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Diamond Clarity

What is Diamond Clarity?

Diamond clarity refers to the purity and rarity of the stone. When forming, natural microscopic characteristics can be trapped within or on the diamond. These internal and surface characteristics are inspected by gemologists, who use 10x magnification to assign a clarity grade to each diamond. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are considered particularly rare and highly valued.

Diamond Clarity Scale

Flawless with no internal or external flaws. Extremely rare and valuable.

No internal flaws.

Very difficult to see under 10x magnification.

Very difficult to see under 10x magnification. Slightly more inclusions than VVS1.

Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification. Typically cannot see inclusions with the naked eye.

Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification. Typically cannot see inclusions with the naked eye. Slightly more inclusions than VS1.

Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, but may not be very visible with unaided eye.

Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with unaided eye. More inclusions than SI1.

Diamond Clarity Chart

Experienced gemologists use 10x magnification to identify and classify clarity characteristics by size, type and position. Characteristics are mapped on a “diamond plot” which looks different for every diamond! Gemological labs, such as GIA and IGI, measure diamonds on a scale from “Included” to “Flawless”.

FL Flawless
IF Internally Flawless
VVS1
VVS2
Very Very Slightly Included
VS1
VS2
Very Slightly Included
SI1
SI2
Slightly Included
I1
I2
I3
Included
(Not Carried by Brilliant Earth)

How Important is Diamond Clarity?

The importance of diamond clarity is affected by the other diamond qualities, such as shape and size. In step-cut shapes, such as emerald cut and asscher cut diamonds, the shallow pavilion and open table accentuate the clarity of the stone and can make characteristics more easily visible. Similarly, in larger carat sizes, characteristics can be more noticeable due to larger facets.

Like all the 4C’s, the optimal clarity grade is a matter of personal preference. Every diamond is unique, even diamonds of the same clarity grade. You can discover each diamond’s unique plot when browsing our collection of ethically sourced diamonds!

Diamond Clarity FAQ

Diamond clarity is affected by inclusions, natural microscopic characteristics that are trapped within or on the diamond. Inclusions are evaluated by where they are within the diamond, their size, amount, color, and what type of inclusion it is.
Diamond inclusions can be external or internal. Common types of inclusions are crystals, feathers, and clouds.
Inclusions are natural and are developed as the diamond forms in the Earth’s crust.
Diamond clarity is measured on a scale from Included (not carried by Brilliant Earth), Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2), Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2), Internally Flawless, to Flawless. Each clarity grade represents a range so two diamonds with the same clarity grade may have different inclusions.