Diamond Clarity 101

by | Jan 27, 2023 | buying a diamond

Welcome to Diamond Clarity 101! If you’re searching for a diamond, chances are you want one that’s clear, sparkling, and striking to look at! When you are ready to shop for your next diamond, it might be helpful to understand the diamond clarity scales. Though many diamonds appear to have no blemishes to the naked eye, understanding the basics of diamond clarity will reassure you that you’re getting a quality stone. The Diamond Room experts can help you find a diamond that will remain gorgeous for years.

What Does “Clarity” Mean?


Diamond clarity refers to the purity and rarity of the stone and the degree to which it presents blemishes and inclusions. During the formation of the diamond, microscopic characteristics can get trapped in the stone. These characteristics can affect the diamond’s appearance, causing an imperfect or cloudy appearance. Geologists examine these characteristics using 10x magnification and a grading system to assign a clarity grade to each diamond.

The fewer imperfections, the higher the diamond’s clarity grade will be. While some diamonds have higher clarity than others, no diamond is entirely pure. Diamonds with little to no inclusions are extremely rare and highly valued, making them more difficult to buy. However, most defects within a diamond are not visible to the naked eye, so even if your diamond has some small imperfections, it will almost always appear flawless when worn.

Determining Clarity Grade


Evaluating clarity entails assessing the quantity, size, relief, type, and location of the microscopic characteristics and how they affect the overall appearance of the diamond. The clarity grading scale measures from included–meaning the characteristics are visible to the naked eye–to flawless. 

The basic rating scale is as follows:

  • FL – This rating stands for “flawless,” meaning no microscopic characteristics are present in the diamond. This rating is extremely rare.
  • VVS1 – VVS2 – These ratings denote very slight characteristics present, but they can only be seen with a microscope.
  • VS1-2 – Diamonds with these ratings will have characteristics that do not require a microscope to be seen; their characteristics may be visible with a jeweler’s loupe, which has less magnification. Still, diamonds with these ratings generally appear flawless to the naked eye.
  • SI1 – SI2 – On the lowest end of the grading scale, diamonds with these ratings may have characteristics visible to the naked eye.

Several types of inclusions in a diamond may affect the clarity grade. 

The most common types of inclusions are:

  • Cloud – A collection of tiny pinpoints grouped together may impair the stone’s brilliance, resulting in a “cloudy” or foggy appearance.
  • Graining – Uneven crystal development can produce internal graining that looks like white, hazy streaks within the diamond.
  • Cavity – Diamonds may include small holes, which can become more visible when the crystal inclusions are colored.
  • Feather – Tiny fractures in the diamond may take on a translucent appearance, giving the diamond a white look.


Why Is Clarity Important?


Clarity has a significant impact on a diamond’s value and appearance. A diamond will appear cleaner and sparkly with fewer inclusions and blemishes. Even if the diamond has excellent cut grades or is a large stone if it has a dull, cloudy appearance or visible blemishes, the value of the stone can suffer. That said, if the diamond’s blemishes are not visible to the naked eye, rest assured that you are making a good purchase. Some buyers prefer a stone closer to flawless, while others are fine with a stone with a mid-range clarity grade but appear stunning nonetheless. Whichever you choose, The Diamond Room will find you a stone you won’t want to stop looking at!


Natural vs. Lab-Grown Diamonds


Natural and lab-grown diamonds both use the same clarity grading scales. Lab-grown diamonds can be just as pure and flawless as natural ones, and vice versa. However, lab-grown diamonds are more likely to have higher clarity grades; since they are formed under highly controlled conditions, there is less interference from nature that can affect the diamond’s formation, resulting in fewer inclusions. Like a high-quality natural diamond, lab-grown diamonds will not get cloudy over time or lose their stunning appearance. No matter which type of diamond you choose, you’ll get a gorgeous stone with longevity and Sparkle.


The Diamond Roon Difference


The Diamond Room offers high-quality diamonds with strong clarity to ensure your diamond has a stunning appearance. We will compare diamonds with you side by side, so you can view the characteristics of each diamond and choose for yourself which diamond is right for you. Occasionally, jewelers and labs might disagree on the grade a diamond should receive, and we want our customers to be able to make an educated decision when choosing a diamond. If you have questions about clarity grading scales or would like to browse our selection of beautiful gems, contact us today to book your appointment.

Diamond Date Night

Choose your music, pour a drink, enjoy some superb hors d’oeuvres and explore the most romantic way to buy a diamond. Learn how you can schedule a Diamond Date Night.

About the Author

Matt O'Desky

I grew up in Chicago where we always had a “Diamond District” – an area of town with a slew of buildings filled with dozens of private jewelry wholesalers and upstairs diamond dealers.

When I moved to Texas, and realized there were few if any private jewelers, and I knew what I should do: Deliver a far more personalized experience, in a far more relaxed and enjoyable environment than any department store jeweler could possibly offer.

And show my clients obviously better diamonds at clearly better prices.

Connect With Us

0 items