Diamond Color vs Diamond Clarity

newly wed coupleAre you looking for a stunning diamond, but don’t know what to do with all the technical terms? Are you also overwhelmed by the question of whether you should invest your money in a clear diamond or a colorless one?

A diamond purchase – especially the first one – is not an easy matter. Firstly, diamonds cost a lot of money and secondly, it is often an important gesture towards a beloved person. At the beginning of your research you will quickly come across difficult decisions, especially if you are not familiar with the field of diamonds. Different diamond cuts, diamond colors, and clarity do not make life easy. Many readers are overwhelmed with the technical terms in the world of diamonds and know little about VS1, SI2 or degrees of clarity F to G. If you are currently facing similar difficulties, you have come to the right place. With the help of this article I will explain to you the necessary basics and help you to find the right diamond for you without spending a fortune unnecessarily. In the following article you will learn how to balance and what to look out for when buying diamonds. Let’s get started!

Diamond Basics

Since you have probably already superficially studied diamonds, the 4 C’s might be familiar to you. The 4 C’s stand for clarity, color, cut and carat and describe the four most important characteristics of a diamond. Especially clarity and color are often a source of concern because they are related to each other in a special way. With ‘gems’ as expensive and precious as diamonds, you will not be able to strive for perfection but will have to find a suitable and affordable middle ground based on the 4 C’s. Since diamonds vary greatly in price and you only want the best for your money, you will be forced to make compromises when buying diamonds. You can read about the last two C’s – cut and carat – in my other articles, in the following article I focus on clarity and color. Note, however, that none of the C’s should be considered on their own, as they are interrelated, i.e. an extremely clear diamond may not be right for you if it has the wrong cut. Now let’s find out together which clarity level and which diamond color is the right one for you and what you should consider when buying. At the end it always comes down to color vs. clarity.

Diamond Clarity

In the following I would like to explain what is meant by diamond clarity and why it is so important. The degree of clarity indicates to what extent inclusions can be seen in the diamond. Inclusions can be used to determine the age of a diamond. However, when it comes to jewelry, inclusions are annoying and unwanted. The fewer inclusions are visible, the clearer the diamond and the better the light can reflect undisturbed. The well-known clear reflection of a precious diamond can only be achieved with very high clarity. The clearer a diamond is, the more expensive it becomes. Since large diamonds with few inclusions are naturally very rare, the price of clear diamonds does not increase linearly, but the prices become astronomical very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to keep all 4 C’s in mind when buying and always weigh between clarity, diamond size and color.

The rarest and therefore most expensive are flawless diamonds. Flawless diamonds are again divided into a) flawless (the diamond has no inclusions neither inside nor outside) and b) internally flawless (the diamond has no inclusions inside but may have polishing residues on its surface that are invisible to the naked eye). Both FL (flawless) diamonds and IF (internally flawless) diamonds are very rare and are therefore not an affordable option for most buyers. If the value for money ratio is important to you, diamonds of this clarity will not be an option for you. Since you are probably interested in a diamond as a piece of jewelry, you would unnecessarily spend a lot of money with an FL or IF diamond, also because you can only notice this clarity under 20x magnification.

The next degree of clarity is described as VVS1 to VVS2 and diamonds of this clarity have only very small inclusions, which can only be detected under tenfold magnification. Although VVS diamonds are experiencing a renaissance, especially in pop culture, they too are often too expensive in terms of price.

Diamonds of clarity VS1 and VS2 show slightly larger inclusions, but they remain invisible to the naked eye. The lowest degree of clarity is described as SI1 and SI2 and has many small inclusions, making these diamonds very cheap. However, some of these inclusions may be visible to the naked eye and may prevent a clear reflection of the incident light.

If you want to get the most for your money, you will be right with diamonds of the VS1-SI2 clarity grade. While you have to pay more for VS1 and VS2 diamonds, you can be sure that you won’t see inclusions with the naked eye. But also with SI1 and SI2 diamonds you can be lucky and find pure diamonds, which they have a very good value for money.

Clarity levels below SI1 and SI2 are also available, but are not recommended because the inclusions are visible and thus destroy the elegance of a diamond. Even if the vendor will try to sell you diamonds below SI2, keep your hands-off so-called piqué diamonds – they are not worth the money!

Now that you have the basic knowledge about clarity, let’s take a look at the color of diamonds below.

What is Diamond Color?

bride to beDiamond Color

What is the point of a clear diamond if it has an unattractive color that distracts all attention from the clarity? To avoid this, there are a few rules and facts to follow, which I would like to explain to you. Regarding the diamond color, the rule of thumb is as follows: The more yellowish the diamond, the more expensive it is. Conversely, the more colorless the diamond, the more expensive and exquisite it is. What we want here is a diamond that is as colorless and clear as possible.


If you only do without some clarity here, you can save a lot of money, because the diamonds become cheaper quickly. However, this is always a trade-off, because the clarity of an expensive, colorless diamond is striking, but the yellowish of a cheaper diamond is not perceived as beautiful. The degree of the color of a diamond is indicated on a scale from D to Z, where diamonds from D to F are colorless, diamonds from G to J are almost colorless, but from K on, a noticeable yellow tinge is already visible in the diamond.

To determine the diamond color correctly is not easy with the naked eye and requires some practice. I assure you that you can’t tell the difference between an E diamond and an F diamond with the naked eye and yet you can save a lot of money here, as E color diamonds cost a lot more than F diamonds. If you do not want to regret your diamond purchase, I would advise against buying diamonds whose color is above K. Even though these diamonds are particularly cheap, the beauty of an F grade diamond is not comparable to a K diamond. Buy a diamond between grades D to J and you will not make a mistake. Do not save your money in the wrong place!



In my experience, the following can be said in summary. There is no right and wrong regarding diamond color and diamond clarity if you do not have unlimited financial means. Conversely, this means that a middle way must be found where you get the most beautiful and valuable diamond for your money. Furthermore, many gradations are technical and only noticeable with professional tools from experienced traders. Regarding clarity, you should focus on the area VS1 to SI2, where you can get clear diamonds for a relatively low price. If you are primarily concerned with the beauty of the diamond as a piece of jewelry, you can neglect the highest levels of clarity without remorse. Remember that each diamond is unique and different, so you should take the time to examine each one individually. Also with SI2 diamonds you can be lucky and find very beautiful, clear diamonds.

Diamonds above VS1 have fewer inclusions, but the difference is not visible to the naked eye by non-professionals, but the price increases exponentially. The same applies to color. A diamond that is classified as a D diamond will cost you a lot, but you will not be able to tell the difference between D and F reliably. If you want a clear diamond that appears colorless and yet is affordable, you should look at diamonds with a color grade of F, G, H or I and compare them.

Even if your first diamond purchase presents you with difficult decisions, you are now equipped with the necessary knowledge to make a good purchase. If you follow my recommendations for your diamond purchase, you will make the most of your money and present someone with an unforgettable piece of jewelry. Good luck!