Diamond Types: Classification, Cut, and Clarity

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Diamonds are a classic gemstone for any occasion, especially weddings and engagements. A diamond’s  sparkle first attracts our eyes, followed by our hearts. However, there is more to diamonds than sparkle, especially when making a lifetime investment. Generally, the cut, clarity, carat, and color are the parameters to consider when buying diamond jewelry. In this article, we will look at three Cs: Classification, Cut, and Clarity.


Unless you are in the diamond business and regularly deal with GIA-certified loose diamonds, you may not know the classification system based on the grade of the diamond. Given below is a brief on this classification.

  1. Ia Diamond

The Ia diamond is the standard and most common diamond type. When you go to a jeweler with your heirloom diamond necklace to know the value of your jewelry, you are most likely to be told that it is an Ia diamond (unless you have fake jewelry). This type has nitrogen clusters giving it a yellow tint.

  1. IIa Diamond

The type II diamond is rare and extremely valuable. These are formed under high pressure, resulting in varied shapes and a distinguishing sparkle. There is no impurity or nitrogen in this diamond; they have different fluorescent properties.

  1. Ib Diamond

Ib is also a rare diamond type. These have nitrogen scattered instead of being clustered. Because of the presence of nitrogen atoms, these diamonds are brown, orange, or yellow-colored.

  1. IIb Diamond

Yet another rare diamond type is the IIb diamond. These have no nitrogen; instead, they have a combination of boron and carbon in them. This type conducts electricity and has a blue tint.


There is a common misconception that the cut of the diamond is the same as its shape. However, the cut also includes other aspects of the diamond that can be seen to the naked eye. This includes the width and depth, which decide how light travels through diamonds. 

The cut also affects the sparkle, brilliance, and brightness of the diamond. As such, the stones are categorized into different grades based on the quality of the cut: excellent (EX), very good (VG), good (G), fair (F), and then poor (P). The better the cut, the more expensive the diamond is.


  1. Included Diamonds: Included diamonds include grades l1, l2, and l3 and have visible inclusion that affects their beauty. These are the lowest grade diamonds and cost less than others.
  1. Slightly included diamonds: These are Sl1 and Sl2 diamonds in which the inclusions can be mostly seen under 10x magnification. However, Sl2 variants may have inclusions that are visible to the eye.
  1. Very slightly included Diamonds: These have minor inclusions that may be difficult to see under 10x magnification.
  1. Very, very slightly included Diamonds: Including VVS1 and VVS 2, these are rare to find and are clean to the eye, and the inclusion may be hard to find even under magnification.
  1. Flawless Diamonds: These are the rarest of them all, accounting for only 1% of all diamonds in the world because they have no inclusions or any external characteristics.
  1. Internally Flawless Diamonds: These have no inclusions but have slight surface-level blemishes that are visible under a microscope. The marks on the surface decide the grade.


Diamonds come in different varieties and are categorized using cut, clarity, carat, color, and classification system. It is necessary to be able to tell the difference when you are out buying diamond jewelry or when starting your diamond business. This will allow you to choose the right piece for you, whatever the occasion may be. 

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