In my article today, I will try to give you information about clarity, which is an article of the 4C rule, which reveals the value of the diamond. You know that the diamond is a natural structure and formed by itself. Not every diamond is perfect because it is formed by itself. It is very normal for them to have natural errors. These errors are generally similar. Mistakes are small details such as scratches, marks, etc. in the diamond. The clarity category in the 4C rule is used to describe the size and location of these scratches and marks.
If we start from the very beginning of the scale, the best clarity is IF (Internal Flawless), indicating perfect clarity. This category, which symbolizes the purest and most perfect form of diamond, is more expensive than other categories as expected. VVS1, VVS2 (Very Very Slightly) means there are slight natural distortions. VS1, VS2 (Very Slightly) means it has slightly more distortions, lines than VVS1 and VVS2. SI1, SI2, SI3 (Slightly Included), on the other hand, is a category that indicates that the scars become denser and deeper. The category I1, I2, I3 is a symbol used to categorize the largest possible scratches.
Now that we have explained all the categories in the scale, we can now touch on the real sensitive point. The numbers next to the categories (ie SI1, SI2) do not represent the number of marks and scratches in the diamond. On the contrary, these numbers express a degree, the degree of the mark. Besides everything else, we cannot distinguish visually any of the symbols in this clarity category. It is impossible to see it with the naked eye. Only the I1, I2, and I3 categories give themselves a bit of a bet, but even that is incredibly difficult to spot. While measuring the clarity of a diamond, diamond experts make measurements with valuable devices.
So let’s say you bought the diamond, as we can guess, the category “I” is the most suitable type of diamond compared to other categories. Will the loss of value be more when we want to sell this diamond? Of course not. As long as the products have HRD Certificate, the purchase and sale of your products are based on market values, so the difference between the F category and the I category is the same. Unfortunately, this does not apply to uncertified products.
Diamond Clarity Scale
Diamond has been an eye-catching, impressive, and valuable accessory piece for many years. Diamonds, which attract the attention of almost everyone, regardless of whether they are men or women, are becoming widespread day by day. Therefore, it is extremely important to have more information about diamonds. The more information you have, the more confident you can shop. There are points to be considered when buying diamonds. Although the value of a diamond is determined by carats for many people, there are also details that affect the value in addition to the carat. Cut, color, and clarity are the most important details that affect the diamond value. The clarity in diamond is the amount and measure of the imperfections on the stone. Not all diamonds have the same quality. Some of them are more damaged and worn, while others are less defective.
When viewed from the outside, it is not possible to see the flaws of the diamond. It will be possible to observe the level of clarity for those who are well versed and know how to look correctly. The fewer defects and weariness, the higher the value of the diamond. Therefore, it is important to have an idea about this in order to understand the value of diamonds. The thing that comes to mind when it comes to clarity in diamond is the correct reflection of light. Imperfections that prevent the reflection of light decrease the value. For this, it is necessary to review the factors affecting clarity first. The first of these elements are cracks. The crack of a diamond is the main factor that reduces its value. In addition, the fact that it is crushed and damaged visibly has an effect on clarity.
Another factor that affects clarity is scratches. This situation, which is not obvious from the outside, is noticeable when it is controlled closely with measuring instruments. In addition, the stains that do not come off, and the color tones of the stone itself can cause defects in the diamond. The clarity scale of diamond varies between F and I. Diamonds in the FL-IF category are the most accurate and problem-free diamonds. Therefore, this group has the highest value. Next comes the diamonds in the VVS1-VVS2 category. These are light, invisible diamonds with fewer defects. They are highly preferable in the market.
While VS1-VS2 are diamonds with small spots, SI1-SI2 are diamonds where the stain can be seen from outside. These very small spots cause a decrease in the value of the diamond, but their preference level is high. It has imperfections that strain the naked eye. The clarity level of the diamond you will buy is important. From this point of view, diamonds in the I1 category are a little less preferred than other categories. Diamonds with excessive damage, scratches, and dents are included in this group. Apart from this, the group at the end of the clarity scale and in the worst diamond class is called I2-I3. Diamonds in the I2-I3 category are not found by many jewelry makers in the market.
How Should the Best Clarity of the Diamond Be?
The clarity feature of a diamond in its shortest form is the birthmarks during the formation of the diamond. Although it usually does not cause a problem in the brilliance and appearance of the diamond, it can cause questions in the minds. What is called clarity for a diamond is the evaluation of features such as the density of the traces, where it is and the shape of the trace as a whole. Clarity starts at IF or FL and progresses like VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, SI3, I1 … The type of clarity we call IF or FL is called Internal Flawless or Flawless. It means a stone that has no traces in any way. If you do not have financial problems and your budget is large, of course, it may be nice to buy such a diamond without traces.
So what do VVS1, VVS2, and VS1, VS2 clarity mean? VVS stands for very very small. VS stands for very small scars. 1 and 2 degrees are grading according to the type, location, and density of the tracks. It does not specify the number of traces, only that degree 1 is better than degree 2. As you can understand, there are traces on both of the VVS and the VS. Simply put, the difference between VVS1 and VVS2 seems comfortable with a microscope, but not with the lens in a normal jewelry shop. It does not appear at all with the naked eye.
VS stone, on the other hand, can be noticed by a person who really understands diamonds (not a jeweler, but a diamond expert) who can understand the difference between SI1 and VS when they look through the lens. It is not possible for the consumer to understand this with the naked eye. While the color of the diamond is something that can be more easily noticed with the naked eye, clarity is not such a case. In this respect, diamond clarity degrees are more a psychological phenomenon in the eyes of the consumer.
Consumers may think about “What should be the clarity of the diamond?” as follows. One of the diamonds is VS2 and one is SI1. I wonder if I buy a bad stone when I buy SI1 clear solitaire diamond? Should I add some more money and get VS2 clarity? Never!! SI1 clarity diamond is not bad, VS2 clarity is not bad either. If there are marks that cannot be seen with the naked eye, you do not have to worry about SI1. As a result, there is no rule that a high clarity diamond will be more beautiful and shining than a low clarity diamond. How can you tell with the naked eye the trace between a beautiful SI1 clarity and a VS2 clarity diamond?
You are not an expert so look into the lens and understand. However, you can understand from the certificate (In the past, jewelers would only give their diamond certificates and they would write VS on all stones). So my personal recommendation is that if your budget goes between SI1 clarity and VS2 clarity, buy SI1 clarity solitaire or five stone diamond and keep the size and color of the stone high. If your budget is a little more favorable then get VS1 clarity.
If you have bought a GIA certified or HRD certified diamond and its clarity is SI1, this does not mean that your stone will lose much more value. If you bring it to the place where you bought it, the path followed when retrieving a VVS clarity diamond product is repeated. The difference is just like the price you get when buying the product. You buy a VVS clarity diamond product more expensive, so when selling, pricing is made on the same values. In this case, it is quite normal. But of course, if you take the diamond solitaire or diamond five-stone you bought to another jewelry shop, not to the company you bought it, you may be given the impression by the seller there that it loses a higher value.
What Is the Best Diamond Clarity?
Clarity measures the purity of a diamond. It shows how free the diamond is from tiny blemishes. These tiny formations, called ‘traces’, occur when the diamond is formed in the earth’s crust under high temperature and pressure and is mostly invisible to the eye. These are like a unique fingerprint of a diamond. The degree of clarity given to a diamond is determined by how much these natural formations are seen when magnified ten times and the number, type, color, size, and location in the diamond. ‘Traces’ are naturally occurring occurrences within the diamond. The rarest diamonds with a “perfect” degree of clarity are those that do not have any marks on the inside and outside of the diamond, or even a blemish when magnified ten times.
Even if the marks do not affect the sparkle or beauty of the diamond, these diamonds are more valuable than the diamonds with very small traces due to their rarity. In the degree of clarity called “Small Trace 2” or “SI2”, no stain or mark is visible to the naked eye. The differences between the degrees are so subtle that even a jeweler may not be able to distinguish between the first five degrees of diamonds on the jewelry. Two diamonds with the same cut degree “SI2” and “perfect” clarity are identical in terms of brightness, even if their values are very different from each other. If we choose beauty as value priority, VS2 and SI1 are the most popular options. Diamonds with the same carat weights, colors, and cuts will have very different prices depending on their clarity. The globally accepted grading system divides clarity into five different groups:
- Perfect (FL-IF)
The rarest diamonds, known as flawless (FL) diamonds, are those that do not have any marks inside and outside of the diamond, or a blemish even when enlarged ten times.
- Have Very Very Small Marks (VVS)
Diamonds with very very small (VVS) traces are diamonds with very small traces. These marks are so small that even when magnified ten times, it is very difficult for even a diamond expert to see them.
- Has Very Small Marks (VS)
There are tiny spots in very small trace (VS) diamonds divided into two as VS1 and VS2. However, these tracks are so small that even when magnified ten times, a grader will have trouble detecting them. VS1 diamond may contain a small trace cloud or tiny crystal, while VS2 diamond may have a small spotted crystal, for example.
- Small Marks (SI)
Small trace (SI) diamonds divided into SI1 and SI2 are diamonds that have visible traces when magnified ten times. These marks do not affect the diamond’s transparency or appearance. In very rare cases, large diamonds, or fantasy cuts, these marks can be seen with the naked eye.
- Has Scars That Are Visible to the Naked Eye (I)
Diamonds with traces, classified as I-1, I-2, and I-3, have imperfections that are visible to the naked eye and may affect the durability of the diamond. Diamonds of this clarity level are generally not preferred.
Detailed Information About Best Diamond Clarity
Clarity refers to the presence (or absence of) of impurities, flaws, or other defining features in a diamond. Clarity characteristics make each diamond completely separate from the others. There are no two diamonds that would have exactly the same inclusions in the same place. According to major diamond rating agencies such as GIA, HRD, there are five factors used to determine the clarity grade of any diamond.
- Size: How big or small is the inclusion the diamond contains?
- The number of inclusions (stains and marks in the diamond): How many inclusions are there in the diamond?
- Position: What is the location of the diamond’s inclusions? Inclusions are located under the shaved upper face or the “heart” of the diamond affects the degree of clarity more than the inclusions found under the shaved sides.
- Natural Feature: Do inclusions affect the diamond’s durability? Large feathers can be dangerous depending on their size and location within the diamond.
- Relief: To what extent can inclusion appear? Dark inclusions can be located more easily and graded more precisely than white or slight inclusions.
The GIA (American Gemology Institute) offers us a universally understandable method to describe the clarity of diamonds. There are five main clarity grades you can find on your GIA, IGI, or HRD report. FL / IF flawless / internally flawless: There is no inclusion below 10x. There are no surface defects or inclusions that can be considered significant when the examination is made below 10x. Normally, most defects can be removed by a light grinding process. They are very rare, beautiful and expensive diamonds. VVS1-2 very very slight inclusions: 10x magnification gold small inclusions that are very difficult to detect by an experienced diamond expert. VVS diamonds are extremely rare and beautiful.
VS1-2 very slight inclusions: They contain small inclusions in a range that are easily visible or invisible with the 10x magnification loop. Typical VS inclusions are small crystals, hairs, or discrete clouds. In rare cases, VS stones may contain a visible inclusion. They are diamonds of excellent quality. SI1-2 slight inclusions: Inclusions are not easily visible under the 10x magnification lens by an expert or with the naked eye. They are of great value. I1 / I2 / I3 inclusions: They contain distinct inclusions. It is not suitable for use in diamond jewelry.
In fact, all diamonds contain stains that are unique to them and cannot be seen with the naked eye. The clarity of the diamond is proportional to the degree of such stains. Stains are factors that greatly affect the price and beauty of diamonds. Another factor you should pay attention to when buying diamonds is whether these stains are visible to the naked eye. Invisible stains that do not affect its brightness can bring the price of the diamond to more reasonable figures. The position where the stains are in the diamond is very important. Diamond cutters go to great lengths to visibly cut such stains to a minimum. The stains on the cone and belt are the least affecting the value of the diamond. These stains are difficult to spot. Sometimes the spots can be found in an area that can be seen from many angles. Such stains decrease the diamond value a lot.
The factors affecting the degree of clarity are generally as follows:
- Number and size of marks, spots
- Whether the spots can be easily seen with the eye (with a loop or with the naked eye)
- The appearance of the spots (light or dark color?)
- The nature of the stains (is it crystal inclusions or a crack in the stone with a risk of progression)
- The position of the spots (below the table, where the crown facets are easy to see around each other or where they can be removed by polishing again)
- Stain type (point, planar)
Clarity Considerations When Purchasing Diamonds
Clarity is the measure of the number and size of small marks found in almost all diamonds. Many of these traces are microscopic and do not visibly affect the beauty of the diamond. The clarity of a diamond is easiest to understand within 4C and has the least effect on the diamond’s appearance according to many experts. Clarity is small natural traces seen in all diamonds with the exception of exceptional diamonds. Gemologists name these marks with many different technical names. Diamonds with the least number of traces in the smallest and least visible parts have the highest degree of clarity. Because these imperfections are microscopic, they generally do not visibly affect the beauty of a diamond.
You can choose a diamond that has no visible defects. These diamonds are much less expensive than the rare diamonds with flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) clarity. Generally, diamonds graded as VS with rare marks that are invisible to the naked eye have a suitable degree of clarity as the marks are not visible to the naked eye. It can hardly distinguish between FI and IF, VVS1 or VVS2 when looking with an eye loop. You cannot see a difference between the beauty of a clean VS stone with the naked eye and a clean stone when viewed with a loop. What you need to know when buying a high-clarity stone is that although the high clarity raises the prices, you will not be able to notice it with the naked eye. VS1 and VS2 contain barely noticeable stains even with the stone loop. These stains are usually small crystals, hair appearance, cloudiness. SI1 and SI2 are generally the best selling clarity grades on the market. You can see stains on these stones only when viewed with a loop.
You cannot see the stains on SI1 diamonds when viewed from above with the naked eye. These stones are beautiful stones that can be bought at a reasonable price. You can see blemishes with the naked eye on most SI2 diamonds. Diamonds with I1, I2, and I3 clarity grades are also available on the market. These diamonds have stains that will affect the beauty and durability of the stone. Sometimes in the market, I1 and I2 stones are shown and sold as SI1 or SI2 qualified without certification. If you do the necessary research while buying diamonds and examine the stone you will buy, you will not fall into such a mistake.
- If you want to be 100% sure that your diamond does not have any visible stains, we recommend that you stick to “VS2” or higher grade diamonds.
- If you buy diamonds of SI-quality, you will see the budget you have allocated for diamonds, but it is still the best choice to consult the experts before finalizing your order. In this way, you can be sure that the diamond you will buy does not contain any visible stain.
- It is also a good idea to balance the clarity of your diamond with its color.
- If the color class of the diamond you are considering to buy is D-F, you should focus on VS2 or higher clarity grades. Thus, you can become the owner of a diamond with the most precious features found in nature.
- The diamonds combined with the SI clarity grade in the G-K color range will also give you the value you pay in terms of cost.
- The clarity of the diamond you will buy, and the fact that it has been determined by internationally recognized gemology organizations will enable you to know the real clarity of the stone you choose. Do not forget that; The clarity of the diamond is not easily distinguished by the eye. In order not to be deceived, choose products with internationally valid certificates that reflect the values determined by expert organizations.
Factors Affecting the Diamond Clarity
With its eye-catching effects for centuries, the diamond, which is the most eye-catching and precious stone of women, has important features that distinguish it from ordinary. Clarity is an important factor that reflects the quality among these features, which are referred to as the 4C rule. If you want to buy a precious diamond while shopping, you should know these features. Although it is a definite judgment for many people as the value of a diamond is determined by carats, it is very important in features such as clarity, cut, and color.
The clarity of the diamond is simply the number of imperfections on the stone. Each of the diamonds, which are a miracle of nature, have different properties, so they all have different degrees of clarity. While some diamonds are very damaged, some have almost no defects. It is almost impossible to see the flaws of a diamond with the naked eye. These imperfections are seen and evaluated by special jewelry magnifiers and diamond stone experts. The condition called defect is natural traces, the less these natural traces are, the more the quality of the stone increases. A feature such as clarity can only be known by a specialist in the field. For example, a 0.43-carat diamond can be sold for a price higher than a 0.70-carat diamond. Although it is smaller in carats, the clarity of the stone is almost perfect.
The first thing to know about the diamond clarity scale is that it reflects the light correctly. Factors affecting clarity should be taken into consideration in terms of reflection of light. Cracking is the main factor. If it is visibly cracked and damaged, it affects the clarity considerably. Another factor is scratches, although this is not obvious from the outside, it can be determined by measuring instruments and experts. In addition to these elements, all stains that do not appear, and the color tones present in the formation of the stone also affect the clarity. The clarity scale of diamond varies between F and I. The diamonds in the FL and IF area is flawless and very high in price.
Let’s briefly explain all the clarity scales under the headings:
FL- Flawless Diamond: When the F clarity scale is magnified even 10 times with special magnifiers, they are perfect diamonds with no traces or cutting errors.
IF- Flawless Diamond: It is the closest to perfect clarity where there is no trace in the diamond naturally but there are small traces that occur when cutting or polishing the stone.
VVS1- VVS2 / Very Very Slightly Included Diamond: The degree to which foreign objects can be hardly seen when magnified by a magnifying glass 10 times.
VS1-VS2 / Very Slightly Included Diamond: When magnified 10 times, areas containing foreign bodies and substances, crystals, and mist can be seen.
S1-S2-S3 / Slightly Included Diamond: It is the degree at which the expert sees cracks, pits, and foreign objects as a result of 10 times magnification.
I1, I2, I3- Included Diamond: It is a degree of clarity with many defects that can be seen even with the naked eye.
When purchasing a diamond product, I recommend clarity scales with a clarity degree of SI1 and above. For example, if you are purchasing a 0.70-carat diamond, it is the minimum VS2 degree because it affects the reflection very much. VS2-SI1 is ideal in terms of quality and price ratio, this color scale is very convenient to purchase. When you buy a diamond product, there is a clarity grade on its certificate.
Best Clarity Diamonds You Can Buy Online
- 1/2-3 Carat Platinum GIA Certified Oval Cut Diamond Pendant Necklace Ultra Premium Collection (H-I Color, VS1-VS2 Clarity)
- 2 Carat 14K White Gold Classic Side Stone Prong Set GIA Certified Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring w/a 1 Ct J-K Color SI1-SI2 Clarity Center