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Clarity of a diamond

17 Oct 2016
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.

If you select a diamond below 1.00ct in any clarity grade, SI2 or above, it will be 'eye-clean', meaning the inclusions are too small to see without using magnification.  Note: This is not always the case with SI2 diamonds, Purely Diamonds specifically source SI2 stones in these sizes that are eye-clean.  Most other jewellers do not supply eye-clean SI2 stones below 1.00ct.

If you select a diamond that is 1.00ct or larger, an SI2 grading is unlikely to be eye-clean and therefore if you require an 'eye-clean' stone we recommend selecting SI1 or above.

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

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 are not guaranteed to be 'eye clean' from 1.00ct+ but the inclusions are usually difficult to detect. Below 1.00ct our SI2 stones will be eye clean.  

  • 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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