A diamond’s brilliance and fire is always admired for its intense beauty and clarity. What makes a diamond “good” is different for everyone, as we all have different preferences, tastes and budgets to stick to. But one thing is certain: you should never buy a diamond without knowing what constitutes a good clarity diamond first!
What makes a Diamond “Good”?
There are many factors that make up the quality of any particular stone; not only the 4C’s but also cut, color, carat weight and more. However there are some things that will affect your decision more than others such as the Cut (e.g., Brilliant or Princess) which can be used to enhance how light moves through it or help hide inclusions and the Clarity which will determine how much “life” a stone has.
There are two terms you will want to be familiar with when it comes to clarity: “Inclusion” and “Flaw/Feather”. Inclusions can be anything from tiny gas bubbles trapped inside a diamond during its formation to mineral deposits or crystals; a naturally-occurring imperfection that keeps a diamond from being flawless. Some inclusions, which are large and noticeable, will lower a diamonds value to what would be considered an “included” stone, but there are other smaller ones that exist as well. Flaws/Feathers can happen during the cutting or polishing processes as well.
How to tell if you’re getting a good deal:
The terms “inclusion” and “flaw/feather” sound bad, but there is actually a big difference between the two. An inclusion may or may not be seen with the unaided eye and can lower your diamond’s value while a flaw will be seen with the unaided eye and should not affect your diamond’s value.
Inclusions can be found using a 10x magnifier, whereas Flaws/Feathers will almost always be seen by the naked eye. Inclusions are what you would call a “flaw” or “defect” while a flaw is an actual scratch or nick in the diamond. Flaws are easy to identify because they generally appear on the surface of the diamond.
If you’re looking for a high quality, low cost diamond it is important that you get familiar with what makes up a good clarity (or any) grade. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) will grade your diamond in accordance with the clarity scale which runs from Flawless-Very Slight Inclusion. However, there are other scales that you may want to familiarize yourself with as well.
The Four C’s:
Carat Weight Cut Color Clarity . This is a “rule” of thumb when it comes to diamonds and can be remembered with the acronym, “CARAT”. If you know what each letter stands for you’ll be able to easily remember this rule.
The heavier your diamond is (in carats) the more value it holds (to a point of course). A one-carat diamond will cost much more than 2 half-carat diamonds even if they are the same quality.
The cut of a diamond can determine how much “brilliance” or fire you will see from your stone as well as how it will appear with the naked eye. The most desirable cut for any diamond is a Brilliant Cut (e.g., round, princess, etc.). However, if you have a higher budget you will want to look at Premium or Ideal cuts as well.
The less color a diamond has the more “colorless” it is and can increase its value dramatically. It is important that you know what color grades your local market prefers as some consumers prefer a stone with a “warm” tint while others prefer a “cool” tint.
The clarity of a diamond will determine how much life your stone has as well as its overall value. When it comes to diamonds, the higher the grade the more valuable it is going to be so it’s important you understand what makes up a good clarity grade.
Inclusions can be anything from small gas bubbles to mineral deposits and crystals found inside a diamond after it has been formed. Inclusions are generally considered a “flaw” or “defect” because they keep a stone from being flawless, but only you know what your preferences are so there is no standard when it comes to “inclusions” or what is considered a flawless stone.
If you’re looking for an extremely high quality diamond that will last forever, then be prepared to pay the price as these can run up to $100,000+ per carat! However, if you are just looking for something reasonable and affordable there are several places you can find diamonds that are of very high quality.
You can look into getting a diamond band or an engagement ring set with more than one diamond if you’re on a budget. This will allow you to get two (or more) smaller diamonds at half the price, while still having some value to show for it!
You may have heard these referred to as “defects” or “imperfections” which are both accurate, but can also be misleading. Like mentioned earlier, flaws are actual scratches or nicks while inclusions are literally anything inside the diamond that is not part of the original formation of the stone. Flaws/Feathers are generally easy to identify because they will appear on the surface of the stone, but can often be seen with the naked eye. However, not all inclusions are visible with the naked eye and only require magnification to see them.
If you’re looking for something more affordable there are ways to find “flawless” diamonds without spending a small fortune. You can actually purchase a diamond that does have inclusions, but is still considered flawless. This is why it’s important to know what makes up a good clarity grade so you can find something within your budget that fits your preferences.
For example, there are flaws/feathers which are only visible under magnification and they don’t impact the way it’s cut or perceived by others. These are called “eye-clean” diamonds and can be found for a much lower price.
There are also “near-flawless” diamonds that have small inclusions which also do not affect how it’s cut, but are still visible with magnification. This option is great if you’re wanting something “perfect” but are not planning on spending the high price tag.
If you’re looking for a diamond that can be found without inclusions or flaws, then it is best to look into “IF” diamonds which stand for Internally Flawless. These diamonds have no impurities inside the stone and are literally flawless under 10x magnification!
You can also choose to go with a “VVS1” or “VVS2” diamond if you’re on a more restricted budget, but still want something of very high quality. This is considered the lowest grade of diamonds that have very few inclusions. Again, this will depend on what your preferences are so it’s important to know what constitutes a good clarity grade before making any decisions.
Is 12 a good diamond clarity?
Diamonds with an I2 clarity grading have the second-lowest clarity grade obtainable. I2 is a diamond clarity grade that falls between I3 (lowest) and I1 (highest) (better). I2 clarity diamonds have visible inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye. I2 clarity diamonds, on the other hand, have more vitality and sparkle than I3 clarity diamonds.
Diamonds are a symbol of eternal love. A diamond’s brilliance and fire is always admired for its intense beauty and clarity. What makes a diamond “good” is different for everyone, as we all have different preferences, tastes and budgets to stick to. But one thing is certain: you should never buy a diamond without knowing what constitutes a good clarity diamond first!
When it comes to diamond clarity, the higher the grade, the better the quality of the diamond. Diamonds with an I2 clarity grading have the second-lowest clarity grade obtainable. I2 is a diamond clarity grade that falls between I3 (lowest) and I1 (highest) (better). I2 clarity diamonds have visible inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye. I2 clarity diamonds, on the other hand, have more vitality and sparkle than I3 clarity diamonds.
I3 clarity diamonds are of very poor quality and should never be considered as a viable option for an engagement ring purchase! They can not be sold as “gem-grade” because they have too many inclusions and flaws that can easily be detected by the naked eye. I3 clarity diamonds also have a very dull appearance and can never be set with other diamonds without looking obviously cloudy, with the setting protrusion appearing to contain “dirty” diamonds.
I1 or Internally Flawless is the highest clarity grade available for diamond grading. I1 diamonds are exceptionally rare to find, and they are the best quality in terms of clarity. Diamonds with this grade have no visible internal or external flaws when viewed through a 10x magnification loupe. These diamonds will be considered VVS-2 in color, IF in clarity, and E or better in cut – meaning perfect proportions, symmetry, and polish.
I2 or Very, Very Slightly Included is the second-highest clarity grade available for diamond grading. This type of clarity will have inclusions that are very difficult to detect with the naked eye, but they can be detected in I3 diamonds. Utmost care in cutting these diamonds allows them to achieve maximum brilliance and fire. However, even the best cut I2 diamonds do not exhibit as much life as an I1 diamond does.
I3 or Very Slightly Included is the third-highest clarity grade available for diamond grading. This type of clarity will have inclusions which are visible to the naked eye and may even affect the brilliance and scintillation of the diamond. Although such inclusions are visible to the naked eye, they can be detected only upon close inspection and do not affect the overall durability of a diamond.