Diamond Clarity

Clarity is a measure of a diamond's internal flaws. Because diamonds are formed in nature, the great majority of them contain microscopic inclusions such as bubbles, spots, lines or feathers - markings that make every diamond unique and identifiable. In fact, diamond-grading certificates include a "plot" of inclusions that can be used to identify the diamond. So long as these inclusions are small in size and do not hamper the diamond's ability to reflect light, they will not affect its beauty. In fact, most inclusions cannot be seen by the naked eye. Generally speaking, however, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the diamond.

Flawless/Internally Flawless:

A completely inclusion-free diamond is extremely rare and is classified as either Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF), which means the diamond has no inclusions visible to a trained gemologist using a 10x magnification.

Excellent Quality:

VVS1, VVS2 - Very, very slightly included but very difficult to see even under 10x magnification.

Very Good Quality:

VS1, VS2 - Very slightly included, with inclusions not usually visible to the naked eye and seen with difficulty under 10x magnification.

Good Quality:

SI1, SI2 - Slightly included, with minute inclusions that can be seen under 10X magnification and possibly visible to the unaided eye.

Poorer Quality:

I1, I2, I3 - Inclusions visible under 10x magnification as well as to the naked eye.


The average eye, unaided by magnification, does not usually see inclusions in an SI2, whereas it will see them in an I1, with some exceptions. 

When you are ready to choose your diamond, selecting a professional jeweler that you have confidence in is of paramount importance. Choosing a competent professional in our field is as important as selecting an accountant, attorney or any other professional with whom you entrust your care. You need to ask yourself some important questions. Who is it that you are working with? Are they a professional or a trained sales clerk? How hungry are they for your business? Are they working on a sales commission? Or absurd mark-ups? Any jeweler can show you beautiful diamonds from his inventory and give you prices. 

A professional jeweler won't insult your intelligence and knows you are making a very important purchase. Established retail jewelers pride themselves on their reputation and can show you the differences between various qualities of diamonds and how these differences affect the price they are asking. 

How is one to know if one is receiving real value? This is the dilemma that is posed in shopping for a diamond. To achieve the greatest value for dollars spent, ask yourself, is my jeweler willing to disclose every, and all aspects of a particular diamond not just the 4C's?

Thomas Michaels Designers, as award winning jewelry designers and manufacturers, have supplied clients worldwide a level of design, craftsmanship and ultimately value, unavailable elsewhere. We never have a vested interest in a diamond or precious gemstone that we broker or represent to you. For 34 years we have built our reputation on sincerity and the relationships that is built between us.