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Advanced Diamond Clarity Chart

~ Secrets of Diamond Clarity ~

The Advanced Diamond Clarity Chart is designed to show you what each of the clarities mean under 10x magnification, what you’ll be able to see with your naked eye (without magnification), and show you how to go about finding these clarities in the “real” world when it comes to different grading labs.
Clarity at 10x Magnification Single Diamond Clarity Chart

The Odd Truth

What’s meant by “Real World” is not everything is black and white, cut and dry. The same goes with diamond clarities.  The diamond grading scale was invented and perfected by GIA. GIA is the only lab, outside of AGS, that adheres to strict grading practices so that your diamond has real value.  In other words if someone could just say your diamond was a flawless diamond without any guidelines to follow, and your neighbor could say the same thing about her diamond, then basically diamonds would lose their value. When it comes to diamonds, the more rare something is, the more valuable it is.

This is the problem in the “real world” of diamond grading. Many diamond wholesalers do not like the strict guidelines that GIA uses. They “feel” their diamond should be graded higher, thus making their diamond more valuable and making them a better profit when they sell it. Out of this thinking new diamond grading labs were born.  These new grading labs are much more loose on their diamond grading. They made their own guidelines and follow them, and then try and pass them off using GIA’s grading system. 

Know About Different Grading Labs

This is what the advanced diamond clarity chart is for. It will show you what clarity grading level the diamond you’re looking at needs to be to match the pictures below. As a rule of thumb what GIA says your diamond it, it is. Period! No questions asked. Not by your insurance company, not by any online or offline jewelry store. GIA is the foremost authority when it comes to diamond grading and they are not argued with. However others can be argued with because  as a rule of thumb in the diamond world diamonds that are graded by any other gemological lab other than GIA or AGS can be off by at least 1-3 grades.  So that diamond you’re looking at that's graded by, say, EGL Israel that reads SI1 clarity on the certification will most likely be, according to most experts in the jewelry industry, as well as GIA, an I1 diamond possibly a high I2.

10x Magnified Naked Eye Clarity / Description To find this Clarity
IF / FL Clarity IF / FL Clarity IF / FL - Internally Flawless / Flawless
Free From internal blemishes. Usually requires a microscope with more than 20x power to see anything remote. The most rare and most prized of the clarities. Absolutely eye clean. The rarest clarity you will find.
  • GIA - IF/FL
  • AGS - 0
  • EGL-USA - IF/FL
  • Any other lab / Don't buy (professional recommendation)
VVS1 Clarity IF / FL Clarity VVS1 - Very Very Slight Included 1 Inclusions are very difficult to locate under 10x magnification. You could never tell the difference between IF and VVS1 with the naked eye. Absolutely eye clean.
  • GIA - VVS1
  • AGS - 1
  • EGL-USA - VVS1
  • Any other lab - IF/FL
VVS2 Clarity IF / FL Clarity VVS2 - Very Very Slight Included 2 Inclusions are very difficult to locate under 10x magnification. You can not tell the difference between IF, VVS1, or VVS2 with the naked eye. Absolutely eye clean.
  • GIA - VVS2
  • AGS - 2
  • EGL-USA - VVS2
  • Any other lab - IF/FL
VS1 Clarity IF / FL Clarity VS1 - Very Slight Included 1 Inclusions are difficult to locate under 10x magnification but easier than IF, VVS. You can not tell the difference between a VS and VVS with the naked eye. Absolutely eye clean!
  • GIA - VS1
  • AGS - 3
  • EGL-USA - VVS2
  • Any other lab - VVS1
VS2 Clarity IF / FL Clarity VS2 - Very Slight Included 2 Inclusions are difficult to locate under 10x magnification but easier than IF, VVS, VS1. You can not tell the difference between a VS and VVS with the naked eye. Absolutely eye clean!
  • GIA - VS2
  • AGS - 4
  • EGL-USA - VS1
  • Any other lab - VVS2
SI1 Clarity IF / FL Clarity SI1 - Slight Inclusion 1 Inclusions little harder to see under 10x magnification. Most of the time very clean to the naked eye. SI1's simply offer the most for your money! Your naked eye 99% of the time can not tell the difference between a SI1 and a VVS clarity diamond.
  • GIA - SI1
  • AGS - 5
  • EGL-USA - VS2
  • Any other lab - VS1
SI2 Clarity SI2 Clarity Seen with the naked eye SI2 - Slight Inclusion 2 Inclusions much easier to see under 10x mag. Inclusions are viewable to the naked eye. Differs from SI1 in the fact that that inclusion in a SI1 diamond 99% of the time can not be seen with the naked eye, where the inclusions in a SI2 diamond, at least in our many years of experience, can be seen around 70% of the time.
  • GIA - SI2
  • AGS - 6
  • EGL-USA - SI1
  • Any other lab - VS2/SI1
I1 Clarity I1 Clarity with the naked eye I1 - Inclusion 1 Inclusions and external blemishes are easy to locate under 10x magnification. You can see all inclusions with the naked eye just not as many as you would see with a I2 or I3 clarity diamond. Standard Clarity you would find at many discount stores online and off.
  • GIA - I1
  • AGS - 7
  • EGL-USA - SI2
  • Any other lab - SI1
I2 Clarity I2 Clarity with the naked eye I2 - Inclusion 2 Inclusions and external blemishes are very easy to locate with the naked eye. If a clean look is what you seek this is not the clarity for you. For the most part every inclusion is clearly visible to the naked eye, not always, but mostly. The only question is how far away you can actually see them.
  • GIA - I2
  • AGS - 8/9
  • EGL-USA - I1
  • Any other lab - SI2
I3 Clarity I3 Clarity with the naked eye I3 - Inclusion 3 Heavy inclusions located with naked eye from far distances. The overall look is rather unpleasing, which is why many I3 diamonds end up being used for commercial purposes, or costume jewelry.
  • GIA - I3
  • AGS - 10
  • EGL-USA - I2
  • Any other lab - I1/I2
AGS Grading

World known for being as strict as GIA, and year after year they help perfect the diamond and gem grading system.

AGS grades using numbers with 0 being flawless all the way to 10 which is considered the worst. You'll see this reflected in the above chart.

  • AGS is second only to GIA.
Other Grading Labs

In the chart above when we say "Any other Lab" we are referring to any and all grading labs that are not GIA, AGS, or EGL-USA. Such as:

  • EGL International
  • EGL Israel
  • IGI
  • AGA
In-House Grading
You'll find this is the case most of the time when you shop for diamonds in a jewelry store.
EGL-USA vs EGL Int.

EGL-USA is the same thing as:

  • EGL New York
  • EGL Los Angeles
  • EGL Vancouver
  • EGL Toronto

EGL International - refers to all EGL companies that are not located in the U.S or Canada. To make this very clear. EGL-USA is NOT the same thing as EGL-Int. Not even close.

The SI3 Conflict - Pay Close Attention

EGL-USA used to be part of the EGL Company as a whole. But has since separated and operates solely as their own company (EGL USA Group). Because of this there are two EGL corporations. EGL-USA, which is any EGL company located in North America (U.S. and Canada), and EGL International, which is any EGL company located outside North America such as EGL Israel, and EGL Belgium. EGL-USA and EGL-Int. are incredibly different from each other.

EGL International has a reputation for grading very soft, often times their grades are off by two or more grades compared to what GIA, AGS, or EGL-USA would grade. They grade so soft that they came up with a new clarity grade called SI3. SI3 was invented so that diamond wholesalers / dealers could get a better grade instead of being forced to use I1. SI3 is nothing more than a glorified I1. Often times it's as bad as I2. In our 20 plus years in the diamond business, our professional opinion would be to avoid anything that says SI3. GIA, AGS, and EGL-USA do not recognize the SI3 grade. Most insurance companies won't either.