A lot of people confuse diamond clarity with diamond brilliance. While both are measures that influence how valuable a diamond gets to be on the market, they are far from the same thing.
Despite what many believe, buying a higher clarity diamond does not guarantee better sparkle. For instance, a VVS2, VVS1, or even IF stone can be found lacking in this regard. The latter is based on how well a diamond reflects lights, which in turn depends on the stone’s cut. It is only rarely that clarity has any significant effect on transparency, and for this reason, the former is mostly seen as a function of rarity.
To determine the clarity of a stone, you need to be aware of specific internal inclusions as well as external blemishes present in it. These are then appraised based on relative location, orientation, and visibility under magnification. The fewer of these there are, and the more favorably they are placed in terms of aesthetics, the rarer the diamond is. This also means it would be more expensive.
Investing in High Clarity Diamonds
Clarity having more to do with ‘rarity’ than ‘beauty’, there are a variety of ways you can go about picking out a stone to purchase. The lack of any solid rules, combined with people’s varying preferences, can make this confusing; but there are some things, that everyone wants when they buy a diamond. One of them is beautiful sparkle. The best way to get that is going in for an eye-clean diamond.
Most anyone can tell a 1.00ct diamond apart from a 0.75ct one, or a ‘J’ colored diamond from a ‘D’ colored one. However, the closer two stones are in characteristics, the harder it gets to instantly spot differences between them. One good example is that of two similarly cut and colored stones, one graded IF for clarity, and the other graded VS1. Even an expert would need a close look to see that these two stones were not exactly similar. Even then, it would not make much of a difference to how identical the two looked.
In the diamond industry, “eye-clean” is a term used to denote gems which lack visible inclusions, at least when viewed without the aid of magnification. Since diamond grading is done under no less than 10x magnification, a stone without normally visible inclusions is a good way to meet a strict budget without compromising on looks.
When looking for an eye-clean stone, your best bet is checking out grades of VS1 or higher. A diamond at that clarity level would have no visible inclusions. Most VS2 stones, and some SI1 stones, are eye-clean. Under SI2 or I1, you would get fewer eye-clean stones. If you are able to find a visually clear stone graded I1, it is probably best to make the purchase then and there, because this brings the best value for your money.
Tips for Buying Eye-Clean Diamonds
- Avoid stones that have inclusions placed directly beneath the table facet. The reason is obvious – the table is the easiest facet on a stone to see through, which means the inclusion would stand out like a sore thumb.
- Know the type of crystal inclusion your preferred stone carries. Not all crystals are equal; more lightly colored crystals are generally preferred, because they reflect more light.
- If a seriously good-looking stone has a modest price tag due to twinning wisps, consider buying it. It is very hard to spot a twinning wisp without magnification.
- If the stones you budget allows for have a number of inclusions in them, then choose the gem, which has these scattered around inside it. Concentrated inclusions are more obvious at first glance, especially if they are of the dark variety.
- Prefer buying diamonds with inclusions placed in such a way that they can be covered by jewelry prongs. Even visible inclusions became hard to spot when set in a ring in this manner, so think ahead. Stay away from lower clarity grades than I1, because those are prone to getting damaged from wear.
The above tips are not hard and fast rules; they are simply guidelines that stay reliable most of the time. Determining the stone’s clarity should always come first, and this can be achieved by either simply viewing it in person, or checking it out under magnification and watching HD videos that showcase it from a 360-degree angle.
Taken overall, lower-clarity diamonds are not something to dismiss out of hand. They offer remarkable value for money, as long as you compromise on certain aspects. When making your final decision, you should base it on your own preferences, as well as what the professional or expert told you about the stone’s visual cleanliness and chances of breakage.