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Diamond Color Vs. Clarity – Which Is More Important?

Diamong Birth vs. Color

If you’re at the store to buy a diamond for the very first time, you’d probably run by some research. You may be fixed on a particular shape of diamond or know well about the settings you’d want on your diamond. In fact, you might be fixated on the color vs. clarity round diamond dilemma when you are into it.

Provided that you’ve done your homework pretty extensively, you’d know that diamonds are graded based on clarity, color, cut, and carat. But often, people get confused between diamond clarity and color

In simple words, color is the absence of color, and clarity is the absence of imperfections. We’ll take you through a guide to diamond color and clarity to give you a better knowledge of their distinction. So, which is more important, between clarity vs. color of a diamond? Let’s find out.

Are Diamonds Cut by Hand or Machine?

Cutting a diamond and transforming it from a  rough stone into a faceted gem is an art. It requires specialized knowledge, tools, and equipment to do justice to this difficult workpiece of art. Cutting a diamond into its perfect shape and polishing it requires efficiency.

Did you know that the first diamond cutter and polisher guild, known as diamantaire, was invented in Nuremberg, Germany? It was this diamond cutter and policher founded in 1375 that gave rise to the different cut types.

The first cut types were oval, square, and so on. This was followed by specific qualities of cutting within the shape which influenced the quality and price of the diamond. Since diamonds are special stones, they require special diamond-coated surfaces to carve out the diamond.

Diamonds are cut using both hands and machines. A rough diamond is cut by a highly trained cutter or they use a machine for the cutting process. Although technology has highly advanced and there are highly accurate machines to cut out the diamonds, diamond cutting using hands is a piece of craftwork.

Diamond Cutting

Diamond cutting requires cleaning it using a steel blade or laser. The stone is then placed in wax or cement mold to hold it stable and cleave it along the tetrahedral plane which is its weakest point. Additionally, sawing is used in the absence of any weak points. However, with newer technology available, cutting diamonds is becoming easier over time.

Once the stone is cut in the appropriate form, it needs to be bruted or girdled. Having it completely smoothened out into a round shape, it’s time to polish the diamond to give it its shine.

Diamond Polishing

After cutting and smoothening the diamond, it is time to derive the faceted gem out of the diamond it is destined for. The rough of the diamond is placed on the rotating arms to polish the same using a spinning wheel.

This smoothens the diamond and reflects its facets. Additionally, polishing is well processed through the stages of blocking and brilliant. This is where the fine-tuning with diamond clarity and color hop in. 

Color Vs. Clarity in Diamonds: What Affects Diamond Brilliance More?

Brilliance comes from all the characteristics of a diamond when each is perfectly defined. The intensity is based on the stone’s cut. Diamond color and clarity do not directly define the brilliance of a diamond. However, they play a major role in making a diamond perfect and complete with its visual effects.

Color

Indeed, diamond color does not directly affect its brilliance. However, colorless diamond stones appear much brighter and livelier overall. On the contrary, diamonds with a strong yellow tint are low-grade stones that appear darker and are concluded to be less brilliant.

Clarity

In terms of clarity, it is quite common to believe a stone with fewer flaws or an absolute absence of flaws to be sparkling clean. Visual imperfections might make a diamond appear dirty. However, such imperfections do not change the reflection of the light on the stone. Thus, its brilliance is preserved.

Any diamond’s brilliance will be affected if it has several negative and large inclusions. However, most jewelers do not store such diamonds that are low in clarity.

A diamond’s brilliance could be negatively affected by stones with numerous, very large inclusions, but most jewelers do not carry diamonds of such low clarity.

How Does Color Affect the Appearance of a Diamond?

According to Pricescope Diamond Forum, diamonds’ GIA and AGS certification grades are based on diamond color and clarity chart. The GIA certification takes into account the diamond color based on a letter scale. 

On this scale, D is the top grade. It symbolizes that the diamond is indeed colorless. The lower it is graded on the chart, the more it appears to be tinted. A K grade or a grade lower than that on the GIA grading chart means that the diamond is slightly tinted with yellow color.

You will find that the yellow tint becomes more and more prominent when you go down the grading chart to check for its color.

How Does Clarity Affect the Appearance of a Diamond?

Diamond clarity refers to the number of inclusions or internal flaws along with the number of imperfections put into a diamond. You must know that clarity in diamonds also refers to the surface imperfections of diamonds. These imperfections are visible when the diamond is placed under a magnification lens.

FL is the highest grade in terms of flawlessness. It means that the stones do not have any internal flaws even when checked in 10X loupe. If you are looking at a lowly graded stone, you may expect to see more imperfections, such as black spots or lines inside the stone.

Diamond Color and Clarity Guide: How to Choose Diamond Color and Clarity?

When buying a diamond, it is important to ensure that the stone is eye-clean. This means that it should not have any flaws that are visible to the naked eye. You need not aim for the highest-clarity stone. 

This is because VS1-VS2 or SI1 graded diamonds appear as clean as FL or IF-rated clarity stones. You will only have such knowledge if you invest enough time to learn what color and clarity are good for diamonds. 

If you aim to buy a round diamond for a yellow gold setting, a grade as low as J, K, or L, even M, sounds good. You need not worry about the visibility of yellow tints as they set the stone. However, other diamond cuts may require looking for higher grades of color such as I, J, or K.

Round diamonds are best suited with platinum or white gold settings. It would not be wise to go below the grades of H, I, or J colors. If you are aiming for cuts other than round, G or H would be a better choice. Avoid lowering the grade than I color whatsoever.

Endnotes

While buying a diamond, the diamond color and clarity are equally important to judge the perfect stone. Both equally impact the brilliance of a diamond, though not directly. You should, however, stand at a balance of the two when you make a choice.

All you need to do is opt for a diamond that is eye-clean without any visible yellow tint. Once you go through the point of finding the appropriate clarity and color grade for your diamond, you’d have to shift the focus to the cut and carat of the stone. And you shall have the perfect stone decorated on your hand or whatsoever.

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