DIAMOND CLARITY COLOR CHART
Clarity and Color are two of the four characteristics (4 c’s) used in determining a diamond’s value. So let’s have a look at a diamond clarity color chart and find out how these characteristics are graded.
A Diamond’s Cut is the most important characteristic in a diamond and now we will view the other three characteristics, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight.
DIAMOND | COLOR
The Color of a diamond is the second most important characteristic influencing value.
Color rates second because it is the second feature we naturally see after experiencing the brilliance, fire, and scintillation displayed by an excellent or ideal cut.
There are a variety of colors within the structure of a diamond stone which includes whites, pinks, blues, and yellows.
Yellows have a lower value, with an exception, while a white diamond will reflect more light and color, and be more valuable.
As a general rule the less color in a diamond the higher the value. Grading is based on a lack of color and scales down from the highest D grade to a yellow Z.
D grade color diamonds are extremely rare and expensive, and if you are on a budget and after an almost colorless diamond, G grade offers exceptional value.
The exception mentioned above relates to a particular canary yellow colored diamond that has single nitrogen atoms. These diamonds are exquisite and extremely expensive as are the blues, reds and pinks.
DIAMOND | CLARITY
Clarity is the third most important characteristic in a diamond and refers to the size and number of imperfections present in a stone.
Almost all diamonds have one or more imperfections. Diamonds without a flaw are very rare and expensive.
Diamonds form deep in the Earth’s mantle under extreme heat and pressure and deposit onto Earth’s surface through the violent action of volcanic eruptions. As a result, almost all diamonds have some sort of imperfection(s), commonly referred to as birthmarks. Internal flaws are called inclusions, external or surface are called blemishes.
Clarity determines value because it can affect light travelling through the diamond. Larger and more numerous imperfections have less brilliance because light does not refract as well as stones having fewer flaws.
FL – Flawless / no visible inclusions or blemishes under 10x magnification, <1% of diamonds.
IF – Internally Flawless / Very slight blemishes under 10x magnification, <3% of diamonds.
VVS1 – Very, Very Slightly Included / few microscopic flaws very difficult to view under 10x magnification.
VVS2– Very, Very Slightly Included / Slightly more tiny imperfections difficult to view under 10x magnification.
VS1 – Very Slightly Included / minor inclusions somewhat difficult to see under 10x magnification and located to the outer rim of the diamond.
VS2– Very Slightly Included / minor inclusions the same size as VS1 but located more towards the centre and sometimes within the table. Inclusions towards the girdle will be a bit larger in size or formation than a VS1.
SI1 – Slightly Included / inclusions that are fairly easy to see with 10x magnification but not quite visible without a loupe.
SI2– Slightly Included /the most common diamond clarity on the market. Properly graded the SI2 clarity diamond still requires magnification to identify any inclusions. Inclusions can be anywhere in the stone, from the table to the girdle. However, you should not be able to see any inclusions with the unaided eye.
Other categories – (not recommended)
I1 – Included / flaws that are obvious under 10x magnification and visible to the unaided eye but do not impact on the strength or beauty of the stone.
I2 – Included /Inclusions either affect the durability of the diamond or the beauty.
I3 – Included /Inclusions that affect both the durability and beauty of the stone.
Enhanced Color and Clarity Treatments
There are other methods used to enhance a diamond’s appearance. Methods that should be disclosed to the buyer before purchase. You will notice I said the word should. By law, you have to be informed but that is not always the case as mentioned above regarding rogue dealers and some online auction sales. Treatment can synthetically enhance diamond clarity and color. Irradiated diamonds, for example, are genuine diamonds that have been exposed to active radiation to enhance color. These crystals display strong colors such as green, black, pink, blue, etc.! If you know what to look for and have the right tools you can identify irradiated diamonds. But please stay away from Irradiated Diamonds, they are Dangerous and we want to sparkle not glow!!! I am sure you wouldn’t see Superman flying through the air wearing a kryptonite ring.
Other diamond enhancement treatments include color coating, fracture filling, laser drilling and exposure to high-pressure high-temperature processes.
DIAMOND | CARATS
The last characteristic you need to consider when selecting the diamond of your choice is the weight.
The unit of weight measurement for a diamond is a Carat (ct).
A Carat weighs 0.2 g, (200 mg), or the equivalent to 0.00705479 of an ounce.
For example, a diamond weighing 90 mg is 0.45 ct (90 ÷ 200 = .45).
It is rare to find a rough stone large enough to produce a one carat diamond. Larger diamonds are extremely rare and dramatically increase in price. For example, a three-carat stone will be more than three times the price times compared to one carat.
All 4’C’s determine the quality and value of a diamond with the cut clearly the winner. From excellent cuts to poor cuts, the differences in color, the number and size of imperfections, all having an effect on the stone’s price.
- If purchasing a ring select a shape that best suits the physical features of the person who will wear the ring. Consider hand, finger, size, length and shape.
- Not all patterns are suitable for every finger and hand.
- Choose the ideal cut. I would much rather buy a smaller excellent cut diamond than a large poor cut diamond. You do want the sparkle – right?
- Identifying any color in G – H coloured diamonds is tough. They are less expensive than rare colourless stones and offer great value.
I – J are near colorless and have just a very slight tone of warmth about them. They are also a good choice for value.
- SI quality diamonds are the less expensive in clarity value and have only slight inclusions visible without magnification.
- Weight will depend on budget and the characteristics you have selected.
- Small heart shaped diamonds under 0.50 carat have little definition. The heart shape is lost in the stone and is not well recognised. You may wish to choose a round brilliant stone.
A diamond ring will most likely be worn for a lifetime so you want that scintillating captivating sparkle day after day. Choose quality before size. You don’t want to make a decision you will regret later on in life! and if you wish to view my advice please click my review and recommendations, it could save you thousands.
What are your thoughts and what’s are your preferences in a diamond?