Learn > The Four Cs > Clarity
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Diamond clarity has been a subject of confusion among Sparkly users, and if we’re being real, so do most of the new hires here at Sparkly HQ. We get it. The word clarity, to most, implies how see-through something is. Like a piece of glass that’s either clear, frosted, or somewhere in between. But when it comes to diamonds, that’s not what clarity is at all!
Let’s use the watch example to better explain just what clarity is and why it matters. (For the sake of this example, let’s pretend people still wear watches.)
When you look at your watch, it’s typically at least 1 foot from your face. Over time, tiny scratches can build up on the glass; however, most of those scratches can only be seen when you bring the watch closer, say 2 inches from your eyes.
Sure, some of you can’t stand the thought of knowing that your watch has these tiny scratches (even if you can’t see them), but most of us don’t care because how often do we look at our watch that closely anyways?
If you can see scratches when checking the time from 2 feet away, then yeah—you’re going to want to get the glass replaced. Likewise, if a tiny scratch is located in a place that causes a shadow on the watch face, then it’s also worth getting the glass replaced.
In this example the “sweet spot” is having tiny scratches that you can’t see under normal conditions since it’s nearly impossible to see them in real life.
How does this relate? Well, the glass on your watch, like a diamond can still have some inclusions, but you don’t really want to see them 😉
What you want to avoid are:
- Diamonds with inclusions that you can see with the naked eye
- Diamonds with inclusions that affect the way light reflects…even if the inclusions are barely visible.
Okay, so here’s the nitty gritty:
Right off the bat, if your diamond is in the FL to VS1 range, it’s not worth worrying about clarity since it will definitely be eye clean and won’t affect the sparklyness of your stone. Some people prefer getting diamonds with the highest clarity possible, and we get it—it’s a worry-free way to get an amazing stone!
If you are trying to get the best bang for your buck (which, of course) then finding an EYE CLEAN diamond in the VS2 to SI2 range is the sweet spot. Finding a diamond with this clarity will be significantly cheaper and assuming it is eye clean, the only way to see the inclusions is by looking at it under intense magnification.
One thing worth noting is that it’s very difficult to tell if a diamond will be eye clean just by looking over the report. This is where photos and/or a jeweler’s expertise come into play. Some diamond shopping sites have magnified photos of every diamond, so this can help you see where the inclusions are and what they look like. Either way, we think it’s worth leaning on your online or local jeweler to assure you that the stone you are buying is “eye-clean”. Worst case, most online sites have a free return policy, so if you can always get it delivered and inspected IRL, then make the decision from there.
What Would Sparkly Do?
Everything else being equal, if we were choosing between a 1.0ct stone with a VS1 clarity, and a 1.3ct stone with a SI2 clarity (eye clean), we’d go with the 1.3ct stone any day of the week.