There is a lot to discuss regarding how valuable your diamond is – and one of those things is a diamond clarity chart, or rather, where does your diamond rank on that diamond clarity chart.
That may seem like one of those things that you can’t learn how to interpret or use, but trust us when we say: There’s nothing complicated about using tools such as this clarity chart we’re going to talk about today.
Certain similarities – and some differences – are involved in different clarity charts for diamonds, but we’re going to mention these, as well, so there’s no need to worry!
The only thing you should do is stick around until the end and read through this whole article to gain in-depth knowledge about these charts and what they mean.
Without any further ado, let’s jump straight into the article and see what we’re up against here!
What Is A Diamond Clarity Chart?
In all seriousness, a diamond clarity chart does seem like something too complicated to learn at first glance – but that’s not the entire truth.
But, to learn about these charts, utilize them, and use them to your advantage, you first need to know what diamond clarity charts are. So, let’s start from the basics!
Diamond clarity is a qualitative metric that evaluates the visual appearance of each precious stone. The fewer inclusions and blemishes a gem has, the better its clarity grading will be.
A diamond clarity chart is merely a chart that accurately depicts what grade of clarity your diamond is.
Now, this definition may not mean much to you at first, but we’re going to take it apart and look at all the individual parts of it – and ensure that you understand it better.
First of all, diamond clarity is a qualitative metric that measures quality on a particular scale, like with all other qualitatively measurable things.
That just means that some diamonds will be graded lower – and some will be graded higher – on a pre-determined list of quality grades.
The visual appearance of a diamond is the crucial point in ranking it on the clarity scale – which means that it’s the only thing that’s looked at while determining the clarity grade of a particular diamond.
Inclusions and blemishes are not desired when we’re talking about diamond clarity, so the fewer of those, the better the clarity grade will be.
Lastly, a chart that depicts the clarity grade could vary from chart to chart and from organization to organization.
Practically every certificate you seek for your diamond will give you a clarity grade based on the lab’s findings regarding your diamond and its level of clarity.
Now, let’s look at the grades your diamond could be graded with – and then we’ll discuss every one of those grades:
|Very Very Slightly Included|
|Very Slightly Included|
We have to point out that these clarity levels and grades are according to GIA – and not other certification organizations worldwide. But the clarity levels are pretty much universal; they just may have different names on different certificates.
We know that these words, letters, and numbers don’t mean much to you right now, but don’t worry – we’re going to talk about it soon enough!
First of all, let’s see what these mean, and then we can discuss what grade you should aim for when shopping for a diamond.
Related Read: What Are The Characteristics Of A Diamond?
Let’s start from the bottom of the grading chart:
- I1, I2, and I3 are the lowest grades reserved for heavily included diamonds. You should never hope to get that grade for your gem – but even if you do get it, you still are left with a beautiful diamond. So, don’t let this “verdict” discourage you.
- SI1 and SI2 grades are slightly different stories. Diamonds that are slightly included are labeled as either “SI1” or “SI2.” These diamonds can be beautiful in colors but aren’t the highest clarity grade, so that does bring their prices down a little bit.
- When talking about VS1 and VS2, we’re exiting the “not so good” territory. So, if your diamond gets graded with this tier, you shouldn’t worry too much. It’s still not the best – but it does mean that your diamond has significantly better clarity than the I or SI tear diamonds.
- When it comes to VVS clarity grading, no matter whether it’s VVS1 or VVS2, you’re entering a territory where you should be satisfied with the clarity grade that your diamond has been given. These are the third-best grades your diamond could get – which is quite admirable.
- IF and FL grades are on a completely different level, though. IF is the Internally Flawless grade that nearly perfect diamonds get, and FL is the “flawless” grade, which only the best of the best diamonds get to receive.
The grade “Flawless” alone is the best one that a diamond can have. It tells you everything you need to know about a diamond’s clarity – and where it ranks on the chart. It’s essentially near perfect.
If you get your hands on an FL-graded diamond, or your diamond gets graded as FL, you know you have quite a diamond in your hands.
These diamonds are pretty hard to come by and are highly demanded on the market, though. Some collectors only go for these high-clarity diamonds – and they admit it’s hard to come by such diamonds on the general market.
Related Read: What Are The Most Popular Diamond Colors And Clarities?
Why Is Diamond Clarity Important?
We all know that there are some criteria that directly influence the quality of a diamond and, consequently, the price tag it will get on the market.
Is diamond clarity one of those things? Well, yes, it is.
There’s something called the 4 C’s of diamonds – and it’s imperative to mention it when we’re discussing diamond clarity and overall diamond price, with the particular focus on what impacts them.
The 4 C’s of diamonds are:
These four factors are incredibly important, and a diamond can’t have its price estimated without taking the four Cs into account.
Carat weight is one of those things that everybody knows about; here’s what we mean:
“How many carats is that diamond?” Even if people don’t know how much a carat is, they still do know that there’s one straightforward rule – the more carats a diamond has, the bigger the price tag.
Certain measurements are necessary for a diamond to be considered “expensive.” Color grade and diamond clarity grade are two excellent examples of those things. The color of a precious stone and its clarity are crucial when it comes to diamonds and how much they’re worth.
Related Read: Diamond Color Vs. Clarity: What’s More Important?
Cut grade is also very important, but there are millions of ways to cut a diamond – and some are much more complicated than others. And given how vast of a topic that is, we can’t afford to get into all the details right now.
But, diamond clarity is something that is common for all diamonds – regardless of their size, cut, color, or any other characteristic.
Every diamond had a level of clarity – and that’s what we’re talking about here today.
The importance of diamond clarity is vast, but the first noticeable thing is the change in the price tag. Here’s what we mean by that:
For instance, if the diamond has an SI1 grade, the price will be on a certain level. But if you look at a diamond that has the same cut and the same carat weight but has a clarity grade of VSS1, you’re looking at a couple of hundred dollars in price difference.
Now, even though this may not seem like much to you, the important thing is that these clarity levels aren’t that noticeable to the naked eye – especially an eye that wasn’t trained to look for specific characteristics in a diamond.
But, what impacts the clarity levels? Do lower clarity grade diamonds look sandy or dull?
These are all common misconceptions about clarity levels of diamonds – so, let’s talk about it.
Clarity levels are actually dependent on “spots” and “dark areas” on a diamond’s surface or in a diamond’s core. When a diamond has fewer of these spots and areas – known as inclusions and blemishes – it’s considered to have better clarity.
And that usually means it costs more, too.
But, if your diamond has somewhat big dark spots and areas, it will be graded much lower than it would’ve been if it only had a few minor marks on (or in) it.
Related Read: Why Does My Diamond Look Dark?
How Do You Find Out Your Diamond’s Clarity?
There are many people who have diamonds but don’t know their color grade or clarity level right off the bat – and that’s OK. There are a few ways to find out what clarity grade your diamond is – and in a matter of a couple of days, if you’re lucky.
Two of the most well-known diamond certificates are the GIA and HRD certificates. GIA is more prevalent in North America – while the HRD certificate holds the title of the more popular choice in Europe.
Both of these tell you what clarity level on the diamond clarity chart your gemstone is – along with some other helpful information about your diamond.
Certification does cost money and is a process that might seem complicated to some of you, but one thing is true: It’s worth certifying your diamond!
If you’re planning on selling your diamonds in the future – or just prefer having some paperwork to “back them up” – getting a GIA certification is a fantastic way to do so.
All diamonds should be certified and checked – well, at least in our humble opinion.
Finalizing Our Thoughts
Diamonds can be a pretty confusing thing to take an interest in – and the diamond clarity chart is, as you’re likely aware, one of the most confusing-looking bits of diamond-related info you’ll encounter as a diamond shopper.
But, as you’ve seen from this article, there’s nothing “unlearnable” about these charts. As with all things that are measurable, there are specific levels that can be used to describe your diamond.
Depending on the state of your diamond and the overall quality of your precious stone, the organization that you’ve trusted to certify your diamond will give you a rating on that clarity chart.
People who aren’t into diamonds sometimes overlook the fact that diamonds need to be graded in order to be worth any money. Why is that? Well, if you don’t have any certification, the buyer can’t verify what they’re purchasing – and the gems don’t come cheap.
In addition to that, some problems might occur since there’s a big battle against blood diamonds going around the world – and it’s a safe bet to certify your diamonds in order to distance yourself from that.
A clarity chart is one of the easiest things to read on your diamond certificate. So, when you do get your diamonds certified, don’t be afraid – take a look at that certificate and go through all the info outlined in it.
That’s all we’ve prepared for you on this topic; it’s time to wrap it up. We hope that you enjoyed reading our diamond clarity chart guide as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it!
Related Read: What Is The Best Clarity For The Diamond Necklace?