i3 Clarity Diamond: What Does It Mean

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i3 Clarity Diamond: Is It Worth Buying

When we talk about diamonds, one of the things that comes up is their clarity. Clarity is just a fancy way of saying how clear the diamond is, or in other words, whether it has any marks or blemishes inside or on its surface. Today, let’s focus on what I3 clarity means for a diamond and why it matters.

What is I3 Clarity for a Diamond 

I3 clarity sits at the lower end of the diamond clarity scale. If a diamond is graded as I3, it means it has a lot of visible marks. And when we say visible, we’re talking about being able to see these blemishes with the naked eye, without needing any magnifying tools. These marks can be anything from tiny black spots to noticeable cracks.

So, what does this mean for the diamond? For starters, these visible marks can affect how much the diamond sparkles. Sparkle in diamonds comes from light entering the stone, bouncing around, and coming back out to your eye. With all these blemishes, the light doesn’t travel as smoothly, and as a result, the diamond might not shine as brightly as one with fewer imperfections.

There’s also the matter of the diamond’s strength. Believe it or not, those imperfections can make the diamond more prone to damage. This means that an I3 diamond could be more likely to chip or break if it’s hit or dropped, which isn’t ideal for something that’s meant to last a lifetime.

Now, you might be wondering why anyone would choose an I3 clarity diamond. The biggest factor is usually cost. Diamonds with higher clarity grades are more expensive, so an I3 diamond can be a lot more budget-friendly. It allows people to get a bigger diamond for less money, even if it means accepting those visible marks.

Clarity Grades

Clarity grades can seem a bit confusing at first, but they’re a simple way to understand how many marks are in a diamond. Here’s a GIA’s list of diamond clarity from best to, not best:

  • FL (Flawless). These diamonds have no visible marks at all, even when you look at them under a microscope. They’re incredibly rare and, as you can guess, pretty pricey.
  • IF (Internally Flawless).  Almost perfect, these diamonds have no visible marks inside them but might have an insignificant blemish on the surface. Still, super high quality.
  • VVS1 and VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included). These diamonds have very, very small marks that are hard to see even under magnification. VVS1 marks are even harder to spot than VVS2.
  • VS1 and VS2 (Very Slightly Included). The marks in these diamonds are only slightly easier to see under magnification. They’re still considered high-quality diamonds.
  • SI1 and SI2 (Slightly Included). With these diamonds, you can start to see the marks with a little magnification. They’re good quality but more affordable.
  • I1, I2, and I3 (Included). These diamonds have marks that are pretty easy to see, even without magnification. They’re the least expensive, but they also sparkle less because the light doesn’t travel through them as well.

Are I3 Diamond Clarity Good for Buying? 

First off, I3 clarity means the diamond has a lot of visible marks. And when we say visible, we mean you can see these marks pretty easily without needing any special tools. This is different from higher clarity diamonds where you’d need a magnifying glass or even a microscope to see the imperfections. But here’s something interesting: not all I3 diamonds are the same. They’re at the bottom of the scale, sure, but there’s a lot of variation within that category. This means one I3 diamond can have way more or different kinds of marks than another I3 diamond. Earlier, we compared H color diamonds with diamonds with higher colors, and for the non-professional eye, it’s hard to see the difference, so, maybe you can find i3 clarity diamond with less visible marks for the non-professional eye. 

One of the main issues with I3 diamonds is how these marks affect the diamond’s sparkle. Yes, all diamonds have a bit of shine, but the more blemishes, the less sparkle. With I3 diamonds, the light doesn’t travel through as cleanly, so they don’t catch the light and sparkle as much as better-quality diamonds do.

Are I3 Diamond Clarity Good for Buying?
Here’re two I3 clarity diamonds. You can see that there’s a big difference between them.

Another point to consider is durability. Those imperfections aren’t just about looks; they can actually make the diamond more fragile. This means an I3 diamond might be more likely to chip or break if it’s knocked or dropped. Not exactly what you want from something that’s often seen as a symbol of forever, right?

Price is where things get a bit tricky. I3 diamonds are definitely cheaper. That can be appealing, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But it’s important to think about what you’re giving up for that lower price. 

At the end of the day, choosing a diamond is a personal decision. Some might be okay with the drawbacks of an I3 diamond, especially if they’re looking to save money. But it’s important to go into that decision knowing exactly what you’re getting. If you want a diamond that sparkles a lot and is less likely to get damaged, you might want to look at diamonds with higher clarity. It’s all about what matters most to you.

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Having a love for jewelry, I analyze, compile and publish the most useful posts among jewelry blogs.