Fashion Accessories

Diamond Clarity and Costs Explained

When it comes to buying a diamond, many of us stress about getting the right stone for the best price. We want something beautiful and special, but don’t want to get ripped off.

So, how is the cost of a diamond determined? While many factors come into play to give a diamond a final price, a large part of it is its clarity. Here, we’ll look at how clarity and cost affect the price of diamonds.

Calculating diamond costs 

Although there’s no one way adopted universally to determine a diamond’s worth, its carat (i.e. its size and weight) has a great impact. Essentially, the larger the stone, the greater the cost due to the fact that big diamonds are harder to find than smaller ones.

Here’s an overview of current diamond prices depending on size:

  • 0.5-carat = $1,500.
  • 1.0-carat = $4,500 – $6,000.
  • 2.0-carat = $18,000 – $21,000.
  • 3.0-carat = $20,000 – over $200,000.

But if you think that this is the only factor taken into account, think again. The ‘four Cs’ – carat along with cut, colour and clarity – also help to establish a stone’s cost.

Diamonds are ranked from ‘absolutely colourless’ to ‘light in colour’ with clearer diamonds being higher in worth. Similarly, a stone with no blemishes will cost a lot more than another of the same size and colour that has slight inclusions.

Cut also affects the price of a diamond. For example, if you’ve decided on purchasing a 1.0-carat stone, the price of it might be anything up to $10,000 for a princess diamond, $17,000 for a cushion diamond and $25,000 for a round diamond.

Now we’ve looked at overall costs, it’s time to explore clarity and how it affects the price.

Diamond clarity 

Basically, clarity refers to the imperfections or inclusions of a diamond and impacts the final price of the stone due to the fact that those with perfect clarity are extremely hard to come by.

Diamond clarity is important to a buyer, as it significantly bumps up the price and affects how well a diamond sparkles. Although clarity is crucial to the beauty of a diamond, it doesn’t guarantee it – cut and colour are also critical to a stone’s aesthetic and many opt for a stone of medium clarity to bring down the price while still enjoying a beautiful diamond.

Clarity grades

Diamonds are graded in many ways and one of these is by clarity. Experts look at a diamond through a high-power microscope and by eye to establish its clarity grade by considering:

  • Type of inclusion (e.g. needles, crystals, clouds, and pinpoints are variations of blemishes).
  • Size of inclusion.
  • Location of inclusion in the stone.
  • Number of inclusions.
  • Color or reflectivity of inclusion.

Once the above has been determined, the diamond is graded using the below system:

  • Flawless = no inclusions at 10X magnification.
  • Internally Flawless = no inclusions at 10X magnification, but show subtle yet removable external blemishes.
  • Very Very Slightly Included = very minor inclusions that can’t be seen with the naked eye and hard to find with a microscope.
  • Very Slightly Included = minor blemishes that are seen under 10X magnification, but usually not without a microscope.
  • Slightly Included = inclusions that are noticeable under 10X magnification and possibly by eye.
  • Included = obvious inclusions at 10X magnification and by eye.

Final considerations of clarity and cost

When buying a diamond, clarity is crucial. Included stones are the cheapest, but won’t give you that brilliant sparkle. On the other hand, a flawless stone will offer the best shimmer, but will cost the most by far. Bring down the price by choosing Very Very Slightly Included over Flawless stones and consider all the four Cs to promise the best overall beauty.