A Beginner’s Guide to Diamond Clarity


When it comes to buying a diamond, there are many factors to take into consideration. Most commonly these are known as ‘The 4 C’s’; clarity, colour, cut and carat. Colour refers to the absence of colour, carat; the weight and size of the diamond and the cut is focussed on brilliance.

When it comes to clarity, this is a reference to how many imperfections the gemstone has. The higher the grade, the fewer flaws the diamond has. Before purchasing make sure you do a sufficient amount of research, there are many places online that will help you out such as

Multiple classifications are ranging from Flawless to I2 and I3. So, let’s break it down.

Flawless and Internally Flawless

Inclusions, or any flaws for that matter, are not visible on flawless diamonds, even under 10x magnification. Diamonds of this grade are incredibly rare with less than 1% being of FL clarity. Similar to Flawless diamonds, inclusions are not visible even under 10x magnification on Internally Flawless stones. However, there may be a couple of minor surface blemishes that are visible.


A high level of clarity that’s a lot more attainable. VVS diamonds have small inclusions that a lot of the time are not visible to the naked eye, but these will be visible under 10x magnification. VVS is broken down between VVS1 and VVS2, both are very similar but where VVS1’s inclusions will be located on the underside or similar hard-to-see places, VVS2’s inclusions will be on the crown.


Although to the naked eye, VS diamonds aren’t much different from their VVS counterparts, the difference in price here can be pretty hefty. The inclusions on VS diamonds are also not visible without the aid of the 10x magnifier. The grade is split between VS1 and VS2; VS2 diamonds may have flaws that are visible to the naked eye.


Here inclusions are 100% noticeable with magnification. SI1 are sometimes visible to the naked eye and with SI2, most likely visible.

I1, I2 and I3 Diamonds

I1 diamonds have minor inclusions that will likely be visible to the naked eye.

I2 and 3 are the lowest clarity grade, inclusions on these diamonds will be more obviously visible to the naked eye.

Something important to note is that clarity can depend on the shape of the diamond. Certain shapes are a lot better at hiding imperfections than others.

Emerald and Asscher

When it comes to Emerald and Asscher cuts, you should aim for a gem with a VS2 clarity at the very least.

Round and Oval

A solid choice of diamond if you’re on a budget, these diamonds are normally pretty good at hiding inclusions. You can go as low as SI1 or 2 and the gem will still have a high probability of appearing flawless.


Another gem that does well at hiding inclusions, stick to Princess-cut diamonds of SI1 or above. It’s also important to note that inclusions on the corners can mean the diamond is more susceptible to chipping.


These diamonds have many angles and facets which helpfully stops inclusions from showing a lot of the time. Feel free to go as low as SI1 or 2 and feel comfortable your diamond will appear flawless.

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