Note: The level of inclusions pictured here is simply a guide and is not an accurate representation.
Diamond clarity is one of the four Cs of diamond grading, along with carat weight, colour, and cut. Clarity refers to the presence or absence of blemishes and inclusions in a diamond. Blemishes are external marks on a diamond’s surface, while inclusions are internal imperfections, such as tiny crystals or fractures.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has established an internationally recognized diamond clarity grading scale that ranges from Flawless (FL) to Included (I3). The scale includes the following categories:
Flawless (FL) and Internally Flawless (IF): Diamonds with no internal or external imperfections visible under 10x magnification.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Diamonds with extremely small inclusions that are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Diamonds with small inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification, but are usually invisible to the naked eye.
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Diamonds with noticeable inclusions that are easily visible under 10x magnification and may be visible to the naked eye.
Included (I1, I2, and I3): Diamonds with large and often numerous inclusions that are visible to the naked eye and may affect the diamond’s durability and brilliance.
A diamond’s clarity grade can have an impact on its value and appearance, as diamonds with higher clarity grades are rarer and more valuable. However, a diamond’s clarity grade should be considered in conjunction with its other characteristics, such as cut and colour, when evaluating its overall quality and value.
HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) is an IDC laboratory ( International Diamond Council) the same as the DCLA (Diamond certification Laboratory of Australia, is a diamond grading laboratory based in Antwerp, Belgium, and is one of the major diamond grading organizations in the world. HRD uses a diamond grading system that is similar to the GIA grading system, including a diamond clarity grading scale that ranges from Flawless (FL) to Included (I3).
The HRD clarity grading scale includes the following grades:
Flawless (FL): No internal or external inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification.
Internally Flawless (IF): No internal inclusions visible under 10x magnification, but may have slight surface blemishes.
Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2): Inclusions are extremely difficult to see under 10x magnification, and are barely visible to a skilled grader.
Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2): Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification but may be difficult to see with the naked eye.
Slightly Included (SI1, SI2): Inclusions are easily visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with the naked eye.
Included (I1, I2, I3): Inclusions are visible to the naked eye and may affect the diamond’s transparency and brilliance.
HRD’s clarity grading system is similar to GIA’s system, there may be slight differences in the way that the grading criteria are applied, which can result in variations in the clarity grades assigned to a diamond by different grading labs.