I know that many visitors of my website have difficulty imagining what their diamond with a certain clarity grade will look like. For this reason I always recommend to buy a diamond in such a way that you can inspect it beforehand! Looking at a generalized diamond grades clarity chart will therefore not give you very much of an idea what your specific diamond will look like!
As I have stated in my post about diamond clarity you always want to make sure to have an eye-clean diamond. This means that you cannot detect any flaws with your naked eyes! If there are flaws inside a diamond that can only be seen with a 10x magnification loupe it does not matter. Unless of course, you want to buy an internally flawless diamond for idealistic reasons which is perfectly fine, too.
In fact clarity grades of IF, VVS1, VVS2 and VS1 will ALLWAYS be eye-clean! At least me I could never make out an inclusion with my bare eyes in such diamonds! Just make sure that the diamonds are graded by either GIA or AGS.
This is a generalized diamond grades clarity chart which gives you a general idea of what diamonds with a certain clarity grade look like. However, inclusions are only graded according to their size. The color of an inclusion for instance is usually not taken into consideration! Thus, a diamond with a white inclusion that can barely be seen can receive the same clarity grade as a diamond with a stark black inclusion which can easily be seen. Therefore it is of paramount importance to have a real look at your diamond before buying it!
Real life examples of clarity grades
To get the biggest bang for your buck I always recommend to choose clarity grades of VS2, SI1 and SI2. All these clarity grades can be eye-clean depending on the kind of inclusion. You will simply have to have a look at them.
But let’s have a look at real life examples:
(All pictures are courtesy of James Allen)
As you can see with the samples I have picked from James Allen, the diamonds begin to have visible inclusions from the clarity grade VS2 and onwards. The VS2 diamond has a very tiny inclusion in the center of the diamond and from then onwards it gets worse and worse. The inclusions in the I1 graded diamond are white hazy inclusions that are not as starkly noticeable as the dark inclusions in the other diamonds. However, gemmologist don’t usually take the color of an inclusion into consideration but rather the size of it.
You need to know however, that the diamonds above are only particular examples. Because in fact, you can even find eye-clean VS2, SI1 and sometimes even SI2 diamonds that are eye-clean!
Indeed, I call VS2, SI1 and SI2 clarity graded diamonds the magical zone. It is the sweet spot where you can find eye-clean diamonds and save yourself a considerable amount of money!
In order to do so you will have to look at your diamonds very closely. The best place to choose diamonds online is James Allen as it is the only website that provides magnified high definition 360 ° videos and photos of all its diamonds! This is actually one of the best ways to make sure yourself that your diamond will be eye-clean. Go and check it out for yourself!
In fact, I think it is a very bad idea to buy a diamond without having seen it before no matter whether you buy online or at a brick and mortar store. Especially with clarity grades between VS2 – SI2 this would be quite a risky gamble!
If you have any more questions, just drop me a comment or write me a mail!