Diamond Clarity – How Much Does It Really Matter?
Diamonds have been a jewel of choice for decades now. They are associated with love, romance, and are the most popular stone found in engagement and wedding rings. So when it comes to shopping for that perfect diamond, what is clarity and how much does it really matter? Here’s a crash course in diamond clarity so you can decide for yourself.
What is Clarity?
Clarity isn’t something that is decided upon by the jeweler or the buyer; the clarity of a diamond is actually assigned by gemological laboratories. Every diamond on the market is given a clarity grade and it is based on the stone’s birthmark if you will. Because diamonds are naturally formed in the earth, each one is unique and each one has flaws.
They are subjected to a whole lot of heat and pressure, which leaves behind little marks called inclusions. Based on how many, how big, and how visible these inclusions are, the diamond will then be assigned its clarity rating. Some inclusions are large and can be seen by the naked eye, whereas other inclusions can only be seen under a microscope by a trained professional.
Does Clarity Affect the Price?
Clarity absolutely affects the price of the diamond. The higher the clarity rating, the more expensive the diamond will be. Diamonds that have perfect clarity – also known as flawless – are extremely rare, which is why they are more expensive.
What Are the Clarity Ratings Given?
Understanding the various clarity ratings will help you to be a more informed shopper. Diamonds are broken down into the following classifications when it comes to clarity.
F – Flawless:
This is the very highest quality when it comes to clarity, what it means is that there are no inclusions or blemishes at 10x magnification level.
IF – Internally Flawless:
With this rating, you may be able to see very small external blemishes that could possibly be removed with re-polishing. However, there are no inclusions at 10x magnification.
VVS1 and VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly Included:
With both of these grades, the diamond will have small inclusions that can be seen with difficulty at 10x magnification level. These inclusions aren’t visible to the naked eye.
VS1 and VS2 – Very Slightly Included:
In this grade, the inclusions will be easy to spot under 10x magnification, but aren’t visible to the naked eye.
SI1 and SI2 – Slightly Included:
Here you will be able to see the inclusions under 10x magnification with ease and they may also be visible to the naked eye.
I1, I2, and I3 – Included:
These are diamonds that have inclusions that are very noticeable both under magnification and to the naked eye. Because of these inclusions, it may even affect the durability of the diamond itself.
Be an Informed Shopper
Before you embark on purchasing a diamond you may want to check out the pocket size diamond clarity guide from The Diamond Advisors. This guide will take you through all the basics when it comes to clarity, so you can feel confident in your decision.
While clarity certainly will play into how the diamond looks and the price of the stone, it’s really up to the individual what they find brilliant and attractive in a diamond.