Diamond Clarity vs. Carat: What is the Difference and How Should You Choose?

26 May 2021

When shopping for the ideal diamond, many people wonder whether to favour superior diamond clarity or carats. It is often tempting to choose a larger diamond with more carat weight rather than a smaller one with superb clarity, cut and colour.

It is good to remember, however, that although larger stones are more noticeable, their imperfections are also more visible. These flaws may include less than symmetrical cuts, natural stone flaws or tints in yellowish tones.

Particularly in diamonds with clarity grades of S12 or 11/12/13, there are often inclusions significant enough to be seen clearly with the naked eye. Since most people are naturally attracted to large diamonds with more carat weight, these imperfections are frequently noticed.

How to Choose Between Diamond Clarity and Carat Weight

When to Select a Smaller Size Diamond

If you are considering buying a diamond with a clarity of less than VS2/SI1, you should select a smaller size, lower carat weight to avoid purchasing a stone with easily detected inclusions.

When you shop for a low-clarity stone, it is easier to find a smaller, lower carat weight diamond with invisible or nearly invisible inclusions than a larger size stone with more carats and low clarity.

In general, the smaller diamonds contain fewer inclusions than larger stones with the same clarity. Also, in small diamonds, any visible inclusions are often positioned in a less-viewed location of the stone’s cut or setting.

When to Favour Greater Clarity Over Higher Carat Weight

When considering the aesthetic beauty of precious stones, it is usually better to choose a smaller diamond with greater clarity than a larger stone with less clarity. If you can only acquire a diamond with a greater carat weight that has such low clarity that its inclusions are visible, you should choose the smaller, higher-clarity stone.

Yet there may be instances in which lower clarity does not make a noticeable difference visually. If this is the case with diamonds that you are now examining to make a purchase, the choice should be based on your preferences.

Of course, you will want to consider the preferences of the person for whom you are buying the diamond if it is for an engagement ring or a special gift item.

When Greater Clarity Is Not Important

All large diamonds with lower clarity will not necessarily have an inferior appearance to smaller ones with greater clarity. This is true because the highest-clarity diamonds show no visible differences when compared to medium-clarity stones. Any flaws in either stone categories will be equally visible or invisible.

Any significant differences can only be viewed with magnification. In general, in diamonds with clarity ranges of less than VS2-SI1, the likelihood of seeing easily visible inclusions without magnification is higher.

Remember that each diamond is unique. For this reason, you should view different stones with care to determine the one with the clarity that is most attractive to you.

Diamond Clarity vs. Carat Weight: Making Your Selection

When you shop carefully, it is possible to find a large diamond that is eye-clean and within your price range. These diamonds lack inclusions that are easily seen by the naked eye. You can also locate these precious stones with very low clarity grades that have a pleasing, clean appearance. These stones are usually within the VS2-SI1 clarity range or the SI2 grade.

When you consult our specialists at Ken Ross Jewellers in Ashburton, Victoria, you will receive optimal quality advice and diamond selections to view and choose from. Our highly experienced experts will guide you in selecting the ideal beautiful diamond to satisfy and even surpass your expectations, preferences and needs.

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