Diamond clarity is one major C in the ‘Four Cs’ that determine the diamond’s quality. Clarity grades are very crucial when selecting a diamond. When people select their engagement ring diamond, some select very high clarity grades whereas another group of people never even consider clarity grades. Both these extreme conditions are not preferred by diamond experts.
In this article, we are solely discussing diamond clarity grades and how their importance compares to other quality parameters like cut and color. Let us first look at the different grades used to represent the clarity of a diamond.
Clarity Grades Of Diamonds
As you can imagine, the clarity of a diamond can help you understand how clear the diamond is from blemishes and inclusions. The clarity grades provided by the GIA are the following.
Flawless or FL grade is the topmost clarity grade for a diamond. These diamonds do not have any blemishes or inclusions that can be seen under a 10X magnification.
Internally Flawless or IF grade is the next best clarity grade after FL. They do not have any inclusions that can be observed under 10X magnification.
VVS1 and VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included) grades have inclusions that are very small and can be seen using a gemological microscope.
VS1 and VS2 (Very Slightly Included) graded diamonds have inclusions observable under a 10x magnification.
SI1 and SI2 (Slightly Included) graded diamonds have inclusions that can easily be seen under 10x magnification.
I1, I2, and I3 (Included) graded diamonds have significant inclusions that you can see with your naked eyes.
These clarity grades are valid for all diamonds including natural and lab-grown diamonds.
Importance Of Clarity Grade When Compared To Cut Quality And Color
All four Cs are very important characteristics of a diamond. You cannot neglect any of these four characteristics when buying a diamond. But if you have to pick one among these four, then it would be cut quality. The diamond is practically worthless if it has poor cut quality. We might say that cut quality is the most important quality parameter of a diamond. Diamond color is also important when selecting a diamond. If you compromise on color grades, your diamonds will look tinted.
Very high clarity grades are very expensive. So, when selecting a diamond, try to select an eye-clean diamond. The sweet spot for diamond clarity grade is between SI1 and VS2. Diamonds between these ranges are affordable and most likely eye-clean.