What Does Diamond Colour and Clarity Mean?
Do you know what diamond colour and clarity is? If you do, would you be able to spot the difference between the variations of each? Are you aware of how much you should be spending on a diamond? We'll walk you through the ins and outs of your diamond jewellery, so you can be confident with your purchase.
When dealing with high-end diamond jewellery, it is beneficial to know the difference between, for instance, a D (colour) VVS (clarity) diamond, and a H (colour) SI (clarity) diamond. While these changes may not be visible, these attributes make each unique. Costs can be affected when colour and clarity changes also, so navigating your way around the options can help determine your budget.
The colour of a diamond relates to exactly that; the higher grade of colour, the less tinted it will be. The highest grade of colour you can get, is a D. You may be wondering why diamond grading starts with D and not A. The reason, is simply due to the fact of not wanting to be associated with educational grading systems. So the "D" merely stands for "Diamond." If you ask to see a D coloured diamond in a jewellers, then you would get a pristine, ice-white diamond, crystal clear in its colour. If you were to ask for a Z coloured diamond, then you would get a heavily tinted diamond. It can even be a dark colour that is undesirable to most diamond jewellers. Whatever colour diamond you choose, you need to find the right style for you. At Bicknells, we only source great diamonds, so anything within the K-Z range will not be sold by us. The standard diamond colours we use are from D-H. I and J, are by request only. We use D-H for quality purposes; high-street diamonds use H and below because they're cheaper.
Clarity is just as important as colour when looking for the perfect diamond for you. When looking for a "clear" diamond, you're trying to search for something called inclusions within the diamond. Sales assistants may call them birthmarks, blemishes, or other terms. They can look like minuscule black spots or lines in the diamond. Inclusions form naturally in diamonds, and are nothing to be concerned about most of the time. However, when diamond setters insert a diamond into a mount, polish a diamond, or generally handle diamonds, they can worsen its condition. For instance: a flawless (FL) diamond, which would have no inclusions whatsoever, can be downgraded to an internally flawless (IF) diamond if pressure is applied and the diamond is marked externally.
A flawless diamond would greatly increase the price, and is not practical when selling or buying jewellery.
Each grade of inclusions is then set in ones and twos. The higher the number, the lower the clarity. For instance, VVS1 will have less inclusions than a VVS2. The only grade that exceeds two is the I (Included) grade; it goes up to three.
Each inclusion in a diamond can turn into in a fracture or crack. It is important to remember that diamonds are NOT UNBREAKABLE. This misconception is all too common, but untrue all the same.
How Does this Affect Cost?
Of course, with all the options, you can see a price for a diamond ring, pendant, earrings, or bracelet, rise and fall dramatically. When choosing your diamond, the key is to find the right balance. It's best not to focus on small details that will be almost unnoticeable in common viewings. Before visiting a jewellers, you should have an idea on each detail of your diamond in mind, along with a budget you would like to adhere to. Determining a budget helps staff tremendously. When costs are discussed upfront, a showroom staff member can do a lot of the legwork in deciding these specific details. In other words, they save time for everyone by picking appropriate options.
Affording a D FL diamond is just not necessary for most couples, as the cost would rise to an incredible amount for a detail that most people would not notice. Unless the specifications of the diamond were explained prior. Specifically, noticing inclusions with the human eye is difficult, especially with a smaller diamond. Any inclusions of an SI2 upwards, should only be visible with 10x magnification, in laboratory conditions. Many of our certified diamond engagement rings have the specifications in the description, so you know what class of diamond you're going to be getting.
Other jewellers may attempt to disguise a diamond's colour and clarity to an unwitting buyer, so they end up purchasing a diamond that is not properly explained. Questions should always be asked to guarantee a diamond that suits you.
Here at Bicknells, we are open and honest with our customers. We will go through each and every option you have at your disposal, and make sure you go home happy with your purchase. For more information on choosing your diamond, call us on 0121 523 3417, or message us on WhatsApp: 07453 362247. Alternatively, you can visit us in Birmingham Jewellery Quarter.