Willyn Villarica Jewelry

Understanding Diamond Clarity [Comprehensive Guide]

Understanding clarity is an essential part of the process for anyone looking to purchase a diamond. Clarity can confuse those unfamiliar with diamonds, but it’s critical when considering price and quality. Knowing what factors determine a diamond’s clarity gives purchasers the confidence they need to make an informed decision.

This comprehensive guide on diamond clarity will explain all the key components that play into how a gemstone is graded – from where inclusions come from and how they affect value to what makes one stone more valuable than another. This will also discuss different types of flaws and grading reports and provide helpful tips for anyone shopping for diamonds. By the end of this article, you should have all the information needed to choose or evaluate your best diamond!

Nonetheless, it is essential to remember that optimum clarity perfection can be difficult to find when shopping for a diamond. In addition, every stone has unique characteristics, so selecting one with the highest possible purity and quality within your budget is important.

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What is Diamond Clarity?

A diamond’s clarity grade is determined by the presence and visibility of internal or external flaws, referred to as ‘inclusions.’ While inclusions are sometimes virtually undetectable using a 10x magnification loupe, certain types can significantly impact the overall visual appearance. Therefore, grading systems assign each stone with an appropriate clarity score according to its level of flawlessness.

Diamond clarity is a critical factor when determining a diamond’s value or price. It refers to the amount, size, nature, and placement of inclusions or blemishes visible within a diamond. Clarity can be divided into six categories – Flawless (F), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1-VVS2), Very Slightly Included (VS1-VS2), Slightly Included (SI1-SI2), and Included (I1-I3).

Related: A Guide to Understanding Diamond Quality

Clarity Grading: Factors to Consider

When grading diamond clarity, there are several factors to consider. Every skilled grader considers these four most important variables: the number, position, nature, and color or relief of any inclusions found within a diamond.


As a rule of thumb, diamonds with no visible inclusions have the highest level of clarity. How many inclusions are present within the stone?


Where are these inclusions located within the stone? Is it in a place where it’s not so obvious? Is it located right smack in the middle of the stone?


What kind of inclusion is it? Another kind of crystal? Some form of aggregate? A prehistoric bug? When crystals form deep underground billions of years ago, you have to acknowledge that it is not a controlled environment, so things get trapped in the crystal as they form. Hence, the term “inclusions.”

Color or Relief

This final criterion determines whether any internal features come in blackish hues versus white ones (marked B / W respectively). Are the inclusions colorless (which we colloquially call “bula”), or are they black (which we call “karbon” or “carbon”)? Are the inclusions opaque enough that it compromises the transparency of the stone? (Hello, black diamonds!)

GIA Diamond Clarity Scale

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Diamond Clarity Scale is the world’s most widely used grading system for diamond clarity. This scale starts at Flawless (F) and goes up to Included (I3). The grades include the following:

Flawless (F)

Diamonds with Flawless Clarity Rating are the highest grade, meaning that no inclusions or blemishes can be seen under 10X magnification. These diamonds are extremely rare and expensive. Even when viewed under close scrutiny, a gemstone’s interior can remain elusive – renowned gemologists may search but never find any visible features within.

Internally Flawless (IF)

Though IF diamonds may have minor surface blemishes, these can only be seen under 10x magnification. Again, this grade of diamond is incredibly rare and expensive.

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)

Grade 1 (VVS1 & VVS2): VVS-graded diamonds have minute inclusions that are difficult to see even with 10x magnification; a skilled gemologist must use advanced techniques to locate them.

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)

Grade 2 (VS1 & VS2 Clarity Rating): VS-graded stones contain inclusions that may easily be observed under 10x magnification by an experienced grader; however, these do not affect the light performance or durability of the diamond.

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)

Grade 3(SI1 & SI2 Clarity Rating): Though SI-graded stones contain visible inclusions to an experienced grader under 10X magnification, these still appear clean when viewed face-up from an average distance with unaided eyesight. Note: GIA does not classify SI3 as part of its clarity scale since it can appear very similar to I1 depending on individual characteristics of each diamond’s specific cut and placement/orientation within its setting.

Included (I1, I2, and I3)

Grades 4(I1), 5(I2), 6(I3); I-graded stones contain visible flaws located either inside or on the surface, which can have a negative impact on diamond clarity and on their value due to a decrease in durability caused by fractures or weak spots if struck hard enough. Additionally, their appearance will often impact both brilliance and sparkle due to having shadows within their pavilion/table areas where light could otherwise pass through naturally if there were no obstructions present inside the stone itself. As such, any time physical imperfections lie within this section of a stone, they tend to absorb light instead, diminishing overall performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can diamond clarity be improved?

Yes, it is possible to improve the clarity of a diamond. In most cases, diamonds can be improved by professional diamond cutters or gemologists specializing in this field.

The process of improving clarity usually involves polishing, laser drilling, or recutting to remove inclusions or blemishes that detract from the aesthetic appeal of the diamond and reduce its value. When deciding whether to attempt diamond clarity improvement, it is important to consider that if done incorrectly, significant damage could be caused – resulting in a permanent reduction of carat weight and value.

Are inclusions bad?

From simple to extraordinary, inclusions can make all the difference in diamonds. With various shapes and features present within its internal makeup, each diamond is unique – like your fingerprint! While some may be seen as detracting from beauty and clarity, certain types add value instead. Believe it or not, an inclusion such as ruby corundum could even boost the worth of jewelry lover’s favorite gemstones – creating one-of-a-kind collectibles with distinct storylines hidden beneath their sparkle.

What is the most common inclusion found in diamonds?

A carbon spot is one of the most common inclusions found within diamonds. These spots are often referred to as “black inclusion” since they typically appear as tiny, dark particles on the surface or inside diamonds. Carbon spots are made up of graphite-type material and are caused by an impurity present when the diamond was formed in the earth’s core.

Contact W. Villarica Jewelry

From all of this information, it’s evident that taking the time to understand diamond clarity is an essential part when shopping for a diamond. Willyn Villarica is your trusted partner for diamond-grading services, catering to clients around the globe. Our expertise and commitment to excellence ensure accurate and reliable assessments of your precious gemstones. It’s important to note that while we offer our services worldwide, clients are responsible for covering all travel expenses. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have your diamonds expertly graded by Willyn Villarica.

Want to know more or make an appointment? Just shoot us an email at admin@willynvillaricajewelry.com or find us on Facebook (Willyn Villarica Jewelry) and Instagram (@willynvillarica_jewelry). Need immediate help? Dial +63279497547. We’d love to work with you and provide expert advice on selecting the ideal diamond. Thanks so much for dropping by and learning all there is to know about diamond clarity; here’s wishing you nothing but success in finding your special gemstone!

  • Willyn Villarica

    Willyn Villarica, a third-generation jeweler from the Philippines, brings a wealth of expertise to the world of gemology and jewelry appraisal. As a licensed Graduate Gemologist, accredited by the prestigious Gemological Institute of America, she is not only a master of her craft but also holds the distinction of being the first Filipino member of the National Associ...

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