Let’s Clear up Clarity

Diamond Clarity Made Simple  


How clear is your diamond?  If the only answer you have for this is “um…very,” then you need a quick lesson in clarity.

Here is a handy mnemonic guide to help you understand what the diamond clarity grades truly mean, and how you can use them with panache.

This list is in descending order, from BEST (yay!) …to worst (oh dear).

FL – much like the land the bears these initials (Florida), this signifies a Flawless state (have you been to South Beach?)  If your diamond receives an “FL” grade, you’ll be hitting high notes of joy, like Bey herself.

IF – IF your diamond is an IF, it’s actually not iffy at all.  This stands for “Internally Flawless,” which (like Mother Teresa) has a perfect inside, and a near perfect outside (any Victoria Secret Model over the last few decades).

VVS1 – This may look like the acronym for an intergalactic battle, but it means your precious rock is “very, very slightly included.”  That doesn’t mean it gets tangential party invitations once in a blue moon, but rather it has an almost microscopic internal blemish or two.   These are mineral deposits formed in the diamond as it grows up, from carbon atom to crystal to thing on your ring.

VVS2 – Stones that get this grade may have one or two more (barely) discernible inclusions than VVS1’s.  They are the bridesmaids of the VVS category.

VS1 – Commonly confused with the “Ventriloquist Society Institute,” diamonds categorized here have teeny, tiny inclusions – but these flaws are basically impossible to see with the ‘naked eye’ (meaning without the aid of magnification, like a loupe – not an eye that’s streaking through the quad).

VS2 – These have ‘very small inclusions’ as well, but just like many sequels in history, are a little bit worse than the original.  You still need some sort of magnification to see the imperfections here, like when inspecting Angelina Jolie’s exquisite plastic surgery.

SI1 – ‘Slight Inclusions’ happening here.  If these diamonds were being described by friends trying to set them up on a blind date, they would be said to have “character.”  Here the inclusions may be visible by just STARING at them (however rude that may be).

SI2 – Uh oh…now we’re venturing into the last grading segment until we get into the really bad ones.  An SI-Two has a few more inclusions than it’s relatively arrogant predecessor, the SI-One.  If you’re diamond gets this mark, it’s basically like getting a “D” in school; it passes, but you wouldn’t put it on the refrigerator.

I1 – “Imperfect.”  Ouch.  If you subscribe to the “Hey, nobody’s perfect!” philosophy, then don’t fret, your dirty little diamond is just fine.  Just try to shelter it from the IF’s out there; they can be so, so cruel.

I2 – …And then there were two.   Some diamond flaws can be corrected (partially) with additional cutting, buffing and polishing.  There’s no hope of that here.  These are the ‘old, spotty, moldy bananas’ of the diamond world.

I3 – Just.  Please.  No.  If your diamond gets deemed an I3, just discretely place it in a small dark box and let us never speak of it again.  It’s the “Godfather 3” of diamonds.

Poor clarity mocking aside…

No matter what clarity grade your diamond receives, there usually is a market for it.  At Diamond Lighthouse, our expert gemologists will give your diamond an extensive, completely fair evaluation, so you will know EXACTLY what your diamond is all about.  We’ll make things clear for you and find you the best offers for your diamond – while you retain full control.  If and when you want to sell is totally up to you.   Learn more HERE on how you can receive a free evaluation and sell your diamond with complete transparency.


Diamond Lighthouse: clearly the best.


-Joe Leone 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *