Clarity, one of the all-important four Cs of diamonds, is a direct measure of the number of internal flaws or blemishes the diamond has. Without any of these flaws, a diamond is categorized as "flawless."
Everyone wants a flawless diamond. It's rare, special and something you really don't see every day.
Buying a flawless diamond would be costly because of their rarity. But, buying a "flawed" diamond doesn't mean you have to compromise too much or settle for a diamond that doesn't still look good!
Purchasing an "eye clean diamond," as the industry calls it, can help you save some serious money when shopping for diamonds. And, with eye clean diamonds, you won't have to sacrifice too much on quality.
Ok Great, But What Is An Eye Clean Diamond?
Most experts agree that an eye clean diamond is a stone that has no inclusions (or flaws) visible to the unaided eye when viewed from the face up position in daylight equivalent or fluorescent lighting from approximately 6-12 inches from the eye using 20/20 vision.
Basically, if you can look at a diamond from an upright position and see directly through it without noticing any inclusions, it is eye clean.
Eye clean diamonds do not have to possess clarity grades of F or IF (click here to understand the clarity scale of diamonds). Even diamonds with grades as low as SI2 frequently have inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye and enable the diamond to be labeled as “eye clean."
However, this is not the case with emerald and asscher shaped diamonds that are known as “step cuts." These diamonds contain very large tables and different facet arrangements than brilliant cuts, which make the inclusions more visible. It is for this reason that most emerald and asscher diamonds that are eye clean are usually VS2 or higher on the clarity scale.
How To Spot An Eye Clean Diamond
Forget the formal lab report and the magnifying loupe. Hold a diamond in your hand from your preferred focal distance and look into the stone in natural light. What do you see? Or rather, what don’t you see?
When a stone is "eye clean," it's generally understood that as a casual observer looks at the stone (such as friends, relatives, etc.), there will be no large inclusions jumping out that are obvious.
When you go to see a jeweler, you will be able to see these types of stones for yourself. Your jeweler can show you different stones in order to gauge your tolerance for inclusions.
If you are shopping online, however, it’s a bit trickier. On a website, you will often see blown up photos of diamonds which purposefully show inclusions. For instance, a 6.5mm diamond may appear 10 times larger on your monitor. Eye clean is really determined best by seeing the stone in person.
How Can Eye Clean Diamonds Save You Money?
An eye clean diamond offers an excellent value. If a diamond is Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF), the rarity of these diamonds commands a higher price. But, an eye clean diamond can allow you to buy a diamond that is less than flawless that still looks great.
The characteristics in diamonds graded Slightly Included (SI) are often not visible to the unaided eye, making them excellent value for money. So, although you can't claim that the diamond is "flawless," your wallet will thank you.