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Diamond Clarity

Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and internally. The surface flaws are called blemishes, and internal defects are known as inclusions. These tiny, natural blemishes and inclusions are microscopic and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any way. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades.

Clarity is one of the 4Cs of diamond grading and quality. Diamond clarity is the least important factor when choosing to buy a diamond because most diamonds have blemishes and small inclusions that are microscopic, unable to be seen with an untrained or unaided eye.

Diamond Types According to the GIA Clarity Grading Scale

In 1953, Richard T. Liddicoat and colleagues established the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamond grading system and clarity scale. The GIA diamond grading scale is divided into six categories and eleven diamond clarity grades. On the diamond clarity scale, also commonly referred to as the diamond grading chart, the complete list of diamond grading categories and clarity grades are listed below:

FL diamond example
I3-I2
I1
SI
VS
VVS
IF
FL

Flawless (FL) Diamonds

Inclusions and blemishes aren’t visible on flawless diamonds, even under 10x magnification. Less than 1% of all diamonds are FL clarity. A flawless diamond is incredibly rare because it's nearly impossible to find a diamond 100% free of inclusions. Six percent of customers buy FL diamonds.

Shop FL Diamonds

Diamond Clarity Buying Tips

In the market for an engagement ring or fine diamond jewelry? Here are a few things you should know about what diamond clarity means when it comes to diamond quality and how different clarity grades affect price.

Shop Blue Nile Diamonds By Clarity Grade

At Blue Nile, we offer the highest quality diamonds and deliver the best value for your budget. If you're shopping for a diamond ring or other diamond jewelry, we offer the following diamond clarity grades:

Flawless Diamonds

Slightly Included Diamonds

Next: Diamond Carat Weight