Clarity of a Diamond
Clarity is a measure of the size and number of imperfections, called ‘inclusions’, that occur naturally within a diamond. These inclusions are natural, and occur in all diamonds unless the diamond is graded ‘flawless’. Flawless diamonds are extremely rare and very expensive.
Diamonds with the least/smallest inclusions are given a higher clarity grade than diamonds with more/larger inclusions. The inclusions are generally microscopic and often not visible without magnification.
Diamond Clarity Grade List
Flawless has has no internal or external imperfections. Internally Flawless has no internal imperfections. Both are extremely rare, these can only be found using our diamond selector tool.
VVS stands for Very Very Slightly Included and VVS1 is the first grade in that classification.
VVS1 diamonds have minute inclusions present which can only be seen under magnification of 20x or more.
VVS2 is the second grade from the Very Very Slightly Included classification.
VVS2 diamonds have a few minute inclusions present which can only be seen under magnification of 20x or more.
VS stands for Very Slightly Included and VS1 is the first grade in that classification.
VS1 diamonds have some larger inclusions than VVS which can be seen under magnification of 10x or more.
VS2 is the second grade from the Very Slightly Included classification.
VS2 diamonds have a few of the larger inclusions present which can still only be seen under magnification of 10x or more.
SI stands for Slightly Included and SI1 is the first grade in that classification.
SI1 diamonds have larger inclusions present but we guarantee that all SI1 diamonds are “Eye Clean” (unless with Emerald Cut diamonds).
Most jewellers do not guarantee that SI1 will be eye-clean. Please note that if selecting your own diamond through our diamond feed, there is no guarantee your stone will be eye-clean, so please contact us in advance to confirm your chosen stone is suitable.
SI2 diamonds are the lowest quality that we offer at Purely Diamonds.
SI2 diamonds over 0.30ct will have some visible inclusions to the naked eye but offer great value for money for items like earrings or pendants which are not observed as closely as rings.
Further Information for SI Clarity Grades
If you select a diamond graded SI1 or above, it will be ‘eye-clean’, meaning the inclusions are too small to see without using magnification (This doesn’t apply to Emerald cut diamonds).
Please Note: This is not always the case with SI1 diamonds, Purely Diamonds specifically source SI1 stones that are eye-clean. Most other jewellers do not supply eye-clean SI1 diamonds.
Diamonds that are 0.30ct – 2.00ct (individually): If you select a diamond that is graded SI2 clarity, there will likely be some visible marks in the stone. They won’t necessarily be obvious to the naked eye but if you inspect the stone closely you might see some inclusions.
Diamonds smaller than 0.29ct (individually): Individual diamonds 0.29ct and under are all guaranteed to be eye clean. This means all single stone engagement rings, cluster style or wedding/eternity rings that contain diamonds smaller than 0.29ct (per diamond) will not contain any visible imperfections to the naked eye. To clarify; a half eternity ring that is displayed as 0.50ct total weight and has 10 diamonds will be eye clean as individually the diamonds are only 0.05ct each.
What Clarity Grade Is Right For Me?
- If clarity is important to you but your budget doesn’t allow for VVS1 or VVS2, you should consider VS1-VS2. Diamonds graded VS1 or VS2 appear flawless to the naked eye but are less expensive than VVS1/VVS2.
- Our most popular choice of clarity is SI1 or SI2, the reason for this is although these are two of the lower grades available, SI1 stones will be ‘eye-clean’ so you won’t see any marks in the diamond. SI2 stones will often have visible marks/inclusions but they represent very good value for money as you often can’t see the marks unless you inspect the diamond closely.
- If you value size over clarity, SI1/SI2 stones are your best option, however if you value clarity over size, you might choose a VS or VVS graded stone in a smaller carat weight. Example – a 0.60ct SI2 graded stone might be a similar price to a 0.50ct VS2 graded stone.