Selling diamond jewelry can be a little overwhelming, especially for someone unfamiliar with diamonds and their characteristics. What makes one diamond more valuable than another of the same size? This is where the 4c’s come into play; Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight. This post is focused on one of those 4c’s, clarity, and how it can affect the resale value of your diamond jewelry.
Diamond clarity refers to either the presence (or lack of) imperfections. These imperfections can be present on the diamonds surface (blemishes) or within it (inclusions). Flawless diamonds are imperfection free when viewed under 10x magnification and can be extremely rare and valuable. The overwhelming majority of diamonds have imperfections to some degree.
*All diamonds are clarity graded under 10 x magnification (standard jeweler’s loupe).
Below is a list of the diamond clarity grades. Some grades are broken down into degrees (1, 2 or 3) with 1 signifying a higher clarity within that grade, and 3 the lowest.
- Flawless (FL) – The diamond has absolutely no blemishes or internal inclusions when viewed at 10x magnification
- Internally Flawless (IF) – The diamond has no inclusions, and only slight surface blemishes when viewed at 10x magnification.
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2) – The inclusions are very difficult for even a skilled grader to located under 10x magnification.
- Very Slightly Included (VS1-VS2) -The diamond has only minor inclusions which are not easily spotted under 10 x magnification.
- Slightly Included (SI1-SI2) – The diamonds inclusions are apparent under 10x magnification but not very noticeable to the naked eye.
- Included (I1-I3) – These diamonds have inclusions which are visible to the naked eye. Diamonds with a clarity grade of I3 or worse are not considered suitable for use in jewelry.
Without an appraisal or diamond certificate it is very difficult for a member of the public to determine the clarity of their diamond jewelry. It takes years of experience to accurately clarity grade diamonds. However, you should be able to narrow it down somewhat.
The easiest clarity grade to recognize is Included (I1-I3). The inclusions within this diamond grade can be visible to even an untrained eye. If, upon close inspection you easily notice inclusions within your diamond, it almost certainly falls in the I1 (or lower) grade. This method is less useful for smaller diamonds (0.30cts or less) because their size limits your ability to view them clearly.
Diamond with low facet counts (Such as Emerald Cut), are easier to clarity grade because there are less facet reflections to hide their imperfections.
Another helpful tip is that Jewelry pieces containing multiple diamonds; such as tennis bracelets, three stone rings, eternity bands etc. will almost always contain diamonds of a consistent clarity grade. This allows the jeweler to achieve a uniform look throughout the piece.