When you start shopping for a diamond, chances are one of the first things you will start to hear a lot of is the clarity of the stone using a diamond clarity chart. With diamonds being such a visual object, a diamond clarity chart will help you better understand the grade of stone in relation to its imperfections (or lack thereof). Clarity plays an important role in the look and price of the diamond, so it certainly pays to learn a little about it so you can get the best stone for your money.
What is a Diamond Clarity Chart?
Since each stone is formed in the earth in natural conditions, most diamonds will have tiny, microscopic imperfections and flaws (also known as inclusions). Fortunately, these imperfections will not always influence the beauty of a diamond. A diamond clarity chart helps you determine the quality and look of your stone. The diamond grading for clarity depends on how easily flaws can be seen by jewelers. Some imperfections can only be seen under a microscope, while others can be seen with the naked eye, giving them a lower clarity grade on the chart. The size, type and number of flaws, along with where they are located determines the grading on the diamond clarity chart.
Helpful Tips For Using a Diamond Clarity Chart:
- Since the imperfections or flaws in a diamond are generally difficult to see with the naked and untrained eye, many people find that an SI1 or SI2 are a great diamond value. They are also the most plentiful on the market.
- If you want to ensure your diamond does not have any visible inclusions, try going with a minimum of an SI2 or even up to a VS2. These are generally considered “eye-clean” diamonds.
- Whether online or in person, talk to a reputable jeweler about a specific diamond you are considering–especially if it is in the SI2 category. They can review the stone and ensure that the inclusions aren’t visible to the naked eye.
- Depending on where the inclusions are located on the diamond, it can be set in a way that the ring prongs cover up any imperfections.
- The diamonds graded in the I1, I2 and I3 categories are not usually suitable for engagement or wedding rings but are sometimes used for smaller side stones or other diamond jewelry.
Images courtesy of Bluenile and James Allen