When it’s time to pick out your engagement ring, it’s important to know more than just how pretty a ring is. The color and clarity often divulge how valuable and flawless a diamond is. By knowing these things, you can get the best value for your money.
The clarity rating of a diamond marks how flawless it is. Most diamonds have naturally occurring inclusions that you can see with a jeweler’s magnifying glass and sometimes with the naked eye. If a diamond is rated I1, I2, or I3, it means that the diamond is imperfect. These will usually be the most affordable diamonds. They’re great for a budget, and still beautiful.
Diamonds marked with a SI1 or SI2 are “slightly included,” meaning they have slight inclusions that are probably not noticeable to the naked eye. VS1 and VS2 are “very slightly included” meaning the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye and the diamond is more valuable than the SI1 or SI2 diamonds. VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds are “very, very slightly included” and this means that there are barely noticeable inclusions in the diamond, barely visible even under a jeweler’s magnifying glass.
If diamonds are “internally flawless” and these are more expensive than the other clarity ratings. There are no inclusions in the diamond. There may, however, be slight surface markings. Finally, a diamond rated FL is a flawless diamond, free of internal inclusions and surface markings. This will be the most expensive diamond.
Diamonds have natural colors to them which typically range from colorless to light yellow. The colorless diamonds are the most desired and therefore, the most expensive. Diamonds rated D, E, and F are colorless and will be expensive. Diamonds rated G, H, I and J are near colorless and almost as desirable as the colorless diamonds.
Those rated K, L, and M are light yellow in color and still valuable and beautiful. Those rated N, O, P, Q and R are very light yellow. These diamonds are more affordable but still beautiful. Finally, those rated S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z are light yellow, also called fancy yellow. These are the most affordable but still really beautiful. Color is more a matter of taste, and many people prefer the light yellow diamonds.
By using this guide, you can determine whether you’re getting a great value for your money or need to shop around a bit more.