Everyone is always so concerned about diamond clarity.
They want SI, they want VS1, they want VVS2… Even Flawless…
People are worried about how clean their stone is, versus any other characteristic.
But I’m here to say: BAH!
You shouldn’t be.
Because out of all the 4C’s (Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight), clarity affects the stone THE LEAST!
Meaning, no matter what clarity you buy, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference in appearance (unless you buy really included diamonds).
Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste too much time, money, or energy in clarity (Unless you have tons of money to blow and small inclusions truly bug you).
Because there are many, many reasons why clarity isn’t a big importance.
And here’s why:
1) Every Diamond Has Flaws
Really. They do. Clarity is the amount of flaws (plus where they reside), marks, lines, clouds inside (and on the surface) of a diamond. The more they have, the lower the grade. So in order of the best, to worst, here are the 11 diamond clarity grades:
- FL – Flawless
- IF – Internally Flawless
- VVS1 – Very Very Slightly Included 1
- VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Included 2
- VS1 – Very Slightly Included 1
- VS2 – Very Slightly Included 2
- SI1 – Slightly Included 1
- SI2 – Slightly Included 2
- I1 – Included 1
- I2 – Included 2
- I3 – Included 3
As Seen in this Diamond Clarity Grading Chart:
Just about all of these diamonds shown above (and in reality every diamond’s flaws will look different), has flaws. Even a Flawless diamond could have flaws (like a nick or a natural on the girdle). So the odds of finding a diamond with zero imperfections is very, very rare and very expensive too. It’s almost unheard of.
So if you can’t see a visible difference (and how many times in your life are you going to microscope it?), then why spend the money for a higher clarity?
Buy an SI1 clarity, and put your money into something you can see (like a better color or cut).
2) Clarity is NOT Obvious!
Like I said, almost all clarities will look the same side by side. Only under a microscope can you see minute differences between them. And only when you view SI2 diamonds (which have visible flaws from the side), and I clarity diamonds (I1, I2, I3) will you begin to see flaws. Granted, some of the flaws in I2 and I3 diamonds will be pretty big and pretty obvious, but even then, most people still won’t notice them until you point them out.
Do note that flaws get more apparent in larger carat weights, too (like 1.00 carat and bigger). Smaller stones are harder to spot.
So unless you buy the worst 2 clarities (I2 and I3), chances are, the flaws won’t stand out or be noticed much. And if you buy SI1 or higher, you won’t see them at all.
3) Flaws Add Character!
It’s true. Some people LOVE the fact that their diamond has a visible black speck. You’d be amazed at how some people don’t care, and even brag about the fact that “My diamond is my Grandmother’s, and it has a visible flaw on the side“. It’s like a beauty mark, a mole, a battle wound… Everything born in nature in unique and has its own traits, personality and character.
Some Flaws are Awesome too!
Some flaws look like objects, animals, lines, pepper… Some flaws are triangles (trigons), and some are even other minerals and rocks like quartz and garnet imbedded into the stone. They’re all cool and different in their own way. It’s what makes a diamond one-of-a-kind.
4) Identification is EASY!
This is a huge, huge bonus. If your diamond has a couple of small lines, dots, pin-points, clouds… It makes identifying your stone easy.
This pattern, diagram or map of your flaws, has been in the diamond for a billion years. These flaws will never alter, shift, grow or shrink, they’re in there forever.
Which means, at anytime in your lifetime, you could view your diamond and see those exact same flaws. They are permanent, and if you can memorize them, you’ll always be able to pick out your diamond from the crowd.
Flaws make comparing your diamond to a diamond plot, and assuring yourself that you have your stone (and the paperwork that goes with it), and it wasn’t switched or swapped out (incase you left it at the jewelry store for sizing, repairs, prongs, cleaning…).
Doing this is Peace of Mind.
I highly recommend you buy yourself a nice 10x jeweler’s loupe and study and memorize your inclusions today.
5) The Diamond will be Cheaper!
Getting a diamond that has some flaws, is a sure fire way to save some money.
And since most diamonds look alike, then hop on SI1 clarity and get your diamond cheaper.
And, you can certainly save even more money if you check out SI2 or I1 clarity diamonds (do note that I am choosing the BEST cut grades in the world for these diamonds, since it impacts the beauty and sparkle of a diamond the MOST)… Just view the diamonds and make sure you’re fine with the amount of flaws and how visible they are.
Even so, I would probably still steer clear from I2 and I3 diamonds. They get highly included, and often lack all sparkle and brilliance (not to mention the fact that they are more brittle because of their immense network of flaws).
Buying lower clarity allows you to put your money into something more visible, like a better cut (the #1 thing to spend your money on), and have a nice white diamond (G or higher, with no fluorescence)…
Just like these Diamonds HERE:
14k Wheat Chains
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