The Four C’s of Diamonds – Clarity

The Four C's of Diamonds – Clarity

Having a good understanding of how to choose a diamond is important before making a big diamond purchase, like an engagement ring. Experts agree that you should definitely understand the four C’s of diamonds, with clarity being one of these. Here are seven important items to understand about a diamond’s clarity.

1. Clarity is simply a measure of a diamond’s imperfections.

The ideal diamond is flawless, meaning it has no imperfections. Few diamonds meet this standard, but the clarity measure shows exactly how close a particular diamond comes to being flawless. A diamond’s imperfections are referred to as inclusions.

2. A diamond’s imperfections often are not noticeable to the naked eye.

Many imperfections are unseen without special equipment. So, though your diamond may have imperfections that affect its clarity rating, you may never notice.

3. Clarity is measured on a scale.

The scale is as follows:

  • Fl, IF – these measurements stand for flawless and internally flawless, meaning a diamond with no imperfections. This type of diamond is extremely rare.
  • VVS1, VVS2 – Very, very slightly included. This is an exceptional diamond. Imperfections are very difficult to see even under 10x magnification.
  • VS1, VS2 – Very slightly included – Imperfections are not visible to the naked eye, but can be viewed with magnification.
  • SI1, SI2 – Imperfections can be seen under 10x magnification, and some may be visible with the naked eye.
  • I1 – Included – Some imperfections that are visible to the naked eye.
  • I2, I3 – Multiple inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. These diamonds look flawed, even to the novice diamond owner.

4. Clarity affects price.

As you might imagine, the fewer inclusions a diamond carries, the higher its price. This is why it is so important to go into a diamond purchase with a good understanding of how much you can afford to spend. You want to buy the best diamond that fits within your budget, and this includes determining which level of clarity is right for you.

5. Most reputable jewelers don’t carry highly included diamonds.

It is rare to find I2 and I3 diamonds for sale at the best jewelers. Most reputable jewelers want to provide their customers with diamonds that are, at the very least, clean to the naked eye. If you see a diamond that is significantly lower in price than others around it, be certain to double-check the clarity grade.

6. Aim for the middle of the Four C’s of Diamonds.

Clarity levels sought by most buyers include VS1, VS2 or SI1, SI2 categories. These diamonds look perfect to the eye and offer a very good value for your money.

7. Get an expert opinion.

If you feel confused in trying to determine which clarity grade is right for you, or how to balance each of the four C’s to get the best overall diamond, talk to an expert. A diamond expert is happy to help you understand all the considerations in your diamond choice.

Now that you understand clarity as is pertains to the four C’s of diamonds, you are much better armed to start shopping for a diamond ring. It is critical to consider each of the four C’s as you work to pick out the perfect diamond for you.

Carl Jones

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist (GIA GG) and the lead writer behind the Diamond Insider. He specializes in writing about tips, reviews, and advice for buying Diamond Jewelry. He has decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge about diamonds, and he is here to share that knowledge with you.

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