Diamond Clarity Guide For First Time Buyers


If you’ve never purchased a diamond before, you may feel overwhelmed after seeing how many options there are. How can you choose the perfect diamond? The first step is learning about the “Four C’s.” These are color, cut, carat, and clarity. Clarity is one of the most important C’s because it has a big impact on the diamond’s appearance. Here’s what you need to know about a diamond’s clarity:

What is Diamond Clarity?

A diamond's clarity is based on how many inclusions and blemishes it has. Inclusions are imperfections that can be found inside the diamond, while blemishes are small imperfections on the diamond’s exterior.

Many inclusions and blemishes are not visible to the naked eye, but diamonds that have a significant amount of imperfections will appear cloudier and less brilliant than others.

What is Diamond Clarity? | Brilliance.com

Determining a Diamond's Clarity

Since many imperfections are not visible to the naked eye, how can you tell whether one diamond has a better clarity than another? Ask the seller about each diamond’s clarity grade. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) carefully examines each diamond to determine the number of inclusions and blemishes and how visible these imperfections are. Then, the GIA will assign a clarity grade to the diamond using this scale:

  • Flawless (FL): The diamond grader is unable to find any inclusions or blemishes when under 10x magnification.
  • Internally Flawless (IF): The diamond grader was able to spot blemishes under 10x magnification, but not inclusions.
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): The diamond grader found inclusions under 10x magnification, but they are still difficult to see.
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): The diamond grader was able to easily find inclusions under 10x magnification.
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification and, in some cases, may be visible to the naked eye as well.
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3): There are a significant amount of inclusions that will affect the diamond’s brilliance.
Determining a Diamond's Clarity


While Asscher cut diamonds are not necessarily more expensive than other diamond shapes, they do require buyers to understand how the 4Cs affect the beauty of their stone. Low grades for cut and clarity greatly reduce the sleek elegance of the shape; visible flaws detract from the appearance and poor cuts limit how light dances within the stone.

Buyers can choose to sacrifice color grades by masking warmer hued Asschers in yellow or rose gold. For extremely budget-conscious shoppers, carat should be the first ‘C’ to be sacrificed for the Asscher centerpiece. There are ways to make a smaller Asscher appear bigger, but buyers can never mask a poor cut or messy clarity. With the Asscher, diamond knowledge and education will lead to a smarter investment with greater Brilliance.

Shopping Tips for First-Time Buyers

This may seem like a lot of information to remember, but you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed. If this is your first time shopping for a diamond, here are a few key points that you should keep in mind about clarity:

  • The bigger the stone, the more you should prioritize clarity. It is difficult to see inclusions and blemishes in diamonds that are under one carat, so clarity does not matter as much in diamonds of this size.
  • Inclusions and blemishes are more noticeable in Emerald or Asscher cut diamonds and less noticeable in round or princess cut diamonds. If you are buying an Emerald or Asscher, look for a clarity grade that is higher on the scale.
  • Do your research! Brilliance offers a loose diamond search that allows you to filter based on all diamond characteristics, allowing you to get a good idea of what clarity you can afford. You can even see the GIA certificate and even HD pictures for many of the stones on sale!

Now that you have a thorough understanding of diamond clarity, it’s time to find the perfect diamond for you. Brilliance is a great place to begin your search!

Shopping Tips for First-Time Buyers | Brilliance.com
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