The four Cs of diamonds—clarity, color, cut, and carat—were introduced in the mid-1900s and provided a universal tool for evaluating the quality of diamonds, even down to minute variables that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Last week, we talked about how to work toward your budget when selecting a diamond, and said that when you have a particular size in mind, and you start making concessions on the 4Cs—clarity, cut, color, and carat—start with clarity. With this and the next three posts, we’ll talk about each C in a little more detail, so that you fully understand what it is you’re looking for with clarity when you shop for diamonds at pawn shops in Vienna, VA.
Diamonds are rarely perfect; that’s just the nature of nature. They’ll have flaws—blemishes and inclusions (those little things you can see in the stone)—and while diamond cutters do their best to cut them out and work around them, if they got rid of all of them, there would be no stone left. Clarity refers to what’s left.
Clarity range—anywhere you shop for jewelry in the DC area—goes by a scale from F (flawless) to I3 (heavily included). Other designations, in descending order of inclusion are IF (internally flawless), VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2. In these descriptors, V=Very, S=Small, I=inclusions, e.g. Very Very Small Inclusions.
The reason it’s suggested to first start conceding on clarity is because many buyers focus on the clarity to a degree that will never be noticed by the naked eye. When you stop in to Vienna Jewelry on Maple Avenue, ask us to show you a few diamonds so you can compare. If you can’t see the inclusion without a jeweler’s loupe, chances are your recipient won’t either. Next week, we’ll talk about Cut.