Understanding Diamond Clarity – 4cs Of Diamonds

diamond clarity

The imperfections examined internally and externally of the diamond are the diamond clarity. Within the earth due to tremendous heat and pressure, carbon particles lead to the formation of diamonds. This process results in particles called inclusions internally within the diamond. Also, while processing and polishing the external defect called blemishes to affect the quality

These inclusions and blemishes play a crucial role while determining the clarity of the diamond. Therefore, the position, size, and visibility of inclusions and blemishes are important while studying diamond clarity.

Types Of Inclusions And Blemishes


The characteristic of the inclusion defines the type of diamond clarity. There are defined inclusions inside the diamond. Also, there are fixed blemishes that you can find on the external surfaces of the diamond. The list of inclusions and blemishes is addressed below.

Do You Know How to Read the Plots?


The inclusions and blemishes in a diamond are displayed through the plotting diagram. The plotting diagram have two views of a diagram, the table view and the pavilion view. This view helps to identify and mark the characters easily.

Vivid inks are used to illustrate the inclusions, blemishes, and extra facets.

  • Red Ink- This color portrays inclusions in the diamond.
  • Green Ink – Specifies the blemishes on the surface of the diamond.
  • Black Ink- Represents the extra facet on the diamond.

Diamond Clarity Grades

In 1953, GIA invented the diamond clarity grading chart. Since then this clarity grading chart is universally followed. The GIA diamond clarity chart is divided into 6 grades which are further classified into 11 specific grades. These grades are defined according to the characters present internally and externally of the diamond.

  • Flawless

This category gives exceptional clarity diamonds. In flawless grade, no skilled grader can make out any inclusion or blemishes, within or outside the diamond using the 10x magnification also. They are extremely finest and valuable diamonds.

  • Internally Flawless

Internally flawless diamonds have no inclusion in the diamond. But only blemishes may be visible through 10x magnification. Also, they are the rarest after the flawless diamonds. Even they add up to the category of rare and expensive.

  • Very Very Slightly Included ( VVS1, VVS2)

VVS show insignificant or minimal inclusions. Moreover, these inclusions are very difficult to trace with untrained eyes even under 10x magnification. Only experts can make out the inclusion present. Usually, they are easily visible through the pavilion and always reflect internal graining inclusion within the diamond in VVS. But feathers or cavities are visible through the crown in VVS2 grade. They account to be less expensive than IF but valuable and precious than VS.

  • Very Slightly Included(VS1, VS2)

VS is subdivided into two grades VS1 and VS2. Their VVS grades display inclusions from partially visible to fairly visible. Moreover, they are affordable than the VVS grades.

  • Slightly Included

The diamonds in this category exhibit inclusion that are visible through 10x magnification as well as naked eyes. Besides, even an untrained eye can point out the inclusions. SI1 and SI2 are the subdivided grades of SI. Besides, they are more affordable than the above grades.

  • Included

The included grade diamonds sustain more inclusions and blemishes than the other grades. Moreover, these inclusions affect the quality and durability along with the transparency and brightness of the diamonds. Hence, the trusted brands usually don’t prefer them.

How Are Clarity Grades Determined?

There are overall 5 factors that play an essential role while determining the clarity of a diamond. While examining the clarity of a diamond, the experts view the faceup position of the diamond under 10x magnification. But in smaller diamonds due to size, they tend to use higher magnification as it’s difficult to determine the smaller inclusions with the naked eye.
The five clarity grading factors are nature, size, number, relief, and location.

  1. Nature
    Nature particularly depicts the type of inclusion present in the diamond. Also, showcases the impact that the inclusions may have on the durability of the diamond. It portrays the character of the inclusions present within a diamond.
  2. Size
    The size plays an equally important role like the diamond. Because, as the size decreases the clarity within the diamond increases. Whereas, the bigger size directly affects the clarity leading to poor clarity within a diamond.
  3. Number
    After the size, the number of inclusions is verified. The more the number leads to weak clarity, in contrast, the fewer number of characters will give an excellent clarity of a diamond.
  4. Relief
    The relief indicates how eye-catchy is the inclusion of character. If the character color is in contrast to diamond color, it will be easily visible and will defy the clarity of the diamond.
  5. Location
    The location of the inclusion should be noted because the reflection of light has an easy impact on the clarity. Therefore it’s important to know the position of the character. If the inclusion is beneath the table it will directly affect the clarity. Whereas if it’s closer to the girdle it won’t be easily visible and would have not many issues in reflection if the light within the diamond.

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