What Is Diamond Clarity and How Does It Relate to the Overall Quality of a Gemstone?

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Diamonds are gemstones which are judged on a scale which features four qualities. These qualities, known as the 4 C’s, include cut, clarity, color and carat. Most individuals understand features such as cut, color and carat however, they may have a tough time understanding what clarity is. The following will highlight information surrounding clarity and show how this can make or break a sale of a diamond in certain cases.

Describing Clarity

When jewelers talk about diamond clarity they are referring to the overall look of the diamond and the internal characteristics. In other words, a diamond which is considered flawless has superior clarity whereas one which is given an I3 rating is considered the most flawed type of diamond. A diamond which has an I3 rating or similar will often be cloudy with various visible marks within the stone. Most individuals shopping for diamonds are searching for ones which are as clear as possible and have a good clarity surrounding them. Although flawless diamonds are considered top of the line, a diamond which has a clarity rating of SI2 is almost the same type of diamond as it is flawless to the naked eye and only a trained professional with magnification can see any inclusions in the gemstone.

How Does Clarity Relate to the Overall Quality of the Diamond?

As mentioned above, the clarity of a diamond is one of four determining factors to the overall quality of the gemstone. With that said, if a diamond does not have a good clarity feature, it may not make much difference as to whether it is a large diamond with a unique shape and color. If you cannot see the true beauty of how the light reflects off of the diamond, it may be a good idea to up your standards with regard to clarity. Some feel that a diamond which has a less than adequate clarity due to various inclusions on the stone is not one worth purchasing. In the end it is up to the buyer to determine how clear their diamond must be for them to purchase it.

What Clarity Rating Should a Diamond Have In Order to Purchase It?

Although the decision to purchase or not purchase a particular diamond on account of its clarity level is a personal one, the clarity rating should help to push consumers in the right direction so that they get the best gemstone possible. For those who are on a budget and cannot afford a diamond with a high end clarity rating there are ways to obtain a diamond which may not have a higher clarity rating but still be beautiful nonetheless. Therefore, one can really not put a specific clarity level on a diamond and tell consumers to buy or not buy a diamond with a specific rating. You can look at a variety of diamonds and consider the clarity level of the gemstone however try to base your final decision on which diamond appeals to you most. SI2 or higher is recommended.

Do you agree or disagree with this article? Leave a comment, let’s talk about it.

James Greene



  1. Good article.

    I have a question.

    If you find a Black Inclusion, is it considered one grade lower than same size and same position of white inclusion or just same grade as white ?

    Thank you.

  2. Hello,

    Thanks for the comment,

    Let’s say that you have a white inclusion under the table in the center of a diamond and it is graded as an SI1 (Not eye visible).

    Let’s take the same inclusion and assume that it is black but (not eye visible). This could possibly be an SI2.

    Now, let’s take the same black inclusion and assume that it is now (Eye visible). This would probably make the grade an I1.

    With this hypothetical situation you can see that the grade could be as much as 2 to 3 grades different. Just keep in mind that this is all hypothetical without seeing a diamond.

    Thanks again,


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