Use the diamond clarity chart below, along with the GIA and AGS grade charts for diamond cut and color scales, as a guide while you shop for the perfect diamond. The diamond grading charts presented here are used by the two most reputable diamond laboratories in the world, and with these diamond scales in mind you'll be able to find a premium diamond for the right price.
And if you have any questions at all about these diamond charts and grades - including cut, clarity and color grades - just use the comment box at the end of the page to send in your questions!
About Diamond Grades
Diamond cut, clarity and color grades are used on diamond certifications to provide info about the quality and analysis of a diamond. It is important to remember that diamond certifications are not the same as diamond appraisals. In fact, most professional and reputable diamond certification laboratories stay away from offering appraisals of any kind. Instead, diamond certifications - and the grades on the certifications - are meant to offer an unbiased analysis of a diamond to protect both diamond buyers and diamond sellers.
While there are different laboratories that grade diamonds, two of the best worldwide labs are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS) also known as the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL).
Each of these laboratories have extremely good reputations with a long established history and are renowned for the research they continue to perform on perfecting the process of gemstone and diamond analysis.
Two internationally recognized diamond certification laboratories with the highest reputations also include the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL).
The diamond clarity chart below, and the diamond cut and color charts too, both show the diamond grading standards from the GIA and the AGS.
Clarity measures the presence of inclusions - or flaws - located on the inside and outside of the diamond. High clarity diamonds are extremely rare - and in fact only 20% of the diamonds found in nature have a high enough clarity rating to be used for gemological purposes. The remaining 80% of diamonds are used for industrial purposes. Diamonds with a clarity grade beyond SI2 on the GIA diamond clarity chart and beyond 5 on the AGS diamond rating scale contain inclusions which are visible to the naked eye.
Most diamonds in nature have some type of color tint to them - usually a yellow or brown tint. Colorless diamonds, as with high clarity diamonds, are quite rare too. Diamonds which have a color grade beyond I on the GIA diamond color scale and beyond 3.49 on the AGS diamond color scale will show tints of color even to the untrained eye.
Colored (fancy color) diamonds - like canary yellow diamonds and pink diamonds, receive a separate diamond color
grade report which evaluates the hue, tone and saturation of the diamond color.
The cut of a diamond is what gives the diamond its bling factor, otherwise known as brilliance and fire. Higher cut grades = higher brilliance and fire.
But while all diamonds can receive a clarity and color report, only certain types of diamond cuts may receive a cut grade from these laboratories.
So, if you would like to buy a fancy cut diamond that has been evaluated by the GIA diamond grading system keep in mind that the report will not contain a grade on the cut; an AGS grade report will not evaluate a cut grade on diamonds that are outside of the round brilliant, emerald, princess, and oval cuts. In these cases, the jeweler will provide this evaluation based on the diamond's brilliance, fire, polish, finish, and measurements.
you must rely on an independent jeweler's evaluation for certain types
of cuts, it is important to make sure a fancy cut diamond has been evaluated by
a trustworthy and highly reputable jeweler as a poor cut can have an effect on the
diamond's strength, durability, value and beauty.
Using The Diamond Clarity Chart and Diamond Grades to Shop for Diamonds:
Now that you've seen the diamond grading chart guidelines used by the GIA and the AGS, you can use this information to find a first-rate diamond for your budget.
you are looking for a premium diamond, and cost is not a concern, then stick with a diamond on the diamond rating scale graded Colorless/No
Color, Ideal/Excellent Cut, and Flawless/No Inclusions - or as near to these grades as you can find (keep in mind, these diamonds are very rare, which is of course why they are so highly valued!).
If you would like a quality diamond, but budget is a concern, then choose a diamond that has a lower color, cut, and clarity grade which is within these parameters:
whose grades fall below the values listed above are not highly
recommended. The quality of the diamond's look, strength, and durability
begin to decline once you go below these levels - especially for diamonds on the lower end of the diamond clarity chart. Take a look at Discount Diamond Engagement Rings for more tips on buying diamonds on a budget!
If you would like to know more about diamonds after reading up on the diamond clarity scale and more - check out our related diamond pages including Diamond C's: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat, Types of Diamond Cuts and Diamond Buying Tips.
Questions or Comments?
Send in your questions and comments about diamond grading here - I will post answers to your questions as soon as possible!