification below 10x or even with naked eye. Below is the table for the grading of diamond clarity:

 Clarity Grade
FL - Flawless

IF - Internally Flawless

WS1-WS2 - Very Very Slightly Included

VS1-VS2 - Very Slightly Included

SI1-SI2-SI3 Slightly Included

I1-I2-I3 Included
No internal or finished flaws. The highest grade for clarity (extremely rare)

No internal flaws (extremely rare)

Very difficult to find inclusions under 10x magnification

Difficult to find under 10x magnification, impossible to see inclusion with the naked eye

Easy to find inclusions under 10x magnification, (SI3) may be able to see inclusions with the naked eye

Inclusion that can be visible to the naked eye

In addition to searching for flaws, grading for clarity also includes observing the position of the Inclusions within the crystal. Apparently, the position of the visible flaw in the stone affects clarity grade. Those that can be seen in the table area, for instance, causes lower grade compared to flaws visible in the girdle area of the crown facets, even if said intrusions are of the same size. The position of the Inclusions affects the appearance or brilliance of the stone differently, and in the previous example, the one on the table is more conspicuous than the one at the girdle area.