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Choosing The Best Clarity Grade For A Diamond

The diamond clarity refers to the absence of flaws such as blemishes and inclusions. Unfortunately, diamonds are created through a process that implies a very big pressure and heat deep inside the earth. This is why most such stones have various inclusions and external characteristics also known as blemishes.

The GIA clarity scale

The clarity is measures on the GIA clarity scale which includes 11 grades. The best clarity grade on this scale is FL, which stands for Flawless. The nest in line is IF, which stands for internally flawless. FL and IF diamonds are extremely rate, thus being also crazy expensive.

The GIA Clarity Scale

This is why it’s hard to consider FL the best grade for a diamond average individuals intend to purchase. Since less than 1 in 5000 diamonds are rated FL, you can easily see they have a huge market value. In addition, less than 3% of all diamonds are graded IF, so you can safely exclude this grade either when trying to choose the best clarity grade for your stone.

As a matter of fact, diamonds are assessed by experts under 10x magnification. This means most people won’t be able to see any of these inclusions and blemishes, even if experts grade the respective diamond as a VS1 or VS2.

Both these grades belong to the Very Slightly Included category and they can look as magnificent as flawless ones to the untrained eye. Besides, their price is much lower, so this is a much better clarity grade choice, should you be willing to invest in a beautiful and valuable gemstone.

How to pick a diamond properly?

You might be tempted to think that you can go as low as you want and still get an awesome diamond. Actually, this is not entirely true. Diamonds with a big number of inclusions and blemishes have less brilliance, thus being rather dull. The path of light through the diamond interferes with these obstacles, thus not being able to reflect properly. The result is a lower quality stone.

Despite all these, it is possible to find an SI1 that appears flawless to the naked eye of someone who’s not an expert diamond grader. This happens because the position of the inclusion has a great influence on its look. The best diamond cutters know how to cut a stone in order to make those inclusions invisible through the table.

If you can find such a stone, you are going to enjoy its marvelous brilliance, yet pay the price that corresponds to its clarity grade. These are the real gems you should be aiming for in your search. However, they aren’t that easy to find, as everyone fights to discover and purchase them as quickly as possible.

Things to keep in mind about the diamond clarity

In conclusion, when choosing your diamond, it’s a good idea to examine several stones, even if they don’t match your idea of clarity. In addition, you should do your homework before starting to shop around. For instance, you should be aware of the fact that VVS1 inclusions are usually visible only from the pavilion.

On the contrary, VVS2 ones are visible from the crown. Both such flaws are visible only under 10x magnification. To the naked eye, these two grades are going to look just like higher ones. You should never purchase diamonds without examining them under your magnifying glass.

Besides, if you aim for VS2 graded stones, you have to know that only about 1 in 100 untrained individuals can detect their inclusions. This is why it makes sense to hire an expert to help you choose the perfect diamond. This stone is going to have the best clarity grade, given your specific preferences and budget.

What is important besides the diamond clarity?

Besides the diamond clarity you need to make sure that your diamond also has an excellent cut. In fact it is of utmost importance that your diamond has the best cut possible. This is simply due to the fact that it is the diamond cut that governs the sparkle and therefore the beauty of a diamond!

In order to get such a diamond it is wise to choose a hearts and arrows diamond. James Allen for instance offers such diamonds among their True Hearts diamonds. To get a better grasp on the issue we recommend you read this James Allen True Hearts review.

James Allen’s True Hearts diamonds have an exceptional symmetry that results in a hearts and arrows pattern that looks something like this:

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

Although it is advantageous to have a hearts and arrows diamond many poeple actually get confused about the difference between diamond cut and diamond symmetry.

Diamond cut vs diamond symmetry

The entire issue is so confusing because the diamond sparkle is based on the diamond cut but only a little bit on the diamond symmetry.

This is what most people do not understand as they think that the dimond cut equals the diamond symmetry.

However, this is not the case at all. The diamond cut is dependent on such proportions as specific angles and depth percentages. This is illustrated quite well by the picture below:

Diamond Cut ProportionsIf you need more education on this issue please read the following blog: Yourdiamondteacher – Diamond Symmetry and Diamond Polish.

While a very symmetrical diamond looks great because of its superior symmetry it does not influence the sparle of a diamond as much as most people think.

There is a little bit of influence and we love to buy a hearts and arrows diamond. If you are on a budget however a diamond with an Excellent cut only will still loo great!

What Difference Does Diamond Color Make?

The classic picture of a diamond that exists in almost everyone’s mind is of a coldly sparkling gem that features a brilliant clear transparency, reflecting back an icy light that calls attention to its flawless beauty. However, the truth is that diamonds feature a variety of colors – it is the crystalline structure of the stone that defines it as a diamond rather than the color.

Some colors give a diamond more value due to their rarity. Examples of these include the pink, blue, yellow and even green diamonds.

Strangely enough when a diamond is classified as ‘white’ then hints of yellow or brown will reduce the value of the stone, in part due to the that it affects the way that light is reflected.

Color Scale for White Diamonds

As with most alternative jewel investments rarity is the driving force behind value and this is certainly the case with the so called ‘fancy color’ diamonds. As with white diamonds even the slightest variation in the color of the fancy diamonds can make an enormous difference to the value of the stone. To give some indication of the rarity of these colored stones it is estimated that only one out of every 10,000 diamonds is a colored stone that falls outside of the normal color spectrum used to judge the clarity of diamonds.

A pure white diamond is composed entirely of carbon atoms – there are no other components that would influence the color. With fancy colored diamonds there may be tiny amounts of other elements which can have an enormous impact of the color of the gem. In the case of yellow diamonds nitrogen is the cause. Even natural radioactivity can cause color changes – it is thought that this natural radiation is the cause of green diamonds, although sometimes trace amounts of nickel may cause green coloration.

Fancy colored diamonds

In the case of blue diamonds boron may be present – these are among the rarest diamonds on the planet and can command huge prices.

Changes to the electron structure of the gem during the course of its travel toward the surface of the Earth may result in reds or pinks. When these changes result in vivid reds they create the rarest type of diamond in the world. A great example is the The Hancock Red Diamond. Weighing only 0.95ct this gem was sold in 1987 for $880,000.

Pink diamonds are also extremely rare. This color is also caused by changes to the structure of the gem as it travels upwards through the Earth. Pink diamonds are – on average worth about 20 times the value of white diamonds. Until recently the majority of pink diamonds came from South Africa, South America or Indonesia – however today around 9 tenths of all pink diamonds come from the Argyle mine in Australia.

Purple and Blue Fancy Colored Diamonds

Green diamonds are also extremely rare, estimates are that only around ten of these gems reach the market in any given year. The changes that occur due to the natural radiation that affects the diamond to give it a greenish hue affect only the surface of the diamond, due to this fact polishing can cause a certain amount of the color to fade, making the polishing of green diamonds an incredibly exacting task.

Another extremely rare color is purple. Some experts say that purple is the second rarest color diamond so it competes for the title of second rarest with the blue diamonds. The majority of purple diamonds show only light hints of the color – but every now and then a spectacular example showing deep purple coloration is unearthed.

The depth of the color is also known as saturation and generally the deeper the saturation the higher the value of the stone. Saturation ranges from ‘light’ to ‘vivid’ with subtle variations between each level of saturation. Judging the level of the saturation is the job of highly specialized professionals.

One of the reasons that these fancy colored diamonds are also extremely valuable (aside from rarity) is that they require specialist skills to cut.

Whatever the color these diamonds are all spectacular and would make an interesting and valuable addition to any collection. Besides which they would make any piece of jewelry and its owner the envy of everyone who saw it.

Diamond Engagement Ring Settings And Styles

Choosing the perfect engagement ring takes a lot of time and dedication. You have to be willing to understand what are the main characteristics that influence the quality of a diamond, as well as the various settings you can opt for. If you do care about your money, you should always go for certified diamonds.

In addition, you should hire an expert to help you assess the quality of the stone you are going to purchase, just to make sure it lives up to its promise.

Solitaire Ring Setting

Solitaire Diamond RingBasically, the most popular diamond engagement ring setting is the classic solitaire. It features one single diamond in a mounting with four prongs. This type of setting allows for the most amount of light to enter through the top of the diamond and to get reflected back.

This makes these rings have a special brilliance, highly appreciated by many women and men alike. If you are in doubt, you can go for the solitaire setting, as you can’t go wrong. Just make sure to choose a high quality diamond and you are going to have a ring to turn heads on the street. If you worry about losing the stone, you can go for a six prongs setting, but it is going to show less of the gorgeous brilliance of the diamond.

If you want, you can choose an invisible setting instead of the prongs. However, you have to be aware of its downsides, so you should inform yourself on the pros and cons of each setting type before making your choice.

Tension Ring Setting

Tension Diamond Ring SettingThe tension setting is one of the most modern techniques. The diamond is inserted into a special mounting under pressure. This type of setting creates the illusion that the diamond is floating. This makes it really special. However, you have to keep in mind that it is more difficult to achieve, thus being more expensive than the classic settings.

In addition, it doesn’t allow you to resize the ring later on, so take care about all these details before ordering a tension setting engagement ring. Your fiancee might gain some weight with age, so there’s going to be a time when her engagement ring is going to be too small for her fingers.

The illusion setting is another excellent choice for an engagement ring. This technique consists of adding a faceted metal plate around the girdle of the diamond. This reflective plate creates the illusion of a larger and more brilliant stone. This is an excellent choice in case you don’t have the budget to buy a large stone.

Side Stone Ring Setting

Ring setting with side stone diamondsFor sophisticated girls who think more is better, you can choose a fancy setting with diamond side stones. Of course, the central piece is still going to be the queen of the show, but the tiny side diamonds can add a special charm and an unequaled glamour to this kind of engagement ring. In order for the center diamond to sparkle as much as possible you will have to go for the best diamond cut possible.

If you want to push your engagement to the philosophical side of life, you can go for a three-stone ring. The three stones symbolize the past, the present and the future of your relationship. You can choose the setting style you like most. However, the prongs setting is the most common one, as it allows a lot of light to enter the stones, thus enhancing the brilliance of the ring. This type of mounting can impress virtually any girl out there, provided that you make sure to explain her the three-stone concept.

If you want, you can choose the cluster setting for this type of ring. In the cluster setting, the three stones are grouped together, either symmetrically or in an abstract arrangement. Modern girls would love this type of ring. However, if your fiancee is rather conservative, she may not be so happy with not having a classic solitaire on her finger.

Since you might want to marry your fiancee at a later time, you could consider buying a matching bridal set. This will enable her to wear both rings at the same time, on the same finger. These rings are designed to look great together, so she won’t have to give up the engagement ring in favor of the wedding band.

Look at her preferences

When choosing the ring setting, you need to take into consideration the preferences of your fiancee. She’s going to wear your ring, after all, so your preferences matter less. If you want to surprise her, don’t ask her directly about the types of rings she prefers. Rather observe her jewelry pieces or go shopping for rings together.

Invite her to try different models and try to figure out what are her preferences. If you can’t manage this task, you can always ask her mother for help. Most mothers know how their daughters think, so she might be able to give you a good piece of advice in this matter. If you can’t ask her mother, consider asking yours. She can observe the girl and see what type of rings she likes. Although mothers are invaluable, if you can’t ask any of them, you might need to speak to a jewelry expert about the various diamond engagement ring settings and their special features.

After all, your sweetheart is going to be excited by your proposal anyway, so she might be happy to wear your engagement ring regardless its shape, size or mounting type. The most important thing here is your love and the fact that you’ve shown it in such a romantic manner.

Buying Diamonds Online vs Buying Them Locally- Which One is safe?

Buying goods and transacting businesses online has become a trend with the fact that people hate doing a lot of paper work, making long queues and the facts that the internet has changed the face of businesses. The process of making a decision on whether to buy online or in a store can be quite a challenge looking at the advantages and disadvantages especially if you have no clue about the product you are about to purchase. With online shopping, as a customer you are able to compare different products with others instead of visiting that local jeweler though you very well know purchases his or her products online.

A round cut diamond on a tableSo, what decision are you going to make. Buying your diamonds online or visit a store and purchase it from there. If you decide to buy that piece of diamond you are most likely to save yourself a lot of troubles and complications along the way like time, energy and effort. Keep in mind that there are a lot of fraudsters out there and the internet is of no exception, can you really without a doubt have confidence in the website. I mean a website called does not sound like a trusted website.

Then again, if you decide to visit a store there is no assurance that they will sell you genuine diamonds especially if they notice how ignorant you are or if you have no idea about what you want and end up purchasing diamonds that are not worth the money you spent it on.

Advantages vs Disadvantages

To decide on where you want to purchase your precious diamonds, take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying your diamonds online or buying them locally. Purchasing diamonds online gives you an easier way of comparing different products from different dealers than having to put up with nagging salespeople trying to convince you on how their products are better than the rest. Plus, merchants who sale diamonds online do not have overheads meaning that you can get your diamonds at a cheaper price than getting them a locally. However, local stores usually have a refund policy before buying diamonds check to see if the store has a refund method and not just exchanging products.

As a consumer, not having accurate knowledge on the kind of diamonds you want you might end up purchasing the wrong thing especially on the internet. Well, the internet is the internet, filled with con people who are ready to extort every single penny that you have. It is an unregulated place with people selling diamonds which are genuine and ones which are not. Having no knowledge of diamonds or not knowing how to differentiate diamonds might lead you to making a bad choice.

What a beautiful diamond ringOnline stores normally give inventory owned by wholesalers which are simply posted on their site giving you no proof of whether the diamonds are good or bad and chances of seeing the same diamond on another site is high. Some final disadvantages of online purchasing of diamonds is that the information provided on the site might not be genuine especially when they use terms saying how genuine and ideal the diamond is even though they are fake. The rating stars about the diamonds by the consumers maybe biased meaning that you cannot have faith on the people and their ratings. Let’s face it most people do not have enough knowledge about diamonds only vendors do.

Educate yourself

There isn’t a way to tell exactly how much money you are going to save or if you will save any money at all. Some websites sell diamonds at a cheaper price than local stores depending on the services offered. The best thing about buying diamonds at a local store is that you can clearly evaluate it yourself even though there are more to diamonds than what meets the eye. Online vendors can also evaluate diamonds for you if you meet a genuine seller. Buying diamonds online is a better option especially if you are purchasing for the first time because the images are usually available for you to check them out.

The best way to check diamonds without being duped is to compare diamonds from your local store then go and check it out online. You can compare the color, shape and size. Also check the one that offers the best price, it might seem like a lot of work but it is way much better than being losing your money to fake products and unscrupulous vendors.