Colour and clarity are two of the most important things to consider when deciding on a diamond ring. The process of determining the colour and clarity of a stone can only being performed by a trained gemmologist using specialist equipment. If the ring has a valuation you will be able to find the colour and clarity rating on the certificate.
Diamond colours are graded from D to Z, with D being colourless and Z a light yellow colour. This colour range is almost universally used worldwide and was developed by the GIA as a way to standardize diamond grading.
The exception is fancy colours, such as pinks and blues. They, along with the ultra rare pinks, have their own colour grading scale.The Argyle mine in Western Australia is the world’s largest producer of champagne and cognac coloured diamonds.
Colour, along with clarity has a big impact on the price of a diamond, as the higher colourless diamonds are very rare and sought after.
The clarity of a diamond is determined by the amount of inclusions or blemishes found in the stone. Clarity also affects the price, as the highest clarity grade 'flawless' is extremely rare and most jewellers have never seen one. Below are the standard clarity definitions which you will find on jewellery valuations.
Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.
Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification.
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are fairly difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification and are characterised as very minor.
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.
Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance. These inclusions are visible to the unaided eye.