Having a good understanding of how to choose a diamond is important before making a big diamond purchase, like an engagement ring. Here are some things you should know about a diamond’s clarity before you purchase.
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 called 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.
- Fl, IF – these measurements stand for flawless and internally flawless, meaning a diamond without 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 engagement ring 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. If you see a diamond that is significantly lower in price than others around it, be certain to double-check the clarity grade.
Now that you understand clarity, you are much better armed to start shopping for a diamond ring. It is important to balance the level of clarity you desire in your diamond with the other factors that affect its beauty and price. Work with your jeweler to determine the best combination of features in your diamond engagement ring.