What’s the Best Diamond Clarity Grade For Value Seekers?

best diamond clarity

What is the best clarity for a diamond engagement ring?

The appeal of a diamond or any other jewelry usually boils down to your personal preference and taste. For this reason, it would be impossible to state what clarity grade is the “best” as you may have your own rationalization when making a purchase decision.

Over the years, I have heard of countless reasons ranging from superstitions (must have clean diamond) to practicality (budget constraints) that cause people to choose a particular clarity grade.

Most of these reasons are valid but there are some that are due to misguided beliefs and misinformation. Anyway, what is important is that you understand how clarity really impacts the beauty of the stone.

Clarity is Often a “Mind Clean” Issue Rather Than a Necessity

Technically speaking, a flawless diamond may have the best clarity grade but that isn’t a guarantee that it will look amazing.

In fact, an eyeclean diamond with an SI1 or SI2 grade can look just as good to the naked eye.

I know there are people who want to buy FL/IF diamonds for symbolic reasons because they only want the best. That’s perfectly fine.

However, for the majority of other consumers who don’t have such requirements, the best diamond clarity grade should be the one that offers you the most value. And in my opinion, eyeclean diamonds within the VS or SI clarity would allow you to get better value for money.

The truth is, most casual viewers cannot tell the difference between an IF or an SI1 diamond BUT it would be easy to notice differences in size. I’ve recently recorded a video that compares a top tier VVS1 diamond ring against an SI1 diamond ring and I want you to watch it in full to see how they look like in reality.

 

 

Were you able to notice clarity differences between these 2 engagement rings? If you can’t, don’t you think it is better to use the money saved on a lower clarity grade and invest it into a diamond with better color or bigger carat weight instead?

In my personal opinion, it doesn’t make sense to pay a premium for something that can’t be readily seen or appreciated.

And FYI, here are the listings of the 2 diamonds you saw in the video above. Feel free to click on the images to view the full details and examine the diamonds for yourself under magnification.

what clarity diamond should i get
best diamond quality for the money

The VVS1 diamond (on the left) vs the SI1 diamond (on the right).

James Allen is one of the best places to shop for a diamond ring as they offer a wide selection of high quality diamonds and interactive 360° videos for you to SEE exactly what you are buying.

So, What is the Best Diamond Clarity Rating For Your Purchase?

It depends on what you are looking for.

If you are on a budget and want to get the biggest bang for your money, the best diamond clarity grade for you is VS2 or SI1. As long as you have eyeballed the diamond and it is eyeclean, there’s really nothing to be worried about.

If you are buying a large sized diamond (bigger than 1.5 carats), the best clarity rating for diamonds of these sizes will be VS2 or better. This is because inclusions become more obvious when carat size increases.

If you are shopping for investment grade diamonds (larger than 10 carats, D color), the best diamond clarity grades would be IF or FL if you can find them.

Price Comparison of SI1 vs. IF Ideal Round Brilliant Cuts

is an internally flawless diamond worth it

Both diamonds will look similar when mounted on a ring, but one costs almost twice as much!

Is it worth it to fork out an additional $7,000 just for an internally flawless diamond? Ultimately, that’s a question only you can answer. As long as the diamond is eye clean and you aren’t making a purchase for symbolic purposes, the SI1 option is hands down the better choice in my opinion.

Now, I need to reiterate that there is nothing wrong with going for a higher clarity rating as long as you know that you can get a similar looking stone at significantly lower costs. In the example above, I was able to make an educated judgment to pick an eyeclean SI1 diamond using the 360° videos and grading reports.

You too, can do the same at JamesAllen.com and that’s what you will be learning in a moment. On the next page, I am going to show you comparisons of eye clean diamonds (with images and links) to teach you what are the things to look out for…


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6 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Phyllis Boatman-
    June 21, 2015 at 2:34 am

    I would like to know what a fair price would be a one caret diamond set in a marquise stud earring. I am not sure what I what I should be looking for as far as clarity goes or what clarity diamond should I get.
    I do not need the very best diamond but I would like one that does shine and is large enough to show while I wear it.
    Are there any websites online in which I could purchase a good diamond for economical price. I have looked at a few jewelry stores in our area and the seem alittle expensive. I realize there is a huge mark up on diamonds. Therefore, where can I go for the best diamond for a good price.

    I do enjoy your articles that I receive and have used the information to help me find a diamond earring.

    Thank you for your help.

    Phyllis Boatman

  2. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    June 22, 2015 at 1:48 am

    The price of the jewelry piece will depend alot on various factors of the 4Cs and the kind of material/design you set the diamond in.

    You probably want to read this to get a better idea of pricing: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/

  3. Avatar
    Rhi Didyoung-
    September 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Paul!

    I have a question that I hope you can help with. I’ve tried reading up on all the different standards and I’m confused. I understand a VS1 or 2 diamond should be ‘eye clean’ but I’m not sure what that totally means. I have a larger than 1 carat diamond that is GIA certified as VS2. It has an inclusion that is easily visible on the SIDE but not from the top. It also has a few micro size spots that you can see from the top if you look VERY closely, but nothing that makes it dull or less clear. Is this just a difference in standards or did the jeweler rip us off? Should I have it re-appraised? I keep reading inclusions should only be visible with magnification in VS classification but maybe I’m just looking too close. Is VS2 the best diamond quality for the money? LOL.

    Thank you in advance if you have the time.

  4. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    September 2, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Eyeclean means you will not be able to see inclusions with your naked eye in normal viewing conditions. Personally, I define eyeclean inclusions as being “invisible” to the naked eye at a distance of 15cm. The problem here is that eyeclean is not a gemological term. There are VS1s and VS2s that aren’t eyeclean and it really depends on the nature of the inclusion. In your case, I would say that it is no longer eyeclean for you Because once you are able to see an inclusion with your naked eye, it no longer becomes “mind-clean”.

    Lastly, you are right about VS2s being the ideal clarity grade for the money. They are less expensive and look similar to diamonds with higher clarity grades.

  5. Avatar
    Jeffrey Phillips-
    October 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I love your website – I have learned quite a bit and I thank you for all of your time and dedication. I am looking at a report on a GIA stone. https://products.ritani.com/uploads/diamonds/certificate/pdf/5962708/2267963885.pdf
    Can you give me your thoughts about this diamond? What is the best clarity for a diamond if I can’t see if before I buy? Thanks

  6. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    October 8, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/shapes/round/ideal-proportions/

    Without even looking at other details (which is a must before you buy), this diamond would have instantly failed my preliminary checks. I strongly advise against buying blind. The best clarity for a diamond is one that gives you a peace of mind and full enjoyment without worrying about the inclusions. For most people, VS2s are the best grades. For some others, VS2s are not good enough. Does that make sense?

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