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Diamond Color & Clarity and Which is More Important?

Diamonds are very rare, beautiful and are a great way to express how much you care for a person by gifting one to them.

These rare jewels come with a variety of characteristics that define whether the diamond is of low, medium or high quality. The size of the diamond is very important but there are two other characteristics that for many experts are way more important, which are both color and clarity.

A diamond’s color, for example, can be defined and graded on a letter scale with the top quality being a perfectly colorless diamond, while a low-quality one can be more spotted or tinted.

If you are wondering if either color or clarity is more important for a diamond, then let me provide more information about this topic to define which of the two is more important.

Diamond’s Color:

As stated before, diamond color is graded on a letter scale with the highest-grade being D and the lowest being Z. At a single glance, the difference between a D and a Z graded diamond can be as clear as the day. A D colored diamond is known for being perfectly colorless while a Z graded one will be a yellowish diamond. The colors of the diamond are separated by the following chart:

  •       Colorless: D, E, and F.
  •       Near colorless: G, H, I and J.
  •       Faint yellow: K, L, and M.
  •       Very light yellow: N, O, P, Q, and R.
  •       Light yellow: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z.

The differences between an X and Z diamond or an H and I can be hard to discern, but differentiating between a near-colorless and a faint yellow diamond is much easier to do. Color doesn’t impact directly on the brilliance of a diamond, but a colorless one can surely seem more brilliant than a yellowish one which of course makes the diamond more expensive.

Diamond’s Clarity:

The more inclusions a diamond has the less clear it becomes. Inclusions are the imperfections of a diamond which could happen both naturally and when it was cut. Little inclusions like a cloud or a cavity can negatively affect how clear a diamond is and affect its overall price and quality. The number of inclusions, their type and location can affect how clean a diamond looks and have its grade lowered down. Here is a small chart of how diamonds are graded from flawless being the highest grade to included which is the lowest grading:

  •       Flawless: FL.
  •       Internally flawless: IF.
  •       Very very slightly included: VVS1 and VVS2.
  •       Very slightly included: VS1 and VS2.
  •       Slightly included: SI1, SI2, and SI3.
  •       Included: I1, I2, and I3.

Is clarity or color more important?

Going back to the main question, which of the two is more important when it comes to clarity or color? When it comes to diamonds people always keep an eye on its brilliance, which can be affected indirectly by both color and clarity. For example, a diamond graded low in its color can be perceived as less brilliant due to its yellowish nature, while an included clarity diamond can be perceived as damaged or even opaque. (Depending on its inclusions.)

In reality, depending for what you want a diamond can make either color or clarity more important to the other. A clarity graded FL diamond but graded very light yellow or light yellow can be preferred if you are placing your diamond on a white setting as you would not want it to have any visible tints or inclusions. Clarity becomes more important when you are working with a wide variety of diamond qualities. Many jewelry stores will avoid stocking anything below VS2 as its inclusions are harder to see with the naked eye.

Should I always look for the highest quality?

Gifting a diamond from Friedman’s Jewelers is a great way to express your love to someone. Any diamond with its clarity grade VS2 or above can become a great gift as people won’t be able to notice its inclusions. If you are using a golden-colored setting then you can use a K or L color quality diamond, though for any other use it is recommended to get anything above I or J. 

Whenever you are buying diamonds try to always check it’s color and clarity grading, as these two can help you pick the right diamond for your setting. Try not to purchase anything below J in color and VS2 in clarity because you could end up with a low-quality diamond.

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