Buying a stunning diamond ring typically entails narrowing down to your shape and picking a high-quality one for the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) — without spending more than intended. However, for most people, diamond clarity is always low on their list of priorities.
What they tend to forget is the clarity of a diamond is also a very crucial factor to consider. In essence, if you want to love your diamond years to come as you do today, then clarity must be considered before making a purchase.
What is diamond clarity?
Diamond clarity simply denotes the degree of imperfection (inclusions and blemishes) within and on the stone's surface. The fewer flaws the diamond has, the higher the clarity grade.
Diamond Clarity Scale: Everything You Need to Know
Gemologists have a unique way of determining diamonds' clarity: they use sophisticated tools to do that. For most people, they depend on the diamond's sparkle to make a decision. A diamond that sparkles the most rates higher on the clarity scale.
We use the GIA clarity scale, which contains 11 grades to rate diamonds. GIA consider factors such as size, nature, quality of clarity, and color under 10× magnification to determine clarity.
- Flawless (FL): diamonds without inclusions and no blemishes (flaws)
- Internally Flawless (IF): Inclusions not visible. Only a skilled grader can identify them.
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions that are difficult to see even under magnification.
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Inclusions that range from difficult to see to easy-to-view under magnification.
- Slightly Included (SI1 and Sl2): These inclusions are noticeable to a grader and sometimes visible to the naked eye (Sl2).
- Included (l1, l2, and l3): These inclusions may affect brilliance and transparency. They are visible to the naked eye and under magnification.
Flawless has no flaws (blemishes and inclusions), while Included has the most flaws, which affect brilliance and transparency. FL and IF are rarely used in engagement rings. Fewer inclusions mean the diamond will sparkle more under the light.
Clarity: How it affects the price
In essence, diamonds with a clarity grade that is too high are a good investment but will cost you more. Unless money is not a problem, stick to the lowest clarity grade that presents an eye-clean diamond.
Clarity enhancement: Why is it necessary?
Clarity enhancement is done to make stones with inclusions look flawless. While this is a good thing: it will be easier on your wallet — not all of them are permanent. That means there is a possibility you may not like the look of your rings some years to come.
Which Clarity is Best?
Flawless and internally flawless are ideal if you can afford them. Sadly, they are rare and costly, so it is better to opt for one with inclusions. Something in the range of (VS1 or VS2) and SI1 is ideal if on a budget. They will still look good to the naked eye, and if your pocket allows, you can spend a little more to enhance the look.