A Guide on Diamond Clarity | BNT Diamonds
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A Guide on Diamond Clarity

17 Mar 22

What is diamond clarity?

Diamond clarity is a metric assessing the visual appearance of a diamond. The fewer inclusions and blemishes a diamond has, the better the clarity grade.

Clarity plays an important role in the diamond’s value — being one of the most important of the 4 Cs. However, the imperfections aren’t typically noticeable to the naked eye and must be assessed by a gemological expert in the lab.

Moreover, most diamonds have some form of flaw. Natural diamonds are formed under the earth, facing extreme heat and pressure over millions of years. Hence, only the rarest of diamonds emerge in perfect condition. The majority are ‘imperfect’ in some way and contain internal inclusions or surface blemishes.

How are diamond clarity grades determined?

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Experts use powerful microscopes in order to grade the clarity of the diamond, which involves determining five key aspects:

  • Size: The bigger the inclusion, the bigger impact the inclusion will have on the diamond’s clarity grade.
  • Number: Experts will place diamonds in a lower clarity grade if there are several different inclusions or blemishes.
  • Nature: The characteristic’s nature determines whether it is internal (it penetrates the surface of the diamond) or external (limited to the surface of the stone). External ‘flaws’ are referred to as blemishes.
  • Position: If the inclusion is situated in close proximity to the centre of the table, then the clarity grade will be impacted more because it will be more visible. If the inclusion is close to the girdle, which is further from the centre table, then the inclusion will be difficult to spot.
  • Relief: The relief refers to how noticeable the inclusion is in contrast to the diamond itself. The higher the relief, the darker the colour may appear, which can affect the diamond’s grading.

The diamond clarity grading scale

Diamonds from different clarity grades may not look any different to the naked eye, but they will be considered vastly different in quality (and value). It is, therefore, critical to buy diamonds that have been certified by an accredited institution, such as GIA, HRD or IGI, to ensure you acquire a top-quality diamond.

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) diamond clarity scale has six categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades:

Flawless (FL diamonds): No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification

Internally Flawless (IF diamonds): No inclusions visible under 10x magnification. These diamonds will only have surface blemishes.

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds): These diamonds contain inclusions that are so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification. VVS1 and VVS2 loose diamonds will be more expensive than lower graded diamonds as they are rarer and of a high quality. However, it’s important to note that clarity is just one of the 4 Cs, and you should bear in mind the other qualities before making your choice of investment diamond.

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2 diamonds): Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification but can be characterised as minor.

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2 diamonds): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification.

Included (I1, I2, and I3 diamonds): Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance.

High-quality loose diamonds from BNT Diamonds

BNT Diamonds buys diamonds straight from the source to offer you the best quality diamonds at the best price. In addition, all our diamonds have passed through a renowned certification agency, such as GIA or HRD.

If you are interested in buying diamonds as a value investment, contact our expert team by email or call directly on +32 3 201 24 90.



Fabienne Rauw
About Fabienne Rauw
BNT Diamonds Antwerp

Fabienne, manager of the German market is able to guide every client with finding the right jewel. She takes care of most of the German orders, but also takes other task on her plate. Thanks to her six years of experience at BNT Diamonds she acquainted well with the product and the marketing around it. Her degree in PR ensures that BNT Diamonds is well presented across all media channels. For anyone looking into a new investment opportunity, Fabienne is the perfect guide in this process. No question will be left unanswered, and she will help you every step of the way.

With this article, BNT Diamonds strives to inform you thoroughly about investing in diamonds. No investment can be guaranteed to be without risk or fully according to your expectations. That is why we recommend to research the risks and aspects of investing in diamond properly to ensure that you make the right choice for your portfolio.