Clarity is one of four main characteristics of a diamond and it may have a crucial effect on your stones’ appearance. But how important is diamond clarity, especially compared with colour and cut? Read further to find the answers.
How Diamond Clarity Affects Appearance
The clarity grade of a diamond gives you information on how many internal and external flaws the stone has as well as how big and visible they are.
The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the cleaner it looks and the more light can pass unobstructed through such a stone, making it sparkle.
On the other hand, the more inclusions a diamond has, the duller it looks. If a diamond is heavily included, the flaws detract from the appearance of the stone and block the light that would have entered it. In other words, such diamonds do not sparkle well.
What Diamond Clarity Should I Be Looking For?
To make sure the clarity does not spoil the appearance of a diamond, you should look for a stone that is eye clean, meaning the stone should not have inclusions visible to the naked eye.
Eye clean diamonds may still have inclusions visible under a microscope or a loupe, but you should not worry about them as people won’t be looking at your stone using magnification.
Should I Go for the Best Clarity?
The best possible diamond clarity grade is FL (Flawless). These stones do not have any inclusions visible with a naked eye or under magnification.
However, such diamonds are extremely rare and very pricey as a result. In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to spend so much money on such a diamond as there are stones with lower clarity grades that are more affordable and still look clean to an unaided eye.
As a general rule, clarity of a diamond should be high enough to make it look sparkly. If clarity is low, it will simply spoil the appearance of your stone. Once you get above a certain grade, any further clarity improvement doesn’t make much sense but cost you more money.
What Diamond Clarity Is Good Enough?
Any clarity grade whose inclusions are not visible to the naked eye is a good choice.
In case you want to have an eye-clean diamond and save some money, you should look for the lowest clarity grade in which inclusions are not seen without magnification. For example, a diamond graded VS2 or SI1 could be the best choice as diamonds with clarity lower than SI1 have visible inclusions as a rule.
How Important Is Diamond Clarity Compared with Colour and Cut?
Diamond clarity is very important but the cut quality can make a bigger difference. The closer the cut to ideal proportions, the better, as the ideal diamond cut is created to maximize a stone’s brilliance and sparkle.
Diamond colour is another important characteristic. Although it is not that crucial as the cut quality of a stone, if a diamond is too tinted, it will look yellowish and less bright.
To choose a good diamond considering its clarity, colour and cut, first you need to make sure the diamond you are looking at does not have visible inclusions. You can focus on stones with VS2 or SI1 clarity grades.
Next, choose a colour grade in which diamonds look fairly white. In most cases, the stones in G or H colour grades do not look visibly tinted.
If you are going to have your stone set in a yellow gold setting, you can go as low as I, J or even K grades because the colour of the metal will blend with the tint of the stone and it won’t be that visible.
And the last step is choosing the cut. An ideal cut will provide you with maximum brilliance and make poor colour and clarity look better. On the contrary, a poor cut can make your diamond look worse even if all other characteristics are fine.