Do you know how to figure out the quality of your diamond? Maybe you’re just curious about diamonds. Or maybe you want to prepare for when you buy a diamond ring. No matter your reasons, always consult a diamond quality chart to ensure you get what you want.
The quality of a diamond depends on a lot of factors. It can be tricky to know exactly what you’re getting–especially if you don’t understand how diamonds are graded.
Read on to learn more about the 4 C’s of diamonds, as well as diamond clarity.
What Is Diamond Clarity?
Clarity refers to the number of inclusions or imperfections on or within the diamond.
Diamond inclusions are small blemishes or crystal inclusions in the diamond. They make the diamond imperfect in a very small way, but any inclusions will affect the overall clarity grade.
Diamond clarity is a huge part of diamond grading. Flawless diamonds are rare; they have no imperfections or diamond inclusions.
On the other hand, diamonds with visible inclusions have a much lower clarity grade.
Diamonds with the highest clarity grade are not common in nature, as most diamonds have some form of inclusions visible. But most imperfections on diamonds are not noticeable inclusions. Therefore, you won’t be able to tell the difference with the unaided eye.
Diamond Clarity Grade
Clarity is a measure of how many clarity inclusions a diamond has.
Most diamond inclusions will not be visible to the naked eye. Rather, they are judged based on 10x magnification by a diamond expert.
GIA Diamond Clarity Scale
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a leading organization in the diamond industry. It creates strict standards for grading diamond clarity.
There are six main categories on the GIA diamond clarity scale. The clarity grade range of a diamond affects its appearance and price.
It’s important to look at a diamond clarity chart and understand the diamond clarity scale before shopping for diamonds.
The best diamond clarity grade is flawless (FL). An FL diamond has no clarity inclusions at all.
An (IF) internally flawless diamond has no internal inclusions. But surface blemishes may be visible to a professional with 10X magnification.
Very Very Slightly Included
VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds have very slight inclusions. But, under 10x magnification, they are invisible to the naked eye. The VVS1 diamond clarity grade means the inclusions are on the bottom part of the diamond, while VVS2 clarity grade refers to inclusions visible on the crown of the diamond.
Very Slightly Included
Very slightly included diamonds (VS1 and VS2) have visible inclusions under 10x magnification, but the blemishes are invisible to the naked eye.
SI1 and SI2 diamonds have inclusions to the naked eye. These two clarity grades are also often the lowest you will see sold.
Included diamonds have obvious, visible inclusions. As a result, the naked eye can easily see the imperfections in the diamond.
This diamond clarity grade is very low so it will not be used for jewelry like an engagement ring. In fact, some inclusions may affect the strength and durability of the diamond.
Diamond Clarity Quality Chart
This diamond clarity chart gives an overview of grades.
- FL – flawless
No inclusions or imperfections. A flawless diamond is rare.
- IF – internally flawless
Slight surface blemishes invisible to the naked eye, but no internal inclusions.
- VVS1/VVS2 – very very slightly included
Minor inclusions are only visible to diamond experts under 10x magnification. Visibly the same as higher clarity grades.
- VS1/VS2 – very slightly included
Very small inclusions that are generally invisible to the naked eye.
- SI1/SI2 – slightly included
Visible inclusions (to the naked eye) are often present.
- I – included
Large inclusions are very visible to the unaided eye.
The cut of a diamond refers to how the jeweler cut the stone; in fact, the best cut enhances its brilliance and shine. Diamond cut includes symmetry, angles, and proportions, as well as polishing.
Natural diamonds from the earth are not shiny and sparkly like the ones you see in rings.
A diamond with a less-than-ideal cut will not be as fit for an engagement ring or other jewelry. Many people focus on a diamond’s clarity, but cut is the main factor that affects a diamond’s beauty.
A diamond’s cut can also help hide inclusions. Brilliant cut diamonds, such as an oval or pear cut diamond, can appear cleaner even with a lower clarity grade.
Diamond Carat Weight
Carat weight refers to the physical weight of the diamond but not the size. One carat is about one-fifth of a gram.
Diamond prices are often shown as price per carat. So make sure you know if you are given the total price or the price per carat.
The higher the carat weight of a single diamond, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, large diamonds are rarer.
Just like diamonds have a clarity grade, there is also a color grade assigned to each one.
The scale ranges from D to Z, with D being the highest color rating.
Faintly colored with a slight yellow hue
Very noticeable yellow tint
Diamond Prices Based on a Quality Chart
The price of a diamond depends on all the factors listed above. Diamonds are also priced per carat. A larger or higher quality diamond will have a higher price per carat and thus a higher total price.
The higher the quality of a diamond, the more expensive it will be.
When you’re shopping for an engagement ring, be sure to know these factors. It will help you find a diamond that’s right for you.
Tips for Shopping for Diamonds
To get the best value for your money, shop for diamonds with specific characteristics. An ideal cut diamond is a must-have because it gives the diamond its sparkle and shine.
You can let go of other factors that won’t affect how the diamond looks.
Refer to a Diamond Quality Chart to Save on Color
You don’t need a colorless diamond for it to be beautiful. Near colorless diamonds are great for jewelry because you can’t tell the difference between them and colorless diamonds.
You can also match the color grade of the diamond with the metal of the ring setting.
Diamonds with colorless or near-colorless grades pair better with white gold or platinum settings. This is because they bring out the natural shine of the diamond.
Diamonds with a slight yellow hue may look better in a yellow gold setting. The yellow gold will help the diamond appear more colorless. If you know you want a yellow gold ring, it may be best to save money on color.
Use a Quality Chart When You Shop for Lower Diamond Clarity
A diamond’s clarity grade does not really affect how it looks as long as you stay in a certain range.
It’s not vital to buy a flawless diamond if a very slightly included stone looks the same but costs less.
Look for diamond clarity within the VS1/VS2 to VVS1/VVS2 for the best stones. Sometimes, a slightly included diamond will not have visible inclusions. This can help you save money on the clarity grade.
Bottom Line on Diamond Quality
Each diamond has a different rating based on its carat weight, cut, color, and clarity grade.
But if you know all of these factors, you can great a great value on diamond engagement rings or diamonds for any other jewelry.
Check out Clean Origin’s wide array of loose diamonds to find the perfect one!