Diamond Clarity

The clarity of diamonds refers to an assessment of small surface characteristics called blemishes and/or internal characteristics called inclusions. Clarity is often the least important consideration when buying a diamond because most inclusions are microscopic and not seen to the untrained, unaided eye. If you want to ensure a diamond is eye-clean, select SI1 or better in ½ carat diamonds and smaller, or VS2 clarity grade in larger stones particularly over 2.00 carats. Find a diamond with the right clarity using our diamond clarity grading scale, comparison chart, and expert tips.

Buying Tips

  • Most diamonds have tiny imperfections called inclusions.
  • The fewer and less visible the inclusions, the higher the clarity grade.
  • Diamond clarity is often the least important of the 4Cs because most inclusions are microscopic; they don’t affect the diamond’s beauty in a visible way.
  • To maximise your budget, consider an "Eye-Clean" diamond, graded VS1 or higher, in which inclusions are invisible to the naked eye.

Diamond Clarity Scale

Use the slider to see diamond clarity grade details or view the Clarity Grade Chart below.
FL diamond example
FL: No visible blemishes, < 1% of diamonds.
Inclusions are not visible under 10X, rarest clarity grade.
See FL Graded Diamonds

Diamond Clarity Grade Chart

FL, IF Graded Diamond

Flawless, Internally Flawless

Under 10x magnification, inclusions are not visible, rarest clarity grade.

See FL & IF Graded Diamonds
  • FL: No visible blemishes, <1% of diamonds
  • IF: Very slight blemishes, <3% of diamonds
VVS Graded Diamond

Very, Very Slightly Included

Characteristics miniscule and difficult to see under 10x magnification, even to a trained eye.

See VVS Graded Diamonds
  • VVS1: Few miniscule inclusions
  • VVS2: Slightly more miniscule inclusions
VS1, VS2
VS Graded Diamond

Very Slightly Included

Minor inclusions ranging from difficult to somewhat easy to see at 10x magnification.

See VS Graded Diamonds
  • VS1: Difficult to see minor inclusions
  • VS2: Somewhat easier to see minor inclusions
SI1, SI2
SI Graded Diamond

Slightly Included

Inclusions noticeable at 10x. Best value. SI2 inclusions may be detectable to a discerning unaided eye.

See SI Graded Diamonds
  • SI1: Inclusions occasionally visible to the keen eye without magnification
  • SI2: Inclusions typically visible from the pavilion, and often seen from the top, without magnification
I1 Graded Diamond


Diamonds may have more obvious inclusions at 10X and may be visible to the eye. Blue Nile offers a limited selection of jewellery with I1 clarity diamonds.

See Diamond Jewellery
  • I1: Loose diamonds of this grade not offered by Blue Nile
I2, I3
>I2, I3 Graded Diamond
Clarity grades not carried by Blue Nile.

Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification, usually visible to the unaided eye.

More Expert Tips

  • Select an "eye-clean" diamond - one that has no imperfections visible to the unaided-eye through the crown. An excellent value, diamonds of this clarity are much less expensive than flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) diamonds, which are extremely rare and command higher prices.
  • If you're considering a diamond with an SI clarity grade, call to speak to a diamond and jewellery consultant who will review the diamond to ensure the imperfections are not visible to the unaided eye.

Next, learn about Diamond Carat Weight.

Have A Question?

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