Are you planning to buy a diamond engagement ring, but not sure where to start? Maybe you have already started searching for a diamond, but was surprised at just how many terms you simply cannot understand. We’ve all been there. Buying a diamond engagement ring is no joke. It is a complicated process that does not only need a lot of money and time, but also a lot of knowledge. The more you know about diamonds, the less of a chance there is of getting ripped off in the process. One particular area that is part of the four essential elements looked at while a diamond is graded, known as the clarity rating of a diamond, plays a significant impact on the price of a diamond, but can also affect how the diamond looks and what your loved one will think of the surprise you are buying her.
Clarity Grading Of A Diamond
Prior to the process where a diamond is fitted into an engagement ring, the diamond is first inspected by a professionally trained appraiser to determine the quality of the diamond. This grading process helps the appraiser determine the value of the diamond, which is then used to sell the diamond to the customer. During this grading process, four primary aspects are looked at:
- The carat weight of the diamond.
- The color grade of the diamond.
- The cut grade of the diamond.
- The clarity grade of the diamond.
In this article, we would like to focus on the clarity grade of the diamond particularly. This is an area that people often misunderstands, but it plays a big part in how much the diamond is sold for and how the diamond looks. One particular problem that people are often faced with is the fact that some companies would claim there is a significant visual difference between a diamond that is rated FL (flawless) and a diamond that is rated VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included). The problem, however, is that this claim is actually false – it is a way for the jewelry to get you to buy a more expensive diamond, knowing that there is not a significant visual difference.
When a diamond’s clarity is graded, it can be categorized into the following grades:
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 / VVS2)
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 / VS2)
- Included (I1 / I2 / I3)
A diamond that is rated as flawless has no visible inclusions – even when the diamond is placed under 10x magnification. A diamond that is rated as internally flawless has no inclusions, but a very small amount of blemishes on the surface when placed under 10x magnification. Diamonds graded VVS1 to VS2 do have some inclusions, but they are very hard to detect, even when the appraiser places the diamond under 10x magnification. SI1 and SI2 refers to diamonds with inclusions that can be seen at 10x magnification, while I1 to I3 refers to diamonds with inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.
By considering the above-mentioned information, it becomes clear that there is no need to opt for a flawless diamond when you want something that falls within your budget, while still looking good. A VVS diamond may contain some inclusions, but these inclusions can only be detected when the diamond is placed under 10x magnification – and with difficulty. Thus, no person would be able to detect any inclusions in the diamond if they do not have the right equipment and the appropriate knowledge and education to know what to look for.
A diamond is a precious gemstone that can cost thousands to millions of dollars. Such a purchase should not be taken lightly, especially if you are on a tight budget. Being ripped off can lead to the loss of a large amount of money, which will be unfortunate to you since many companies do not allow returns and, should you have purchased from someone who ripped you off, there is a good chance you won’t be able to make contact with them again. If you are buying a diamond, be sure to take a look at all the graded elements on the certificate, including the clarity rating as we have discussed in this article.