purity and rarity

What is Diamond Clarity?

Diamond clarity is a measure of the purity and rarity of the stone, graded by the visibility of these characteristics under 10-power magnification. A stone is graded as flawless if, under 10-power magnification, no inclusions (internal flaws) and no blemishes (external imperfections) are visible.

Billions of years of intense heat and pressure from volcanic forces shape the carbon atoms underground into diamonds. A diamond’s clarity is dependent on the amount of time, heat, and pressure, the more of each, the clearer the stone. Clarity is defined by nature and cannot be altered, only graded.
Inspecting a diamond under 10x power magnification allows the grader to detect blemishes or ‘inclusions’ in the stone, affecting its grade. A flawless diamond showing no internal flaws or external inclusions is rare: the fewer the flaws and inclusions, the more valuable the diamond. A diamond with a poor clarity grade has multiple inclusions, which directly affects sparkle. Because inclusions hinder the refraction and return of light, the lower the clarity grade, the cloudier the diamond will appear.

The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale

The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.

Flawless FL

No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification

Internally Flawless IF

No inclusions visible under 10x magnification

Very Very Slightly Included VVS

Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification

Very Slightly Included VS

Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor

Slightly Included SI

Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification

Included I

Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance