Shopping For A Diamond: Color Vs Clarity

Color vs. Clarity:

Out of the 4 C’s of diamond grading (Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat weight), color and clarity are the two that are the most apparent and detectable to the human eye.  Color refers to the amount of detectable yellow or brown tint present in a diamond. It is caused by the amount of nitrogen atoms in the structure of the diamond. Clarity refers to natural diamond inclusions, which can be crystals of other minerals, black carbon, tiny internal breaks called feathers, clouds or groups of mixed inclusion types, etc.  We will try to give you a quick refresher and what to look for and expect when selecting your center-stone

When shopping for diamonds, keep in mind that face-up, or looking from the top of the stone as you would normally see it, generally any color from D-J will not show any noticeable color face-up, but of course comparing a D to  J side by side will be noticeable. Many may argue that color is more important than clarity because it is the first thing you see, but any stone in the colorless or near colorless range will present a diamond that does not have highly noticeable tint.  Certain shapes do show more color than others most notably ovals, radiant and pear shapes so it is wise to stay in the higher “D-I” color for these stones.  Conversely, round brilliants, emerald cuts, and asschers do a better job at masking color so you can get away with a lower color option in these cuts.

Clarity can be extremely important as well because inclusions can block light in a more included stone. Typically when diamond shopping, depending on whether you are going for quality, size, or a balance of both, any stone ranging from Flawless to Slightly Included 1, and sometimes SI2, will not show any inclusions that are visible with the naked eye. There are many SI2 stones out there that are clean to the naked eye and a trained professional such as a Beryl Jewelers salesperson can guide you to this type of stone which can offer you great savings without sacrificing beauty. The best middle range is VS2 to SI1 because you will usually not see any inclusions with the naked eye at all in the stone, but will have a much lower cost than extremely rare Fl, IF, VVS1, and VVS2 stones.  Clarity is extremely important in step cut diamonds like emerald and asscher cuts because they have large tables and any inclusion in the center can easily be seen. Conversely many of the other shape, which are brilliant cuts, will mask any inclusions under their faceting.

Both color and clarity can be important, but much depends upon your preference. One is not necessarily more important than the other, so here is what we suggest to all of our clients at Beryl Jewelers to find the largest, most well-balanced stone for your budget: stay between F-J in color, VVS1-SI2 in clarity, and you will find a beautiful diamond where you see no color and no inclusions!   At Beryl Jewelers we pride ourselves in working hand in hand with our clients to help them select the perfect.  


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