Clarity is the degree to which imperfections are present in a diamond. People take for granted that they need to have a high clarity grade to not see inclusions, and that this clarity level means a much more sparkly diamond. However, cut is a more important factor than clarity because it is what determines the shape and brilliance of the stone.
Needless to say, clarity of a diamond is usually the most misunderstood characteristic of the four 4Cs. Some Beverly Diamonds BBB reviews and other online reviewers throw around the word.
Why It Is Not Wise to Overspend on Clarity
One flawless diamond looks almost the same as another one with a slightly lesser ‘VVS’ clarity grade. This “Very Very Slightly Included” diamond is called “eye-clean” because the untrained viewer will not see any internal flaws visible to the naked eye. Diamonds with the flawless (FL) grade are very rare, so jewelry retailers seldom get to sell these. Even if you find it somewhere, you would have to pay a premium for it because it commands that price. Now, what does this mean? It simply means – you have better options than an ‘FL’ graded diamond.
With a drop in each clarity grade, you get a significant reduction in price. An eye-clean diamond looks identical to one that is flawless, and it costs much less. Just by choosing a VVS2 diamond over an FL graded one, you will get considerable savings. Think about how much you will save when you invest in lesser clarity graded diamonds, whose inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. When you choose a diamond falling at the bottom of the clarity range, you could save tens of thousands of dollars.
Why “Eye-Clean” Diamond Is a Subjective Term
Using the term “eye-clean” to refer to a diamond entails issues related to how robust and precise its definition is.
Firstly, the visual acuity of a person differs from another one. This means that some can see small inclusions which the average person cannot, but others need to wear glasses to spot most flaws in a diamond.
Secondly, whether some flaws can be spotted depends on the condition of light. The light affects the brilliance of the stone; less brilliance makes inclusions stand out, but more brilliance means relatively fewer visible flaws. Therefore, whether a diamond looks clean to the eye varies with the type of light the stone is exposed to. Just by choosing a diamond cut for more brilliance, you can afford to go for a lower clarity grade, because this feature of the stone will mask the flaws in it. Therefore, cut is more important than clarity.