Finding the suitable diamond clarity for your engagement ring; one of the more complex caveats during your engagement ring hunt.
Let’s start from the top, “FL” or flawless, as the name suggests the diamond is completely clean and doesn’t have a spec in it, this is similar to “IF” or internally flawless, except that the “FL” grading is only given to diamonds that are polished to perfection and there are no abrasions or scratches on the surface of the diamond, in essence it is perfect!
Realistically this is a grading you should only concern yourself with if you are planning to buy an investment grade diamond.
The next notch down from “IF” is “VVS”, which is grouped into two subcategories, VVS1 and VVS2, where VVS1 is considered “better”. VVS stands for very very small inclusion, yes, we know…very creative!
This is an inclusion that you cannot see with a 10x Lupe and you will have a difficult time finding using a microscope. This clarity immediately increases the price of the diamond, but is it worth it?
Well, this comes down to the individual, but if you are like most of us and all you care about is to have a diamond that appears spotless with the naked eye, then let’s look further down the spectrum.
The mid-range and yet highly sought-after clarity, “VS” or very small, can sometimes be seen with a 10x Lupe, however this is the go-to option if you want to make sure that your diamond is spotless with the eye.
We can finally come to the clarity which provides the most value and is often overlooked, “SI” or small inclusion. These inclusions are often a lot more noticeable with the lube and unlike the “VS” or “VVS” there is a lot of subjective variation in these.
What do I mean by subjective variation?
The “SI” clarity is a rather broad grading category when compared to the others. For example, you can get a diamond that is graded “SI2”, which has an apparent black inclusion that you can just barely see with your eye and on the other hand you can get an “SI2” that has lots of small white inclusions, but with the eye it looks as clean as a “VS”.
Here is the catch, both of these would be priced as “SI2” clarities, so keep an eye out for this!
Now, to probably our favourite clarity, “I” or included. This is considered the most included type of clarity and is on the bottom of the charts. For most people when they are offered and “I” graded diamond they are immediately turned off by the massive crack, bubble or black spot, which is extremely easy to spot with the eye.
However, with our great craftsmanship during the production of the diamond, the inclusions can be hidden or placed in a manner that makes the diamond appear clean to the eye, but the grading lab still marks it off as an “I”. This is the buyers sweet spot, as the “I” grading plummets the price and yet the diamond appears completely clean to anyone without a 10x Lupe in their pocket. This is what we like to call an eye clean diamond, and as you can imagine are massively popular.
In conclusion, if you have the budget that allows for you to purchase the “VVS” or “VS” clarities, then by all means do as they hold their value very well! However, if you aren’t quite there yet, but you still want to have an eye clean diamond at a budget, then we suggest the “SI” to “I” clarity for your engagement ring.