How to Choose a Clear Diamond


Simple advice for choosing a clear diamond without spending too much

For anyone who has looked into the complex world of diamond grading, there are many grades that exist for both diamond colour and clarity. Most buyers expect a clear diamond. After-all, who wants a diamond with obvious inclusions (if they have a choice)? For this reason, our blog post today aims to give some simple guidance on choosing a ‘clear’ diamond. Our aim is to save hours of diamond learning for those who simply do not have the time. Or for those people who simply do not want to spend hours learning about diamond grading. Over the years we have written about what clarity to choose and what clarity is suitable for engagement rings. This post follows along similar lines.

Firstly, let us briefly explain diamond clarity. Most diamonds contain small marks or inclusions. These vary from stone to stone in position and concentration. Better diamonds have fewer inclusions. The more valuable the diamond, the fewer the inclusions. Light transmission can be impeded within lower clarity diamonds. Clarity has an important role when it comes to brilliance along with the cut.

Diamonds tend to be graded according to a clarity scale. This ranges from FL (Flawless) down to I3 or P3 (Included 3) representing the worst clarity grade. There are many grades in between. [See our clarity page for full details.]

A lack of knowledge costs you more. But why?

Many people choose a clarity grade that will ensure a clear diamond. But often they choose far higher than necessary. We recently received an online engagement ring order for a 0.80cts diamond solitaire ring (F VVS1) costing just over £6700.00 for the ring in Platinum. The client wanted to ensure the diamond was clear of marks to the naked eye. Had he chosen VS2 clarity (£5100 at the time of this post) the cost would be significantly less. The inclusions within a VS2 clarity diamond are so insignificant, they are unseen with the naked eye.


A note on certification. Diamonds are typically accompanied by a diamond grading certificate from one laboratory or another. Some diamonds receive stricter grading. GIA is generally considered most reliable. Some diamond listing services have even banned diamonds from certain laboratories such as EGL. For most brilliant cut diamonds, a GIA certified VS2 clarity or SI1 clarity diamond will be visibly clear to the naked eye.

So what is our best advice?

If you’re choosing a smaller diamond, 1 carat or below ensure your diamond is reliably graded (GIA tends to be preferable) and consider a diamond clarity from SI1 clarity or above. Don’t worry about VVS1 or VVS2. Clarity at this level is hard to distinguish without a trained eye. This advice could save you greatly.

For further details, contact us with any questions or for further guidance.


Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.

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