The Best Diamond Clarity

The allure of a bright, sparkling diamond with clear, clean facets has captured hearts for hundreds of years. Finding the most beautiful diamond is all about finding the right combination of the diamond four c’s (cut, clarity, color, and carat) ,as they work in concert with one another. The best diamond clarity will provide eye-clean beauty and allow light to play beautiful within the diamond, resulting in a brilliant sparkle. If this is all new to you, take a look at our complete guide to diamond clarity for a detailed look at this important feature.
Diamond Clarity
As anyone shopping for a diamond quickly learns there are choices to be made about how much to spend. Fortunately, this article will guide you to the best strategy to find an eye-clean diamond that works for your budget.

Why Does Diamond Clarity Matter?

When a diamond forms within the Earth, other materials become trapped within the diamond. There are a number of types of diamond inclusions, and each have their own characteristics and can impact the quality of a diamond in different ways.
Diamond Inclusion
Large Indented Natural Inclusion
In some rare cases, inclusions can be a selling point for a diamond. Very large diamonds with interesting inclusion patterns, or diamonds that have formed around another gemstone (even a ruby) are sold as collector items and a reminder of a diamond’s rarity and incredible journey from deep below the crust of the Earth.
But in general, inclusions are not desirable for diamond buyers. They can block light, diminish sparkle and can make diamonds look cloudy and lackluster. Inclusions can also potentially compromise the durability of the diamond, making them more susceptible to chipping or cracking. But many inclusions are so small that you need a microscope to see them, and while they are less expensive than flawless diamonds (often substantially), they do not detract from the diamond’s beauty.
Diamond clarity is graded by the GIA in the following way:
Diamond Clarity Chart

What About Clarity Enhanced Diamonds?

Clarity enhanced diamonds undergo treatments to remove or minimize the appearance of inclusions. Diamond enhancements include high temperature high pressure treatment (HTHP), laser drilling, and fracture filling (which is synonymous with the term “clarity enhanced”.
Clarity enhanced diamonds are problematic for buyers. Fracture filling is not a permanent fix. Overtime, the diamond clarity will deteriorate, defeating the ‘diamonds are forever’ sentiment that is so special.
Laser drilling can make inclusions less obvious to the eye, but it does not improve the clarity grade of the diamond. The process leaves behind a tiny thread-like holes in the diamond that can easily be seen with magnification. Less accepted is HPHT treatment which is an artificial way to improve the color of the diamond.
Sometimes these enhancement techniques are used in combination. A laboratory report is critical when shopping for significant diamonds as these treatments and others will be revealed. Whiteflash does not deal in treated or synthetic diamonds.

Finding the Best Diamond Clarity

The average clarity grade for an engagement ring varies from country to country. However, in our decades of experience, a VS2 regularly comes out on top.
VS2 diamonds can take some of the worry out of the shopping experience. VS2 clarity diamonds usually have no inclusions visible to the naked eye. Buyers can shop within the VS2 category with a high degree of confidence that they are unlikely to encounter troublesome inclusions. And they can do so while avoiding the top end prices that higher clarity diamonds command. VS2 diamonds represent a place of balance and this is the key to their popularity.
The top diamond clarity is a Flawless diamond (FL) – the grade below this is Internally Flawless (IF). These diamonds are the best in terms of clarity grade. The rarity and steep prices of FL and IF diamonds make them a less popular choice for engagement rings; instead, they are often referred to as collector quality diamonds, with avid diamond enthusiasts and connoisseurs willing to pay the premium. . If you have the budget and want a ‘best of the best’ diamond, our A CUT ABOVE® Collection Series is an extremely rare brand of diamonds that hit the very top grades in cut, color and clarity. They are microscopically clean (IF-VVS) and colorless (DEF), and super ideal cut.

Your Budget VS Diamond Clarity

For the budget conscious buyers who find a VS2 is still a stretch, our final advice would be to gain a thorough understanding of the term ‘eye-clean’, which includes many diamonds in the SI1 category. The good news is that when it comes to understanding diamond clarity, technology is very much on your side. High-res photos, 360 video and advanced diamond imaging can tell you exactly how well a diamond handles light and identify any issues with light return.
SI1 diamonds are often ‘eye-clean’ and offer a wonderful opportunity for maximizing your budget. On our diamond detail pages we always list whether a diamond is eye-clean in the specifications. Our baseline for eye-clean diamonds is extremely high.
As always, a diamond is only as good as the perfection of its cut. It is important that the cut quality takes priority; without this, even eye clean diamonds will lack fire and brilliance. The beauty of diamond imaging is it allows flexibility within the color and clarity categories, making it possible to focus on the most important of the diamond 4c’s – cut quality.
When shopping online it is also important to understand whether the diamond you are looking at is actually in stock and physically evaluated by the merchant offering it. In most cases it is not, though it is often difficult to know from the listings. To learn more about this important factor see our page on fully vetted in-stock diamonds.

The Best Diamond Clarity is…

The one that works for you! Providing a diamond is eye-clean, you can feel free to play with diamond clarity and decide how significant the grades are to you. Whether opting for a rare, top tier diamond or maximizing your budget with an eye-clean SI1 diamond, with a smart approach you are well on your way to something truly beautiful.

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