Before even stepping into the Four C’s, our diamond is subjected to the first of many tests it will undergo with the grading process. Here, it is tested to determine whether our diamond is natural or lab-grown. If our diamond were synthetic, it will be pulled out of the cue and subjected to a separate procedure. But our diamond is a natural diamond. So now, it’s on to the Four C’s.
The first C is color. When it comes to diamonds, the less color, the higher the grade. The GIA color scale classifies diamonds from D, colorless, to Z, light-yellow or brown. Each letter grade represents a range of color and is a measure of how noticeable a color is. Truly, colorless diamonds are very rare. Most diamonds used in jewelry are nearly colorless with tints of yellow or brown.
To provide a universal basis for color comparison, GIA gemologists meticulously assemble the set of master stones, representing the color grades on the GIA scale. At the GIA lab, a color grade is determined by comparing each diamond to a master set that has been assembled by carefully matching diamonds to the original set.
Let’s take a look at our diamond and see where it falls on the color grading scale. Our diamond received a color grade of G.
The second C is clarity. Because diamonds form under tremendous heat and pressure, it is extremely rare to find a diamond with no internal or surface reaching inclusions. Inclusions are a by-product of its formation and actually help gemologist separate natural diamond from synthetic diamonds and look-alikes.
The GIA clarity scale includes 11 clarity grades, ranging from flawless to I3. Flawless indicates that there are no inclusions or blemishes visible at 10x magnification. A grade of I3 is for diamonds with inclusions that are obvious to the naked eye.
Diamond graders at GIA laboratories use a 10x magnification loupe and a microscope to see and plot the inclusions. Since no two diamonds are exactly alike, this unique plot helps identify a particular stone. During this step, graders also look to see if there’s any evidence that our diamond was treated to improve its clarity. And any treatment will be noted on our diamond’s report.
Let’s see how our diamond looks under 10x magnification. Our diamond has six small inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye but can be seen at higher magnification. Here, you can see the inclusions noted in red on our diamond’s clarity plot. Our diamond received a clarity grade of VS2 or very slightly included 2.
Which Clarity and Color grade to choose in a diamond?
So, as you now know the basics about diamond color and clarity it is more important to know which color and clarity grade to choose in a diamond.
We asked diamond expert Sebastian Naturski from Your Diamond Teacher about his opinion on that topic.
He told us that the topic of diamond clarity versus color is a fiercely debated topic in the diamond industry.
However, there is a common consense to be found that we recommend you to follow to make a truly amazing deal on your diamond:
Basically you have to be aware that you only want to have an eye clean diamond. If a diamond is really eye clean all the other facts are not of much concern to you anymore. For this particular reason it does not make much sense to get a VS1 diamond or even better.
The reason is the fact that all VS2 diamonds don’t have any visible inclusions. Below you can see a typical VS2 diamond from our collection:
Choosing a diamond with an even higher clarity grade can be done for symbolic reasons. But it will not enhance the actual look of the diamond. But many people actually mistakenly think so!
With diamond color however it is a different issue!
A diamond with a better color grade than another diamond will always look visibly better than the diamond with the lower color grade. Granted, it is very difficult to distinguish with your bare eyes between diamonds with color grades that are very near to each other.
The message I a trying to convey to you though is the following: It is still very much possible to distinguish between diamonds with different color grades and the one with the better color grade will have a lastig optical advantage over the diamond with the lower clarity grade!
Thus, when asking yourself whether you should rather compromise on diamond color or diamond clarity I would rather recommend to compromise on diamond clarity.
How to get the best clarity grades when buying online?
With ecommerce taking over more and more and more and more people buying online it is only natural that people want to buy gemtones, sapphires and diamonds online, too!
Many people have problems buying online because they think that they will not be able to evaluate the quality of the diamond properly!
However, it just depends where you are buying the diamond! There are places that are not good to buy a diamond and there are places that are excellent to buy a diamond.
Our top recommendation: James Allen Diamonds
Have you ever heard about James Allen diamonds?
You can read a full review of James Allen Diamonds here:
Due to its 360 Degree Video Technology it is the current leader in the online diamond trade! It is an online shop that is most definitely worth checking out:
You can see all diamonds in 40x magnified images which gives you a huge advantage when buying a diamond! You are actually able to know what the diamond will look like and whether the inclusions in the diamond are visible or not.
If you want to know more on James Allen’s video technology please go and read about Your Diamond Teacher’s experiences with James Allen. The review reveals why James Allen is such a great choice when it comes to choosing diamonds. You are simply able to get eye clean diamonds even within the “Slightly Included 1” and “Slightly Included 2” clarity range.
All in all James Allen is particularly worth checking out when being on the look out for cheap diamondw without inclusions.
Please get in touch with our experts if you want to know more about diamond grading practices.