Diamond clarity scale

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How to Read the Diamond Clarity Chart as a Buyer

Diamond Clarity Chart

What does diamond clarity mean?

Shortly, it's the appearance of a diamond.
In more detail, it's the diamond clarity chart you see above.

This image gives you everything needed to comprehend the diamond clarity concept. But the true understanding comes by learning how to use the information in the diamond clarity chart for your benefit.

Here all the problems come. For example, you've decided to make a diamond purchase. This is a highly responsible and special moment in your life by itself. You're holding your breath and tingling with excitement while walking down the street. Finally, you enter the jewelry store. You do it casual-like, just to check the diamond prices. A friendly smiley consultant leans over to you and asks conspiratorially, "Which diamond do you prefer?". This question surprises you. You know nothing about diamond value but the conventional truth about the greatest carat number. "And what about other diamond ratings?" asks the jeweler. What can you say here? Again, "The more, the better."

To satisfy your demand, the jeweler will tell you a diamond price of several million dollars. Some people are ready to pay that much and you're not that type of person. You leave the store disappointed, ready to forget about the diamonds forever.

But if you knew the secret of reading the diamond clarity scale, this scenario would have a happy ending.

How to read the diamond clarity chart for your benefit

First and foremost, don't treat diamond inclusions as evil. Blemishes and inclusions are normal; these birthmarks are the permanent satellites of diamonds. But their impact on the diamond ratings are different. Some of them make your diamond unique, while others affect the diamond value. The diamond clarity chart appeared to measure the severity and number of imperfections..

Take a closer look at the diamond clarity scale again. Don't you notice that the severity of imperfections doesn't change proportionally?

Diamond clarity ranged by the visibility of inclusions

Amazing but true: the majority of grades in the diamond clarity scale appear identical. FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2 are hardly distinguishable in this diamond chart! And their descriptions don't clarify the clarity situation as well:

    • FL (flawless) a flawless diamond clarity without even a tiny spot of inclusions. These stones are so rare and perfect that people try not to touch them, being afraid to spoil their fantastic clarity.
    • IF (internally flawless) a diamond that appears close to indefectible. They are flawless diamonds with an extra facet or a scratch that appeared after cutting an FL diamond.
    • VVS1 and VVS2 (very very slightly included) the double "very" in the title points at complete invisibility of diamond inclusions. To spot the problems, 10x magnification and a trained eye of a gemologist are needed.
    • VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included) the single "very" doesn't change the situation to the core. An attentive laboratory worker is not that needed here. The only way to spot an unclean clarity is to investigate the diamond through a microscope.


Six grades in the diamond clarity chart are behind, but the clarity problems are not severe yet. And that's the secret knowledge you can use for your benefit in any jewelry store.

What is a clarity enhanced diamond

Even though almost any clarity works good for a diamond buyer, there are still some "dirty" grades. Any brand that cares about its reputation will not offer such clarity to you:

    • SI1 and SI2 (slightly included) these diamonds have light blemishes and inclusions. They are visible and damage the diamond sparkle severely,
    • I1, I2, and I3 (included / imperfect) imperfections cover more than 15% of a diamond. The stone doesn't look beautiful and clean at all.


To sell these non-eye-clean diamonds, dealers have to resort to many subterfuges. Offering you a clarity enhanced diamond is one of them.

Clarity enhancement is a procedure of hiding all the visible inclusions. In other words, it makes the unsellable diamond look nice to buy.

And everything would be fine. But such an artificial changing of the clarity of diamonds affects their price tags. You end up paying for a dirty diamond at the cost of a clean one without even knowing that.

What is the best diamond clarity: Top 5 secrets

So, here are 5 things to remember about the diamond clarity concept:

    • Any natural fingerprint on a diamond reduces its price.
    • The less brightness and purity a diamond has, the lower the clarity grade it gets.
    • Since blemishes are integral to the diamond's nature, a flawless diamond clarity is a rare find.
    • Many imperfections are not seen with an unaided eye  and you can use this for your benefit.
    • Good clarity is a fair compromise. Choose the diamond which has a relevant clarity grade that looks visibly clean.


Don't stick to the flawless clarity standard. And remember: the presented clarity measurement scale is relevant for colorless diamonds only.

Still some questions are left? Reach Diamond Registry experts to help you read the clarity of diamonds in the diamond chart! We're always available through the form below.