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Home> Education Center > 4 C's > Diamond Clarity


Most diamonds have unique clarity characteristics, much like a fingerprint. These distinguishing characteristics can be classified as inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are enclosed within a diamond, or they extend into the diamond from its surface. Blemishes are confined to the diamond's surface. These characteristics can detract from the pure beauty of the diamond. When light enters a diamond, it is reflected and refracted out. If there is anything disrupting the flow of light in the diamond, such as an inclusion, a proportion of the light reflected may be lost.

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GIA and AGS Clarity Grade Scale
The table below provides an explanation of the clarity grades and demonstrates the effect that clarity has on diamond pricing, assuming carat, cut and color remain the same. To get the most value, Diamond Buy suggests selecting a diamond that is "eye clean" where no internal flaws are visible to the unaided eye.The sample images shown depict how a flaw (inclusion or blemish) may appear under 10X magnification.








Flawless and Internally Flawless
Flawless: No inclusions or blemishes of any sort under 10X magnification. Internally Flawless: No inclusions, but some minor blemishes.



1 - 2

Very Very Slightly included
Contains minute inclusions that are very difficult to see under 10X magnification, even for an experienced grader.


VS1 - VS2

3 - 4

Very Slightly included
Contains minute inclusions when observed with effort under 10X magnification. An excellent value as there is no noticeable difference to the unaided eye from VVS.


SI1 - SI2

5 - 6

Slightly Included
Contains inclusions noticeable under 10x magnification. An SI1 should not have any eye visible inclusions, but SI2 may, depending on the size and location of the flaws.


I1 - I2 - I3

7 - 8 - 9

Contains inclusions that are obvious under 10X magnification and possibly to the unaided eye. Diamond Buy does not carry I-grade clarity.


* Price based on 1 ct., H color, ideal-cut diamond.

As illustrated above, you may not notice a significant difference between an SI1 and a SI2. However, you should consider the number, size, brightness, nature, and position of the inclusions of an SI2 graded diamond to ensure that it is eye clean. Some inclusions can be hidden by a prong when mounted, thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond, however, could impact the dispersion of light, sometimes making the diamond less brilliant.

Our diamond consultants can inspect an SI2 graded diamond to ensure that it is eye clean before your purchase. For assistance, please contact one our diamond consultants toll free at  (800) 214-4036 or email us.



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