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Be Clear on Clarity Before You Shop For Your New Diamond Engagement Ring

Be Clear on Clarity Before You Shop For Your New Diamond Engagement Ring

Posted in: Engagement

There is always a lot to consider when you start your hunt for a diamond engagement ring. Not only do you have to think about which reputable jeweller you’ll buy it from, but also your budget and the features of the diamond. 

If there’s one thing you also don’t want to avoid considering during the decision-making process, it’s diamond clarity. We’ve included some helpful information on what this might mean for you. 

Diamond Blemishes and Inclusions Are Not Flaws

In general terms, blemishes are flaws. For example, if you purchased a new handbag and it had an imperfection in the material, you might take it back and swap it for another. 

Regarding diamond clarity, though, blemishes and inclusions aren’t flaws at all. Diamond blemishes exist during the formation process of the diamond, through the structure of the crystal, or while it’s being cut, polished, and set. Blemishes can even occur during wear and can be in the diamond or extending from the surface. 

Ask any gemologist, and they will tell you that these blemishes aren’t flaws. Instead, they are identification tools that you can use to tell synthetic and natural diamonds apart. They can also act similarly to a fingerprint to make each diamond unique. 

Understanding the GIA Diamond Clarity Scale

Diamond education can be essential when you start your hunt for the perfect diamond. The more you know, the more you can understand the diamond clarity scale and how each diamond gets its clarity rating. You can then make your purchasing decision with far more confidence. 

Diamond clarity was developed in the 1950s by the GIA based on inclusions and blemishes identified by trained graders at 10x magnification. 

For all natural diamonds, there are 11 grades to determine differences between them. We’ve included what these are below. 

  • Flawless (FL) – Under 10x magnification, there are no visible blemishes or inclusions.
  • Internally Flawless (IF) – Under 10x magnification, there are only minor blemishes and no inclusions.
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2) – Very Slightly Included means that under 10x magnification, there are minor inclusions that can be extremely difficult or difficult to see.
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2) – Minor inclusions can be difficult or easy to see under 10x magnification.
  • Slightly Included (SI1, S12) – Slightly included diamonds are the most popular in the New Zealand diamond market. They have some inclusions that are easy or very easy to see under magnification but offer an excellent balance between quality and price.
  • Imperfect (I1, I2, I3) – Inclusions that are visible with the unaided eye and under 10x magnification. These may affect the diamond’s brilliance and transparency. 

Factors to Determine a Diamond’s Clarity

If you have been hunting for the perfect diamond engagement ring for a while, you may want to spend some time thinking about what contributes to a diamond’s clarity. There are four primary considerations, such as size, number, location, and nature. 

  • Size - The diamond’s clarity grade decreases the larger and more visible a diamond’s inclusion gets.
  • Location – This refers to where the inclusion is. The closer it is to the middle of the top horizontal facet of the diamond, the lower the clarity grade might be.
  • Number – The more inclusions that are face-up and visible at 10x magnification, the more the clarity grade may be affected.
  • Nature – The diamond’s characteristics and their effect. 

Get a Diamond Grading Report

Whether you’re shopping for wedding rings or diamond rings online, it’s essential to shop with reputable jewellers that offer a GIA Diamond Grading Report and GIA Diamond Origin Report. If your diamond is above one carat, these reports come with plotting diagrams that map any blemishes and inclusions on a diamond. These reports also allow for accurate identification of a diamond. 

If you are unsure whether diamonds you have purchased in the past have authentic reports, you can run them through an analysis and grading report check. This checker tool confirms the information in your report matches what is in the GIA report database. 

Shop With Confidence

There can be more to finding the perfect diamond ring than just price and setting alone. The more you learn about clarity and other diamond features, the easier you will be able to make an informed choice. 

If you’re not sure how to find the perfect diamond for your custom engagement ring, visit today. 

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