When shopping for diamond earrings, clarity is one of the characteristics to evaluate. Diamond clarity refers to the internal flaws and inclusions found within the stone. While perfect diamonds with no imperfections are rare and expensive, slight inclusions are often invisible to the naked eye and can still produce a beautiful diamond earring. Here are some guidelines for choosing a clarity level that balances quality and price for your budget.
Assessing Diamond Clarity
Diamond clarity is ranked on an industry-standard scale from Flawless (F) to Imperfect (I3). Most jewellers use clarity grades ranging from F to I2. Higher grades mean fewer and smaller imperfections. For diamond earrings, a clarity rating of SI2 or above is typically suitable for most shoppers wanting a balance of quality and lower cost.
• Flawless (F) – No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare, so very expensive. Overkill for diamond earrings.
• Internally Flawless (IF) – No internal flaws, only minor surface flaws. Still quite rare and pricey. Usually not necessary for earrings.
• Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Minute inclusions that are difficult for experts to see under 10x magnification. A high-quality choice but with a budget-busting price tag for most.
• Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Small inclusions that are not normally visible to the unaided eye. An excellent balance of quality and price for diamond earrings. Noticeable savings from higher clarities.
• Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Minor inclusions that are usually not visible without close inspection. A popular and budget-friendly choice for diamond earrings. Some imperfections may be slightly visible to the keen naked eye, especially in larger stones. But will still appear clean and bright from a normal viewing distance.
• Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Obvious inclusions that can typically be seen with the naked eye. Not ideal for earrings – too many noticeable flaws and the overall appearance suffers significantly. Mostly industrial quality.
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What Clarity is Right for Your Earrings?
For diamond earrings, a clarity of VS2 or better is an excellent choice if the budget allows. But SI1 or SI2 offer a lower price point with imperfections largely invisible when the earrings are worn. Earrings with smaller total carat weights, intricate cuts like halos or three-stone styles, or pave settings can also hide minor inclusions found in SI-rated stones.
When evaluating diamond earrings of particular clarity, examine them closely while also looking at the overall visual impact from a normal distance. Some inclusions, especially small white crystals, may be hard to spot without scrutiny. And keep in mind that while clarity is important, cut, carat, and colour grades also significantly affect a diamond’s beauty and sparkle in earrings or any other jewellery. With the combination of these factors in balance, you can achieve gorgeous diamond earrings within your desired budget.