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Clarity of a diamond

1 Jul 2022
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.

SI1 clarity

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.

SI2 clarity

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 marks/inclusions. If you don't want to see any marks in your diamond, select SI1 clarity or ideally VS2 or above. If you are choosing an Emerald cut diamond, select VS2 or above if you want the stone to be eye-clean.

Diamonds smaller than 0.29ct (individually): Individual diamonds 0.29ct and under are all guaranteed to be eye clean. For example, all single stone engagement rings or rings that contain small individual diamonds in them such as wedding/eternity rings that have diamonds smaller than 0.29ct (per diamond) will not contain any visible imperfections to the naked eye. This also applies to multi stone/cluster style rings if the centre stone is 0.29ct or below. To clarify; an 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.

The only stone shape that we do not ever recommend with an SI2 grading is an 'Emerald cut' stone. Emerald cut stones show inclusions more easily than all other shapes and so we recommend a grading of VS2 minimum if you choose this particular diamond shape.


Diamond Clarity
Grade List

Flawless clarity diamond

FL & IF clarity diamond
(Flawless & Interally Flawless)

No internal or external imperfections. Internally Flawless: No internal imperfections. Very rare.  (We don't currently display FL or IF diamonds on our website, but we can offer these, so if you would like this quality please send us an enquiry by email to sales@purelydiamonds.co.uk)

Very, Very Slightly Included clarity diamond

VVS1 & VVS2 clarity diamond
(Very, Very Slightly Included)

Very difficult to see imperfections even using 10x magnification. An excellent quality diamond.

Very Slightly Included clarity diamond

VS1 & VS2 clarity diamond
(Very Slightly Included)

Imperfections are not visible to the naked eye and can only been seen with 10x magnification. Less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades, but classed as a high quality diamond.

Slightly Included clarity diamond

SI1 & SI2 clarity diamond
(Slightly Included)

Imperfections are generally visible only under 10x magnification.  Some SI2 graded diamonds can have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye, so if you want an 'eye-clean' stone we recommend SI1.  SI1 and SI2 are very good value for money and our most popular choice of clarity grade.


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.
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