There is no simple answer to this question: whenever you are dealing with diamonds, you must take into account all four Cs: cut, carat, color, and clarity – picking just one aspect to cling to can result in a poor quality stone being favored over a better one. Let us see why:
What is Color?
Diamonds form underground at great depths and under huge pressure. This results in a pure crystal of carbon that is completely colorless. The crystal has internal facets that, when the stone is properly cut and mounted, allows the light to reflect through and out of it is quite wondrous ways, giving diamonds that seductive sparkle that has seen them lead the best-seller lists of gemstones for decade upon decade now.
However, sometimes, while the crystal is forming, a little of a different mineral or element might seep into the carbon, giving the crystal a hint of color. The very lower ends of the scale give us the colorful diamonds: the canary yellows, the cola browns, even blue, green, pink, and red – diamonds can come in almost all the colors of the rainbow, depending on what elements they were exposed to in their formative stage. These diamonds go so far away from top-rated diamonds that they achieve a unique distinction all their own with certain colors of diamond coming in and out of fashion according to the tastes of the time!
But ‘color’ generally refers to ‘colorless’ with the most transparent diamonds being rated – and valued – the highest.
What is Clarity?
Clarity, as the name implies, refers to the ‘clearness’ of the diamond, with especial regard as to internal flaws in the crystal. Again, referring to the diamond’s formative period, if anything happened to disrupt the smooth growth of the crystal, the crystal could ‘warp’ developing small internal flaws or blemishes that are called ‘inclusions.’ Inclusions are not rare, which is not surprising when one considers the tumult of volcanicity which births diamonds! However, a careful cut – perhaps even reducing the carat weight of the diamond by more than half – can remove or minimize flaws to the point that the value of the stone is boosted beyond original expectations. In this way, you can also see that a rough stone of many carats can be reduced to a fraction of that carat weight, and yet increase in value – all because of the cut!
Once the stone has been cut, the clarity can be assessed – for a handy impartial guide about diamond clarity; the following site is a useful bookmark for diamond aficionados: www.pricescope.com/wiki/diamonds/diamond-clarity.
When it comes to a clear-cut choice between stones of equal weight and equal cut, should you choose the one with the best color or the one with the best clarity? In truth, color does not matter that much, unless it is off-putting in some way – almost every color diamond will continue to come in and out of fashion. Clarity, on the other hand, speaks to the internal integrity of the stone – and is unchanging!