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Diamond Clarity

Clarity is a very important factor in diamond grading. Diamonds are graded on a clarity scale with FL (flawless), or "loupe clean" being the highest clarity. This means the diamond has the highest degree of purity or freedom from inclusions; some might say even say transparency or cleanness. Inclusions are formed in the crystallizing or forming process of a diamond; they are usually naturally occurring. Some types of inclusions include carbon spots, other minerals, and other crystal inclusions such as garnet. Inclusions may look like fractures, clouds, feathers, stains, bubbles or tiny crystals.

Clarity Grading Chart

Below are the foremost clarity grading scales ranged together with impressions of clarities drawn in top view on diamond diagrams.

  Gemological Institute of America GIA American Gem Society Scandinavian SCAN.D.N. CIBJO Confederation International de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfevrierie des Diamantes. HRD Hoge Raad voor Diamant Diamond High Council Russian < 0.29 ct Russian > 0.30 ct
Main Grades <0.47 carats Sub grades >>0.47 carats
Internally Flawless Diamond FL (flawless) 0 Loupe clean FL Loupe clean Free from inclusions and bearding Loupe clean. Inclusions that do not exceed 5 micron 1 1
Internally Flawless Diamond Internally flawless 1 IF
Very, Very Small Inclusions 1st degree VVS1 (very, very slightly included) VVS VVS1 VVS (VVS1, VVS2) Very, very small inclusion(s), very hard to find with a 10x loupe VVS1 - VVS2 Inclusions that are visible through table have average sizes of 12 micron (VVS1), 25 micron (VVS2), larger when visible through other facets 2 2
3 3
Very, Very Small Inclusions 2nd degree VVS2 (very, very slightly included) 2 VVS2 4
Very Small Inclusions 1st degree VS1 (very slightly included) 3 VS VS1 VS (VS1, VS2) Very small inclusion(s), which can hardly be found with a 10x loupe VS1 - VS2 Inclusions that are visible through table have average sizes of 40 micron (VS1), 70 micron (VS2); larger when visible through other facets 4 5
Very Small Inclusions 2nd degree VS2 (very slightly included) 4 VS2 5 6
Small Inclusions 1st degree SI1 (slightly included) 5 SI SI1 SI (SI1, SI2) Small inclusion(s), easy to find with a 10x loupe, not seen with the naked eye through the crown side S1 Inclusions that are visible through table have average sizes of 150 micron 7
Small Inclusions 2nd degree SI2 (slightly included) 6 SI2 7a
Imperfect 1st degree I1 (imperfect) 7-8 P P1 PI (Pique I) Inclusion(s) immediately evident with a 10x loupe, difficult to find with the naked eye through the crown side, not impairing brilliance P1 Inclusions which are visible through the crown-side have average sizes of 0.5 mm 6 9
Imperfect 2nd degree I2 (imperfect) 9 P2 PII (Pique II) Large and/or numerous inclusion(s), easily visible to the naked eye through the crown side and which slightly reduce(s) brilliance P2 Inclusions have average sizes of 1.5 mm; they slightly reduce brilliance 7 10
Imperfect 3rd degree I3 (imperfect) 10 P3 PIII (Pique III) Large and/or numerous inclusion(s), very easily visible to the naked eye through the crown side and which reduce(s) brilliance P3 Inclusions have average sizes of 3 mm or larger; they reduce the brilliance 8-9 11-12