How to Buy a Diamond. Clarity.

The value of a diamond is partly determined by it’s clarity, or clearness. The more clear, the more rare. The more rare, the higher the value. All diamonds have inclusions. In fact, if examined with high enough magnification, even a flawless diamond indeed has flaws. Some have black, or “carbon” spots. Some have white and wispy fractures that are called “feathers.”

When buying a diamond, remember that you are not buying just a grading certificate. You are investing in a piece of nature that was created by the amazing forces of nature.  If the stone is for an engagement ring, it represents the eternal love of the giver and the receiver.

Therefore, when examining a diamond, discover how the gem handles light and observe it’s overall beauty. Does it appear transparent? Does it reflect light in the center? Around the perimeter?  Do you enjoy the spectral colors the gem radiates. Does it have life?

In this post I will not go into depth about the various clarity ratings from Internally Flawless to Imperfect.  The main point I want to make is to not be fooled by a fancy certificate, or be persuaded that one diamond may be more desirable than another because of its precise clarity grade. When selecting a diamond that you may wear for many years, a more important consideration would be, “Does it sparkle?”

Of course clarity is just one aspect when selecting a diamond. One must always remember it is the compilation of many factors that give a diamond it’s value and beauty. I once had an internally flawless / I color diamond that did not sparkle. Although the one-carat gem was valuable, it was cut so inferior that light could not escape!

If you are ever near, please stop by to see me at my store, Gallery of Diamonds in Newport Beach. I give complimentary lessons to those who want to evaluate the value of diamonds by their clarity. Please visit my website at Diamond Mike Watson, Gemologist,(GIA)

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