Clarity, the third of the Four C’s that we’re covering in the Girl’s Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring, refers to the visual appearance of a diamond, which is factored on the amount of blemishes (scratches or markings on the surface) and inclusions (interior markings), as well as the size and nature of these flaws. The GIA grading system for the clarity of a diamond ranges from F (flawless), which is extremely rare, to I3 (“I” standing for included, which means the flaws are visible to the naked eye).


But keep in mind that location of the inclusions (also known as the diamond’s “birthmarks”) plays a key role. “Clarity features close to the edge of the stone can be hidden by mountings,” explains Ruth Batson, CEO of the American Gem Society. She also recommends looking for durability factors. “Make sure the corners, points and culet (the bottom of the diamond), do not have surface-reaching birthmarks or anything that has the potential for damage.”

See more from our Girl’s Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring:



Photo: Real Weddings Amy and Jeri, photography by Michele M. Waite Photography;