How much of a perfectionist are you? Diamond clarity scale
Updated: Sep 14, 2019
The impurities in diamond create a “fingerprint” that is unique for every diamond. In that regard they are quite helpful in providing identifying characteristics. And while there are many types of diamond inclusions, and they are the subject of much interest and discussion on the part of diamond shoppers, the practical impact of many diamond clarity grades on diamond beauty is surprisingly small.
There are eleven clarity grades in the GIA system and it can be said that diamonds within the top six grades (up to SI1) are almost certain to be clean to the naked eye, or “eye clean”, when viewed normally in the face-up position. When a diamond is clean to the naked eye and does not have clarity features that diminish light performance to an appreciable degree, the clarity grade has virtually no impact on the visual appearance of the diamond. Even if the diamond is six or seven grades down the scale. Clarity is the only one of the diamond 4 C’s where this is true. However, diamond prices are generally predicated on rarity which means the bigger, the cleaner and better color the diamond is, the higher the price. So, for the most part, until you get into the imperfect I range, the clarity grade only impacts price and has little or no bearing on beauty.
Because diamonds with lower clarity grades are less expensive, shoppers looking for best value are particularly interested in those diamonds which are lower in grade but have no eye visible inclusions or any clarity features that might deprive the diamond of its fire, brilliance and sparkle. SI1 diamonds are extremely popular for precisely this reason. But not all SI1 diamonds will fit the criteria above. Some do have eye visible inclusions, particularly larger diamonds. The term “eye-clean” means different things to different people and the definition can vary from vendor to vendor. Inclusions are usually hidden under the prongs but in fact they can be easily noticed under daylight or just under careful investigation of a diamond.
Some diamonds may be technically eye clean but have features that impede light performance, leaving them less bright or fiery than they would otherwise be. SI1 diamonds with clarity grades based on features such as clouds, twinning wisps, and graining can sometimes have transparency deficits. It is wise to have an experienced expert review such diamonds before you are fully committed to a purchase, as these effects can sometimes not be obvious to the untrained eye. Shopping for a good SI1 can be a little tricky, but the payoff in value can be very worthwhile.
We, however, offer great prices on VS2 diamonds that certainly do not have visible by the naked eye inclusions and also offer good prices on clearer diamonds too. We sell fine jewellery with VS2 diamonds for the same prices or even lower than other vendors sell jewellery with SI1 diamonds. We do want our customers to pay less and get the greatest possible quality diamonds that they will wear with a lot of love for years to come. We do this because we want our customers to be proud of their purchase and be sure in the quality of our diamonds.