Diamond is considered one of the most beautiful jewels and expensive. It is one of the top-selling jewels due to its enviable properties, especially its brilliance. In reality, everyone tries to buy the best diamond for the best price so the best option is to look for an eye-clean diamond to not compromise its beauty, sparkle, and brilliance in an affordable range. You should be able to evaluate the diamond before buying it as buying a diamond is not an easy task. Following guidelines will help in your search for eye-clean diamonds
Clarity means either you find any inclusions in the diamond or not. Following is the most followed clarity scale ranging from flawless to grade of I3
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very Very Slight Inclusion (VVS1 and VVS2)
- Very Slight Inclusions (VS1 and VS2).
- Slight Inclusions ( SI1, SI2, and SI3)
- Imperfect (I1, I2, and I3)
When you are aiming to buy VS1 or higher clarity grade you don’t have to worry about the inclusions but for the range of VS2, S1 and S2, you have to evaluate thoroughly as not all diamonds in this range are eye-clean. Along with that, you can’t solely rely on a grading report or the inclusion plot as clarity plots can be misleading sometimes due to the reflection of the inclusions by pavilion facet.
Flawless diamond means that there are no inclusions visible at 10 times magnification. In the case of an eye-clean diamond, when you look at the diamond from the face up view in such a way that it is 6-12 inches away from your face and without magnification, you will not be able to see the internal inclusions and your attention will likely be on the diamond’s sparkle. The inclusions in such diamond are clear and they blend with the facets of the diamond so under magnification it is still challenging to see those inclusions and without magnification, such diamond would be an “eye-clean” diamond.
It is recommended to prefer the cheapest eye-clean diamond and the key to buying lower clarity diamonds is to look for eye-clean stones where inclusions are well-spread out. The most popular range is VS1 and VS2 as they appear flawless to the naked eye and affordable compared to the truly flawless diamond. VS1 clarity and higher that will always be eye-clean as it does not show visible spots, 95% of VS2 diamonds are eye-clean as sometimes there are visible imperfections but rarely.
Different clarity ranges are starting from SI2 and above but SI1 and SI2 range would be a bit tricky. Diamonds that are in the SI range that include SI1 and SI2, these stones will have inclusions internally but it’s important to know how visible these inclusions are when they are not under magnification. SI1 and SI2 can be eye-clean but finding SI2 eye clean diamond is less common. Buying a low clarity grade like VS2 and SI1 can save you hundreds of dollars. You can also consider buying IF diamond but it will cost a lot more and in the end, both will look the same.
Some diamonds have so many clouds and graining within the stone but no crystals, it will create a very cloudy and hazy appearance. You will consider it worse than having a diamond that is completely clean with one dark crystal because when there are so many clouds and graining it will take all of the brilliance and sparkle of the stone. Thus the diamond that has fewer overall inclusions and just a few small crystals has a lot more sparkle and brilliance and better life performance than the diamond that has clouds and graining
Best clarity grades for the Eye-Clean Diamond
The shape, size, and carat weight also impact the clarity grade for an eye-clean diamond so it is not only specific to clarity grade that assures eye-clean diamond. Different shapes have different standards for clarity. Always prioritize the cut quality as it has the biggest impact on a diamond’s appearance and brilliance. The size of the diamond can also play a role to know the importance of clarity within the diamond. For example in 1 carat stone facets are much concentrated so any inclusions can easily be concealed within the smaller stone. In larger diamonds, everything is magnified and has a lot more surface area so inclusions can easily be spotted.
The following guidelines can help you get the most valuable one
- Round Cut and Princess cut
The round cut is the most recommended one when it comes to search for eye-clean diamond, like round brilliant will more easily conceal inclusions due to its brilliant-cut facet pattern. Carat weight also matters in round cut for example for less than 2 carats VS2 and SI1 are almost eye-clean but for more than 2-carat weight VS1 and VS2 are recommended. Similarly, for a higher carat weight like 3 or above, go for VVS2 clarity grade. This shows the more the weight of the diamond, the more easily it becomes to see the imperfections.
- Cushion cut, radiant cut, oval cut, Marquise and Pear shaped
Brilliant cut shapes are best at concealing the inclusions that include cushion cut, pear, marquise, radiant and oval. So in these cuts, it is recommended to opt for SI1 and SI2 for the best value.
- Heart-shaped diamonds
VS2 and SI1 are considered better in the case of heart-shaped diamonds as they are eye-clean and affordable.
- Emerald cut
Emerald cut stones is a step-cut diamond so because of the transparency of the stone you can see right into it, it is recommended to go for VS2 and higher.
Tips for Finding the Eye-Clean Diamond
Following are some of the expert tips that will help you in your search for an eye-clean diamond at an affordable price
- Evaluate different ranges
It is not recommended to stick strictly to the famous clarity grades set by GIA or AGS as it should not be the only tool for evaluation. For eye-clean VVS, FL, and IF diamonds are the best option but very costly as these are the higher and best grades. You can find an eye-clean diamond for much less like VS and SI ranges are more affordable and fulfill the criteria of eye-clean diamonds. However, I1 to I3 diamonds are not included in eye-clean diamonds and are not recommended.
- Look at the diamond closely
Some inclusions are scattered within the center of the diamond but in real life, they are not easily detectable. Most of these inclusions are transparent or white so not easily detectable by the naked eye so it is recommended to review the diamond in the daylight to notice any imperfections when the goal is to find an eye-clean diamond.
In the case of online shopping, reputable online vendors always and should provide an up-close image of all the diamonds showcased in their inventory. Reviewing the magnified photos and videos are mandatory prerequisites before buying to see if there are any inclusions or blemishes. You can also zoom in and see if the inclusions are present for your satisfaction.
- Position of Inclusions
The location of inclusions is very important as it impacts the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond. Always prefer the diamond in which the inclusions are well spread out. For example, if they are near the edge, most probably the ring setting will cover them but if it’s in the center of a stone, it will stand out each time you look at the ring. Whitish or cloudy inclusions are preferred over black ones.
- Aim for the lowest grade
Always go for the diamond that is worth the cost. There is a misconception that only the higher clarity grade is the only best choice; it is not as both higher and low graded diamonds appear the same if both are eye-clean. For example, you can always find almost the same sparkle in the case of eye-clean SI2 and VS2
- Ask for suggestion
It is not so easy to evaluate the diamond especially if you are doing it for the first time. So it is always advised to get an expert’s opinion to help you get the eye-clean diamond.
- Eye-clean vs mind clean
Buying a diamond is your personal choice and should be based on your personal preferences. the majority of people want diamonds in which inclusions are not visible with the naked eye at an affordable range, while others want the best quality like VVS and IF diamonds that are very costly. So choose whatever gives you happiness and satisfaction
So, by eye-clean clarity it means there are no inclusions visible and this term is used a lot when referencing our diamonds to give an idea of how visible the inclusions are. In the expert’s opinion as long as the diamond is eye-clean there is no practical need for a high clarity grade but everyone’s search is unique depending on personal preferences and budget.