Diamond Clarity Buying Tips
In the market for an engagement ring or fine diamond jewelry? Here are a few things you should know about what diamond clarity means when it comes to diamond quality and how different clarity grades affect price.
ALL DIAMONDS ARE IMPERFECT
VS DIAMONDS AND SI DIAMONDS ARE THE BEST VALUE
DIAMOND SHAPE & SIZE AFFECT CLARITY
THERE ARE 5 DIAMOND GRADING FACTORS FOR CLARITY
Shop Avenue Joaillerie Diamonds By Clarity Grade
At Avenue Joaillerie , we offer the highest quality diamonds and deliver the best value for your budget. If you're shopping for a diamond ring or other diamond jewelry, we offer the following diamond clarity grades:
FL & IF Diamonds (Rare Finds)
Slightly Included Diamonds
VVS Diamonds (Excellent Quality)
VS & SI Diamonds (Best Value & Most Popular)
Next: Diamond Carat Weight
Diamond Carat Weight
Diamond carat is often misunderstood and refers to a diamond's weight, not necessarily its size. When comparing diamond carat sizes, take a diamond's cut into consideration as well: a high-carat diamond with a poor cut grade may look smaller, often cut deeper, than a diamond with smaller carat weight and a better cut. Use our buying tips, diamond carat size chart, and expert tips to help you choose the best diamond carat weight for you.
FIND YOUR DIAMOND
Carat is the most misunderstood of the 4Cs. It actually refers to a diamond's weight, not the diamond’s size.
Consider cut and carat together; a larger carat diamond with a poor cut grade can appear smaller than a smaller diamond with a higher cut grade.
To maximize your budget, "Buy Shy," which means selecting a carat weight slightly below the whole and half carat marks. For example, instead of a 2.0-carat diamond, consider buying a 1.9-carat weight. This will save a considerable amount of money and the slight size difference will never be noticed.
1.5 Carat Diamond
0.25 0.5 0.75 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0
1.5 Carat Diamond
Keep in mind, diamond prices increase exponentially with carat weight because the larger the carat, the more rare the diamond.
See 1.5 Carat Diamonds
Diamond Carat Size Chart
Diamond Carat Size Chart
This print out illustrates differences in diamond size based on carat weight, and how diamonds of different carat weights and shapes will appear when viewed from the top down.
Your diamond may differ from the printout in length/width ratio, table, and depth.
Carat Weight considers two factors:
A Diamond's Top Diameter
It is important to measure, in millimeters, the distance across the top (diameter) of the diamond as this is how it is viewed when set into a ring.
A Diamond's Cut Grade
A diamond's cut grade should also be considered. When a diamond is well cut (grades Very Good or higher), the light reflected out of the top making it appear larger.
How do these two Carat Weight factors help when purchasing a diamond?
The diamond's diameter and cut grade reveal that smaller carat weight diamonds will appear larger with higher cut grades (Very Good and Ideal). On the flip side, a larger carat weight diamond could appear smaller with lower cut grades (Good, Fair and Poor).
More Expert Tips
If a large carat weight is important to you, yet you're working within a strict budget, consider a diamond with a good cut, SI1-SI2 clarity, and an I or J color grade.
Diamond prices jump at the full- and half-carat weights. Diamonds just below these weights cost significantly less, and, because carat weight is distributed across the entirety of the diamond, small size differences are almost impossible to detect.
Keep in mind that the smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1.5-carat diamond solitaire looks much larger on a size 4 finger than a size 8.
Not all settings will fit all diamond carats or shapes. If you have already selected a setting, check the diamond specifications of your ring or ask your Avenue Joaillerie Diamond and Jewelry Consultant (+994507010003) for help. If you need a special jewelry piece created, Avenue Joaillerie can accommodate almost any request.
Next: Diamond Cut
12 Tips for Getting an Engagement Ring with the Most Sparkle
Your Diamond-Buying Cheat Sheet
Let’s face it. Buying a diamond for an engagement ring or for any milestone jewelry is a big deal. It’s not only a major purchase, it’s also a major decision because you’re trying to get it right—the style, the carat weight, the sparkle! Most customers take about three months to find the perfect ring. While we can’t necessarily make the process faster, we can make it easier. Here’s a breakout of the tips our diamond experts share with their friends—and now, with you.
SHOP ENGAGEMENT RINGS
Set a budget that works for you.
Forget that old-school tip about spending three months of your salary. We have beautiful engagement ring options for every budget and style.
Our diamond experts don’t work on commission.
The Avenue Joaillerie philosophy is to help you to make the most of your budget.
We lovingly handcraft every ring that we make—regardless of the price tag.
VIEW RECENTLY PURCHASED RINGS
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 1: Set a budget that works for you.
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 2: Master the 4Cs: cut, clarity, color and carat.
Master the 4Cs: cut, clarity, color and carat.
Understanding the 4Cs is key to getting the most sparkle for your budget. And if you feel overwhelmed, you can always chat, call or email our diamond and jewelry experts. They’re pros at separating fact from fiction and walking you through every consideration.
Think with your eyes.
Decide where to spend your money, and where to save, by prioritizing what you see first.
A well-cut diamond reflects maximum light—sparkle you can see across a room.
To appreciate color you need to get closer, roughly three to six feet away.
The highest clarity grades are only noticeable from a distance of six to eight inches.
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 3: Think with your eyes.
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 4: Prioritize cut.
Cut is the most important of the 4Cs: The better the cut, the more your diamond will sparkle.
We offer four cut grades: Good, Very Good, Ideal and Astor Ideal.
67% of our customers choose an ideal cut for maximum sparkle.
A poor cut (too shallow or too deep) can make a flawless diamond appear dull.
LEARN ABOUT CUT
Put clarity in perspective.
Most diamonds have tiny flaws that can only be seen with 10x magnification. For instance, SI grades aren't flawless, but still look great to the naked eye.
Diamonds can have internal flaws and/or external flaws.
The clarity grading scale runs from SI2-SI1 (slightly included) to FL (flawless).
A good place to start your search and maximize your budget is with SI2 and SI1 grades.
Weight affects clarity — if your diamond is under two carats, go with VS2.
LEARN ABOUT CLARITY
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 5: Put clarity in perspective.
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 6: Consider near-colorless diamonds instead of absolutely colorless.
Consider near-colorless diamonds instead of absolutely colorless.
It’s the absence of color that’s actually the most rare and therefore the most expensive.
Diamonds at Avenue Joaillerie are graded from J (slightly detectable color) to D (colorless).
For a great value, start your search with a G or H grade (near-colorless).
Different precious metals will affect the way your diamond’s color is perceived. Choose settings with this in mind.
LEARN ABOUT COLOR
Weigh the pros and cons of larger carat weights.
While you may be envisioning a specific carat weight, bigger is not always the way to go. Is it important that the stone you buy is a precise carat weight—or would you be happy with a diamond that “reads” like that weight?
Carat is about weight, not size.
Prices increase exponentially as carat weight goes up.
A good place to start your search is with VS2 (very slightly included).
Carat weight is relative to finger size, setting size and diamond shape. Sometimes, smaller carat weights are the right choice.
LEARN ABOUT CARAT
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 7: Weigh the pros and cons of larger carat weights.
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 8: Check out fancy-shaped diamonds.
Check out fancy-shaped diamonds.
Round brilliant diamonds are our most popular, but don’t rule out other shapes. All non-round diamonds are called “fancies.” Fancies can look larger and cost less than a round of similar carat weight.
There are 9 fancy shapes: princess, emerald, asscher, cushion, marquise, radiant, oval, pear and heart.
Why are rounds more expensive? It’s complicated, but in essence it comes down to the established cutting standards. Round diamonds are the only shape with GIA-designated cut parameters. There are exacting standards for fancies, too, but these were determined by our own master craftspeople rather than the GIA.
COMPARE DIAMOND PRICES
Buy shy to save big.
Diamond prices jump significantly at the carat and half-carat marks. Purchasing just shy of those weights is a great way to stretch your dollars.
The visual difference between a .9 and 1.0 carat is slight.
Avenue Joaillerie offers a wide selection of diamonds at non-traditional breakpoints—far more than you’d be able to find at a small, independent jeweler.
SHOP 1-CARAT-SHY DIAMONDS
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 9: Buy shy to save big.
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 10: Look at the paperwork.
Look at the paperwork.
This is a major purchase, so of course you want to know that what you’re buying is authentic, natural and conflict-free. We’ve always sold high-quality, conflict-free diamonds and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The finest quality natural diamonds are always independently certified.
Make sure your diamond comes with a grading report from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
LEARN MORE ABOUT CERTIFICATION
Keep your stress level low with the right guarantees.
Gearing up for a proposal is a big deal, and you want the ring to be just right. The last thing you need to sweat over is the fine print. No worries—we’ve got you covered.
Ask about our price-match guarantee.
We pride ourselves on our low prices and high value, but if you find a comparable GIA-graded diamond at a lower price than ours, we’ll match it.
Can you return it? Avenue Joaillerie offers a 30-day return policy no questions asked.
Plus, Free Shipping and Free Returns, of course.
LEARN MORE ABOUT GUARANTEES
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 11: Keep your stress level low with the right guarantees.
Diamond Buying Guide Tip 12: Trust your instincts. Don’t buy anything under pressure. Ever.
Trust your instincts. Don’t buy anything under pressure. Ever.
You should feel downright excited about your choice of diamond. No regrets. When you propose with a ring that you know she’s going to love your confidence will shine. SHOP DIAMONDS
How Diamond Shape Affects Price
The shape is an important consideration when buying a diamond as it directly influences price. Round diamonds, the most popular diamond shape, tend to be priced higher than other shapes (referred to as fancy shapes) because of market demand, increased manufacturing costs, and their incredible brilliance.
Fancy shaped diamonds include all diamonds other than round. Avenue Joaillerie offers nine different fancy shapes, including princess, emerald, Asscher, cushion, marquise, radiant, oval, pear, and heart.