10 Diamond Clarity Tips BEFORE You Buy

Thu, Jun 06, 2024

When looking at diamonds, especially online, clarity grading may possibly be one of the most challenging quality indicators to visualize in real life. Not only that, but there's also a lot of confusion about what clarity means for brilliance, visible imperfections and value for money. These 10 diamond clarity tips will help you make an informed decision before buying a diamond.


  1. Know Clarity Grades

    Familiarize yourself with the GIA clarity scale and what it means in real life. Note that the scale isn’t evenly distributed! Mediocre clarity is around SI2 with VVS being usually unnecessarily high.

  2. Focus on Eye-Clean

    Prioritize diamonds that look flawless to the naked eye. You’re not walking around with a microscope so don’t pay for quality you can’t see.

  3. Carat Size Matters

    Clarity grading is relative to the size of the stone. So larger diamonds may have inclusions that are more noticeable.

  4. Careful With Step-Cuts

    Step cuts like emeralds and asscher cuts highlight imperfections more than brilliant cuts.

  5. Balance the Four Cs

    Clarity does not mean brilliance. Invest in well cut diamonds as well as carat and color when clarity is in the eye clean range.

  6. Best Value Clarity

    Generally speaking, VS2-SI2 will offer the best value for money. However, higher clarity is more affordable with small or lab grown diamonds, while necessary for large diamonds.

  7. Not All Inclusions Are Equal

    Clarity is graded by the types of inclusions and their position. Avoid high grades ‘on paper’ with a small black center inclusion and embrace white, eye clean inclusions on the sides, even if it means a lower grade on the certificate. Your aim is to get a more beautiful diamond, not the highest grade on a piece of paper.

  8. Avoid Milky Stones

    Beware of diamonds that are clean under magnification but appear cloudy or milky, significantly reducing brilliance.

  9. Certification Counts

    Clarity is subjective. For stricter grading look for GIA and IGI certification.

  10. Seek Expert Guidance

    Consult a jeweler to match clarity with your needs. Understanding how to read a certificate and even a magnified video of a diamond takes a lot of experience. Preferably consult an expert that can see the diamond in real life, not just online.

    For more details, visit the Shiree Odiz Diamond Clarity Guide.
June 06, 2024 — Daniel Setton



Daniel is a co-founder of Shiree Odiz, where he focuses on e-commerce, marketing, and diamond selection. With over 17 years of experience, Daniel approaches diamond buying holistically, balancing the technical specs, overall jewelry aesthetic and practical needs of the customer, a perspective that sets him apart from traditional gemologists.