Diamond Clarity Ratings - The Truth Behind Diamond Clarity Grading

Diamond clarity ratings are levels used to rate or measure diamonds based on its brilliance. The higher the rating, the more brilliant the diamond is. It is also used to weigh the real value of a diamond because it is measured based on a diamond clarity scale.

The four C’s of diamond clarity grading

The clarity is included in the four C’s, which are the list of factors used to measure the quality or grade of a particular piece of diamond.

  • Carat – The carat measures the weight of the diamond. One carat is made up of 200 milligrams. Carat is often written as ct. The higher the carat is, the higher the value of the diamond is.
  • Color – Diamonds may look colorless, but they do have different color grades. D to F grade are colorless, G to J are nearly colorless, K to M have a faint yellow tint, N to R have a light yellow tint already visible to the naked eye, and S to Z have a heavy yellow or brownish tint that is visible to the naked eye even from various angles.
  • Cut – The cut of the diamond is what determines the brilliance of the diamond.
  • Clarity – The presence or absence of identifying characteristics such as inclusions, cracks, or some colored materials in the diamond itself.

How to determine clarity of a diamond

In determining the diamonds cut clarity, there are only two possibilities. A diamond can be eye clean, which means it is perfectly clear from inclusions. Or it can have inclusions and blemishes, which refer to imperfections in a diamond.

You can check a diamond’s clarity by putting it through a loop. If you see anything, like white lines or cracks, which are not supposed to be there, you are probably already looking at inclusions. Inclusions may come in the form of foreign materials inside the diamond or tiny cracks on the diamond itself.

Inclusions are very normal in diamond clarity ratings. Some diamonds may have large inclusions, while some are barely visible. Most of the time, the inclusions are visible when the diamond is placed under a loop. Usually, they do not show obvious signs on the surface when observed by the naked eye. However, large inclusions can hinder a diamond from giving off its maximum light and brilliance.

Why diamond clarity grading is necessary

Diamond clarity ratings are done for various purposes.

  • A diamond’s clarity rating is measured to determine the value of the diamond. A diamond with fewer and smaller inclusions will have a higher price. There are rare “flawless” diamonds that rank the highest in the diamond clarity scale. These also get the most expensive price tags.
  • Diamond clarity can be used as a proof of a diamond’s authenticity. Lately, there have been a lot of synthetic diamonds. Inclusions and the diamond’s clarity can help you tell a natural diamond from a synthetic one.

Diamond clarity grading made simple

Understanding diamond clarity ratings is easy. Here are the possible clarity grades your diamond can have according to the GIA grading scale:

  • FL – Flawless: no inclusions or blemishes even when the diamond is magnified 10x
  • IF – Internally Flawless: no inclusions when magnified 10x but with small blemishes
  • VVS – Very Very Slightly Imperfect: have small inclusions when magnified 10x. This category breaks down into two grades:

    1. VVS1
    2. VVS2

  • VS – Very Slightly Imperfect: have minor inclusions visible without magnification

    1. VS1
    2. VS2

  • SI – Slightly Imperfect: have noticeable inclusions visible to the naked eye
  • I – Imperfect: have obvious inclusions that are clearly visible

    1. I-1
    2. I-2
    3. I-3
Using these diamond clarity ratings, you can judge the value of your diamond.