Diamond clarity, What do you know?



If you are just about to purchase a diamond ring or a pendant then you might be interested to know why the price points change depending on the different types of diamond clarity.

At first it may seem a little complicated to understand, especially with some of the terminology used by the experts. When it comes to the clarity of a diamond you need to be aware of internal inclusions and surface defects called blemishes.

Below is a handy guide showing you different types of grades. Please note the red marks on the diamonds are not to scale. In fact you wont be able to see the defects with the naked eye. We have enhanced this to give you a better idea of how they are graded. When diamonds are graded they are magnified at 10x power.

FL Flawless FL (flawless) – no inclusions or blemishes of any sort are visible to a skilled diamond grader using 10x magnification.
IF Internally Flawless IF (internally flawless) – no inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
VVS Very very small Inclusions VVS1 and VVS2 (very very slightly included) – inclusion are difficult for a skilled grader to see using 10x magnification.
VS Very small Inclusions VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included) – inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
SI Small Inclusions SI1 and SI2 (slightly included) – inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.


Diamond clarity is a quality of diamonds relating to the existence and visual appearance of internal characteristics of a diamond called inclusions, and surface defects called blemishes.

Diamond Clarity is one of the four Cs of diamond grading, When pricing or grading a diamond you also need to look out for the carat, color, and cut.

Terminology to look out for when describing flaws of a diamonds clarity.


  • Clouds
  • Feathers
  • Included crystals or minerals
  • Knots
  • Cavities
  • Cleavage
  • Bearding
  • Internal graining
  • Pinpoint
  • Laser Lines


  • Polish lines
  • Grain boundaries
  • Naturals
  • Scratches
  • Nicks
  • Pits
  • Chips
  • Breaks

Understanding the grades to pricing.

FL – Flawless is the rarest of diamond finds. If you select this kind of grade when in buying mode, expect the price to be very expensive, as this represents perfection.

IF – Internally Flawless is also considered quite rare. The price point is still expensive but should be less expensive than a flawless diamond.

VVS – Very, very small inclusion. The price point should be less expensive when compared to a FL and IF diamond grade.

VS – Very small inclusion. A skill grader should be able to see inclusions in the diamond. With this in mind the price point is lowered but the diamond quality is still very high.

SI – Small Inclusion. The inclusions within the diamonds are now slightly heaver and easy to see, still only by a skilled grader using 10x magnification. This makes the price point affordable when compared to a FL graded diamond. However, this still makes for a stunning diamond and will look great on a diamond pendant or engagement ring purchase.

Other grades include

SI2 – Slightly Included
I1, I2, I3 – Included

These grades should be the least expensive to buy. Jewellery monthly recommend not going below the SI grade for the best results.

JewelleryMonthly TIP:

Make sure you receive a certificate that represents the diamond grade. These are normally GIA approved. Other certificates include: HRD, IGI, EGL and AGS.


About Author

LionSorbet™ is a UK design agency that provide creative and marketing support for Jewellers & Luxury brands around the world. We are the originators of world class 3D Product Animation and Marketing Visuals for luxury products and have a recognised expertise in creating compelling Websites and eCommerce stores for Manufacturers, designers and retailers across the globe