The diamond clarity scale explained! The clarity of diamonds is extremely important when making the big ring purchase. That’s why clarity falls under the 4Cs of diamonds, which determine how each diamond is priced. A diamond’s clarity, like the other Cs, comments on the quality of the natural stone. The other Diamond 4C’s are diamond cut, diamond carat weight, and diamond color.
So, if you’re in the market for a diamond and you want to be in-the-know about all the factors that go into that heavy price tag, then read on to learn about the science of clarity.
What is diamond clarity?
Diamond clarity is just how it sounds. It refers to how clear the diamond appears to the naked eye, as well as how it appears under a microscope. The clearer the diamond, the purer it is considered making it a higher quality…at a higher price tag!
Though no diamond is perfect, there are some that come closer than others. These would be diamonds that have no imperfections to the naked eye. However, they may suffer from internal inclusions.
Marks left on the outside of the diamond caused by the natural creation process are called “blemishes” or “birthmarks”. When a diamond comes with an obvious flaw, the quality of the diamond drops significantly.
Diamond Clarity Grades
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has defined diamond clarity as the “Absence of Inclusions and Blemishes”. GIA has implemented six primary diamond clarity grades. The highest grade is known as Flawless (FL), followed by the second highest grade, Internally Flawless (IF). The size of the inclusions is the main differences between diamond quality VSS and VS quality gemstones.
In this article we will see Diamond Clarity Grades. Both VVS and VS are quite popular when it comes to diamond clarity grades. So what are the differences between diamond quality and how are these two grades characterized and which one should you consider when you’re ready to make a purchase?
The third highest grade is (Very-Very Slightly Included) and the fourth grade is (Very Slightly Included). It’s important to remember that when you’re ready to purchase a quality diamond that (VVS) scores higher than a (VS) diamond. The fifth grade on the scale is Slightly Included (SI) and the sixth grade on the scale is Included (I).
VSS Diamond Gemstones Defined
The clarity of VVS diamond gemstones have precise slight imperfections and when magnified with a microscope or loupe, even highly trained experts have a hard time telling the differences between diamond quality VVS and VS gemstones. The VVS is broken down into two sub-categories: VVS1 and VVS2, and VVS1 having the higher grade.
VS Diamond Gemstone Defined
With 10x magnification VS clarity diamond gemstones have inclusions typically harder to see. A minute fraction of these inclusions are more visible, however, they’re still very hard to see. VS is also broken down into two sub-categories: VS1 and VS2.
The Number One Difference in VVS Diamond Gemstones
The biggest differences between diamond quality VVS and VS is in the magnitude of the inclusions. Diamonds with a VVS grade have smaller and fewer flaws. The VS grade diamond has visible inclusions that are easier to see under magnification. Microscopically, they’re still minute, however, one or two inclusions can be detected with a jeweler’s loupe. These inclusions are not visible without magnification.
The Second Difference in VS Diamond Gemstones
The differences between diamond quality VS and VSS gemstones is VS diamonds do in fact have more inclusions. Another way to tell the difference between VS and VSS diamonds is in the number of inclusions. Typically, VS diamonds will have more. Sometimes the number of inclusions doesn’t always hold true. It’s possible for both VSS and VS diamonds to have the same amount of flaws.
If this is the case, the VS graded diamond will get the upper score because the inclusions are bigger and easier to see.
The Peripheral Similarity in VSS and VS Diamond Gemstones
We’ve already determined that the differences between diamond quality VSS and VS gemstones are in the size and number of inclusions. Where these flaws and inclusions are located is closer to the periphery of the gemstone. This means that when you inspect the diamond from the top, you won’t see any visible flaws or inclusions around the center of the diamond.
The Benefit of VS Clarity Diamond Gemstones
The VVS diamond has a higher clarity grade, so why does VS get the edge when it comes to clarity? The answer is in the price. The VS clarity diamond gemstone will be less expensive than its predecessor the VSS clarity one. The price is substantially less, as much a couple thousand dollars.
A higher-ranking color or cut can make a VS diamond gemstone more expensive than a VVS diamond. It’s important to assess all characteristics when considering qualities in a diamond gemstone.
When it comes to affordability, the VS clarity diamond is the clear winner. Spending more money on the cut of a diamond will add more sparkle to your diamond versus paying for a slightly better clarity.
Diamond Clarity in relation to Diamond Pricing
Diamond clarity is an important factor when diamond shopping. The clarity of diamond refers to the presence or absence of inclusions and blemishes within diamond. Inclusions are internal flaws, and blemishes are external marks that affect diamond appearance, structural integrity, and brilliance. Clarity is one of the four Cs of diamond grading, along with cut, color, and carat weight.
The quality of diamond clarity has a significant impact on diamond pricing. Diamonds with higher clarity grades are considered more rare and valuable than those with lower grades. Diamonds with no inclusions or blemishes receive the highest grade, VVS1 (Very Very Slightly Included). Flaws such as small spots or clouds can cause a diamond’s clarity score to drop significantly and reduce its overall worth in the diamond market.
When diamond shopping, it is important to consider diamond clarity because it affects both the value and appearance of a diamond. As you shop for diamonds online or in-store, make sure to ask about the 4Cs including clarity so that you can make an informed decision about your purchase. At their very essence, diamonds are organic gems formed out over millions of years by pressure deep beneath the earth’s surface.
As a result of this pressure every diamond possesses unique characteristics which manifests as different levels of “clarity” within them – from flawless to heavily included pieces that have visible imperfections on the surface or inside them that impair their brilliance. Diamonds with higher levels of clarity often command higher prices due to their rarity – only 1-2% of all mined stones qualify for top grade categories like FL/IF while more heavily included stones may be up 60%.
When selecting your perfect diamond always remember that high-clarity grade does not necessarily mean best value since visual perfection may not be achievable even after careful selection process given many other variables like color & cut involved in delivering desired results at optimal price point for every situation & individual taste!
Although you may feel compelled to purchase the most flawless stone for your boo, chances are they probably won’t even notice a simple blemish on the natural gem. Most imperfections are not visible to the naked eye. And, when paired with the right band, most diamonds will sparkle flawlessly no matter what the diamond clarity scale determines.