When people shop for diamonds, they tend to consider the carat weight of the diamond stone the wish to purchase the most important aspect that affects their decision. They would also compare their budget to the potential carat weight that they could afford, without considering the fact that other qualities of a diamond can also affect its price and appearance. In many cases, a person would settle for a smaller diamond ring due to a tight budget, but not realize that they could’ve opted for a slightly larger choice if they learned more about the other qualities that affect how much the diamond costs. In particular, the grade and clarity of the diamond is an option that can sometimes be sacrificed slightly to enhance the size of a diamond without having to pay a significantly larger amount of money for the final jewelry product.
What Is Diamond Clarity?
We should start this post by explaining what exactly diamond clarity is. First, you will notice that any certified issues by one of the trustworthy and reputable diamond grading laboratories, such as the GIA or AGS, will contain a grade for a diamond’s clarity. The clarity grade of a diamond tells you whether or not the diamond contains any visible inclusions. Note that certain grades tells you that the diamond contains inclusions and blemishes that can only be seen when a special magnifier is used to inspect the diamond, while other grades will tell you that the diamond contains inclusions that can be seen without having to use the special magnifier. In rare cases, a diamond may also be graded as completely flawless, which means it does not contain any imperfections whatsoever – these diamonds are considerably more expensive than those with some level of inclusions.
After a diamond has been inspected, it will be given one of the following clarity grades:
- FL – FL refers to a completely flawless diamond, which means the diamond does not contain any type of blemishes, inclusions or any other imperfections when it comes to its clarity. These diamonds are quite rare and they also cost much more than the other grades.
- IF – IF refers to an internally flawless diamond. These diamonds does not contain any inclusions on the inside of the diamond, but blemishes are present on the surface of the diamond. These are also relatively rare.
- VVS – VVS refers to diamonds with VERY VERY SLIGHT inclusions, meaning some inclusions were observed while inspecting the diamond under a magnifier, but even the appraiser had a difficult time detecting the inclusions.
- VS – VS refers to diamonds with VERY SLIGHTLY inclusions. These diamonds also contain slight inclusions that are still relatively difficult to see, even for the diamond expert that is inspecting the diamond.
- SI – This is where the quality of the diamond’s clarity reduces somewhat. These diamonds contain SLIGHT INCLUSIONS, which are easier to spot than the inclusions in a VVS or VS diamond. Still, these inclusions can mostly only be seen when the diamond is placed under the appraiser’s magnifier.
- I – Finally, the lowest clarity grade refers to INCLUDED diamonds. These diamonds have more significant amounts of inclusions that can often be seen with the naked eye.
While the carat weight of a diamond in question plays one of the most significant roles in assisting the jeweler with the determination of the diamond’s price, the clarity grade of a diamond also has an impact on the final price of the diamond or the piece of jewelry the diamond is fitted in. The clarity grade is also a particular factor that impacts the final appearance of a diamond, but not as much as some aspects, like the cut quality; thus the clarity grade can often be sacrificed for a better cut quality or carat weight.