Diamond Clarity Guide

The clarity of a diamond is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting your gemstone, along with cut, color and carat. Diamond clarity describe the overall appearance of the diamond in relation to both external and internal imperfections that the stone may have. Each diamond is assessed as well as graded based on a standard grading scale.

The Diamond Clarity Scale (Clarity Grades)

There are six categories of diamond clarity, with each of them containing one or more clarity grades. The value of the diamond continues to decrease as the clarity grades go lower down on the clarity grade scale. However, although the clarity grade might drop, that doesn’t mean that the stone’s un-magnified appearance is affected.

Examples of Diamond ColorThe following table details the different levels of diamond clarity according to the GIA Clarity Scale for color as well as white diamonds.

GIA Diamond Clarity Scale

Flawless (FL) – It is extremely rare to find a stone that is totally flawless.

Internally Flawless (IF) – This stone has surface flaws but no internal flaws. This is also a very rare find.

Very Very Slight Inclusion (VVSI1 and VVSI2) – This is a stone that has a very small internal inclusion. X30 magnification must be used to determine these inclusions.

Very Slight Inclusion (VS1 and VS2) – These are stones that have very small internal inclusions. X10 magnification can be used to determine these inclusions.

Slight Inclusion (SI1 and SI2) – X10 magnification can be used to determine whether a gemstone has a slight inclusion.

Pique or Inclusion (P1, P2, P3) and (I1, I2, I3) – These are stones that have inclusions that may be visible to the naked eye. When an inclusion is at this level, it can bring down the diamond’s value drastically.

Color Diamond Clarity

Clarity is an extremely important measure that needs to be scaled in colorless diamonds. In colored diamonds, clarity isn’t as critical as it is in colorless stones.

Whenever you are buying a fancy colored diamond, the intensity and color are much more important than the diamond’s actual clarity. For more information on this particular issue check out jamesallenreviews.org.

Kinds Of Diamond Imperfections

Typical ImperfectionsThe strongest element that is currently known to mankind is diamonds. However, they are mined once they have traveled to great depths through intense volcanic eruptions, and are created in conditions that are nearly unimaginable deep below the earth’s surface. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too surprising to realize that various imperfections do occur within these stones.

The inclusions that occur within diamonds are divided into two basic categories: External Inclusions and Internal Inclusions. Every diamond has inclusions in it. However, depending on its size, type and where the inclusions are located in the stone, they may not always affect the stone’s appearance.

Any inclusions that are discovered in the diamond get noted on its GIA certification, along with images and text specifying where exactly the imperfections were found.

The Effect That Imperfections Have On Diamonds

A diamond that has an SI1 inclusion may appear at times to be clean to the eye, despite the fact that it causes the monetary value of the stone to be lowered significantly.

What that means is that the stone may cost much less, despite that fact that the diamond is still full of life. So much more can affect the value or appearance of a stone beyond its clarity grade. Therefore, it is very important that each and everyone gemstone that you are seriously thinking about buying should be inspected.

Improving A Diamond’s Overall Clarity

Over the years, there have been several professionals who have been able to perfect their ability to improve the clarity of diamonds naturally. When an individual knows exactly what he or she is doing, external blemishes can actually be polished away.

However, a great deal of care needs be taken when these kinds of changes are attempted, since the weight, the size and sometimes even a stone’s shape may be altered in the process. In addition, it is always a risk to place a stone on the polishing wheel once again.

There are actually firms that look to specifically buy stones that seem to be good candidates for being modified naturally. They use their superb polishing skills to improve a stone’s overall clarity.

Artificial Diamond Clarity Enhancement

There are also several different kinds of artificial enhancements that can be done to a diamond in order to enhance the color or clarity of the stone. These techniques include Fracturing Filling and Laser Drilling (or also known as Keduach Meyuchad). Of course, artificial enhancements are legitimate. However, it absolutely must be communicated to the person purchasing the stone ahead of time.

It is very important to keep in mind that when it comes to diamonds, that the word ‘perfection’ is definitely a relative term. When magnification is sufficient, inclusions will be discovered in just about any diamond in existence. Every diamond needs to have a professional assess it so that any detrimental imperfections are not overlooked.

Is The Carat Weight Or The Cut Of A Diamond More Important?

When shopping for diamonds, you need to come with your homework done, otherwise you won’t be able to understand what too look for. You have to know the main characteristics of a diamond and their influence on the quality of the stone. You need to know where the good value for money is, in order to find the best possible diamond that fits into your available budget.

Diamond RingYou can pay a fair price, but only if you know how to assess and compare various stones and their features. If you go shopping without knowing much, you risk to overpay quite a lot. This is why you should learn as much as you can before even starting your research.

As diamonds have four main characteristics that give their quality and their market value, you need to learn what are these characteristics, also known as the 4Cs, namely carat, cut, color and clarity. Each of them is measured on a special scale, and they all influence the brilliance and the beauty of a stone. The art of shopping for the perfect diamond is to be able to find the right combination of these characteristics that would give you a good looking stone, at a reasonable price.

The carat weight is directly related to the size of the diamond. It’s very clear that the bigger the carat weight, the larger the diamond is going to be. When making your choice, you need to start from your budget and work your way up from that value. You may want to pick a gem that’s smaller, but with much better cut value. If you want to use it for an engagement ring, you may be better off with a smaller one anyway, so why pay more for a big stone that wouldn’t be so comfortable on the finger of your sweetheart?

The impact of the Diamond Cut

Different Types of Engagement ringsAs the cut contributes a lot to the brilliance and the overall look of a diamond, you can safely assume that it is more important than the carat weight. However, you can only make this assumption when you have a budget big enough to afford a stone that serves its purpose. Besides, the clarity and the color are also very important, as they also have a direct influence on the look of the diamond.

The real challenge is to find the middle way, the mix of properties that gives you the most beautiful gem, at the best possible price. As the cut influences the path of the light through the stone, it surely is important, so you should never overlook it when shopping for diamonds. A not so good cut may result in less brilliance, thus being quite annoying.

The main advantage of a good cut is that it can make a smaller carat weight choice look bigger and whiter under various lighting options. This is why it’s a good idea to aim for the best cut you can afford, and then see what kind of compromise you can make on the other factors, in order to get the best value for money.

A better brilliance can help masking the inclusions in the stone, thus allowing you to go for a lower clarity grade, without losing on quality. As great diamonds are merely based on optical illusions, if you can find one that looks gorgeous without having the high grades that come with huge price tags, you can say you’ve found a keeper.

The value of the diamond carat weight

Fancy Shaped DiamondThis piece of advice can serve you even if you want to buy diamonds as investments rather than for an engagement ring or other piece of jewelry. A beautiful stone is always going to have a good value on the market, so you should try to compare multiple options before you make your final decision.

This kind of purchase may involve lots of days or even months of research. Besides, you should hire an expert diamond grader to help you, as they are the most qualified individuals for this kind of job. They know what to look for in a stone, their eyes being trained to find even the slightest imperfections. You can be sure they can spot more inclusions and imperfections than you, so they can help you avoid overpaying for your stone.

In conclusion, the discussion about the importance of the cut vs the carat weight isn’t too relevant. Once you decide which carat weight is right for you, you can go ahead and see what cut grade you can afford. If you aren’t happy with your options, you can go ahead and decrease a little the carat weight, then search again in this new range. This is how you should think when you shop for diamonds. You need to understand that flexibility, determination and patience can help you land an amazing deal.