What Do You Need to Know About Diamond Color and Clarity

Diamond color and clarity are two of the “four Cs” of appraisal, along with cut and carat weight. Both diamond color and clarity have a meaningful impact on both the appearance and the value of a diamond.

While, compared to the cut grade, the diamond color and clarity grades are perhaps somewhat easier to understand and have a more transparent and more easily visible relationship to the actual appearance of the diamond to the naked eye, there are still some things about diamond color and clarity that potential diamond buyers need to know to ensure that they’re getting the best value possible when making a purchase.

The basics of diamonds color

The color grade is a measurement of the extent to which coloration is visible within the diamond. Ideally, a diamond is apparent, with no coloration at all. In some cases, though, some coloration is visible, to differing degrees. In the worst cases, diamonds will have a yellowish tint throughout. Note that diamonds that exhibit such a high degree of coloration that the color becomes desirable – such as yellow diamonds, black diamonds, or pink diamonds – are not judged in the same way.

Diamond color grades

As you can see, D is the highest grade on the color scale, meaning it is colorless. Diamonds with color grades to around H or I will have coloration so slight that it may not be at all visible to the naked eye. In contrast, N to Z grades indicate coloration significant enough to dull the diamond’s overall appearance.

The basics of Diamond clarity

The clarity grade of a diamond indicates the extent to which the diamond has external or internal flaws, which work to make the diamond less clear in appearance. External flaws are called blemishes, while internal flaws are known as inclusions. Very few are completely free of defects or inclusions. So diamonds with the highest clarity grades can be costly.

Diamond clarity grades

The F grade indicates that the diamond is completely flawless, while the slightly more common IF refers to diamonds that may have a minimal number of blemishes but no inclusions. Diamonds with clarity ratings within the VVS and VS ranges may have a small number of visible inclusions under strong magnification. However, the effect on the naked eye is still virtually nonexistent. In I1-3 clarity, the inclusions themselves will be visible to the naked eye. The diamond’s lack of transparency will be noticeable.

Getting the best diamond color and clarity

Between the color and clarity grades, clarity has a much more significant impact on prices. Therefore you should choose carefully when you design your own ring at Shira Diamonds. Suppose you were to take two diamonds with the same qualities in every area except for clarity. In that case, the price difference between VVS1 transparency and SI1 clarity could be substantial.

However, the difference to the naked eye is still very slight, and in some cases, almost nonexistent. For this reason, SI1 or SI2 clarity grades usually represent the best value. However, with some shapes, such as the emerald cut, the clarity grade needs to be higher. The large facets of these diamonds will leave any internal flaws exposed.

G-I’s range usually offers good value for the color grade because the price is somewhat lower than that of an otherwise equivalent diamond with a higher color grade. However, the coloration effect is still difficult, if not impossible, to see.

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