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Diamonds contain naturally occurring impurities known as inclusions. They may occur internally in the form of tiny fractures, feathers, clouds or crystals and externally as scratches and fissures. They are caused by trace minerals and other impurities that may be present or by irregularities in the natural process of diamond formation. Factors determining the clarity of diamonds are - number of inclusions, nature of inclusions (e.g., feathers, clouds, knots, colour), location and size of the inclusions

In addition to internal inclusions, surface irregularities are referred to as blemishes. These two categories of imperfections-inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external)-make up clarity.

Inclusions greatly affect the beauty and value of a diamond because they absorb the light rather than allowing it to be reflected back through the front side of the stone. Consequently fewer the imperfections, the rarer and more valuable the diamond.

Diamonds are graded for clarity on the basis of internal and external imperfections present.

Flawless Diamonds

Shows no inclusions or blemishes of any sort when viewed under 10x magnification

IF Diamonds (Internally Flawless)

Shows no inclusion of any sort when viewed under 10x magnification although minor blemishes may be present

VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds (Very Very Slightly Included)

Inclusions almost impossible to detect with the naked eye and barely detectable under 10x magnification.

VS1, VS2 Diamonds (Very Slight)

Inclusions are minute and normally not visible to the unaided eye but can be detected with little effort under a magnifying loupe.

SI1, SI2 Diamonds (Slightly Included)

Inclusions are visible under 10x magnifications, and may possibly be visible with the naked eye.

I1, I2, I3 Diamonds (Included)

Inclusions are clearly visible to the naked eye.

Clarity Facts


  • As the grading decreases the price decreases exponentially. This is because diamonds with greater quality (correspondingly with lesser inclusions) are that much rarer.
  • Along with the type and number of inclusions, their position also makes an impact on the value and brilliance of a diamond.
  • Fortunately diamonds of all clarity grades and prices, including those with eye visible inclusions can look beautiful. It primarily depends on how well they are cut and other factors
  • Contrary to popular belief, higher clarity does not always mean more beautiful. If the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, a higher clarity does not really improve the appearance of a diamond but rather the rarity and price.
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