Colour vs. Clarity: Which Affects The Diamond's Brilliance? | Zcova

Which Affects The Diamond’s Brilliance?

It is true that clarity is important for the appearance of your diamond, but this is not the only factor you should look at when you’re shopping for diamond rings. When we look at the 4Cs of diamonds (Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat), cut should be seen as the most important. Many of you have been asking, “Will colour and clarity then affect a diamond’s brilliance?” 

In this article, our GIA graduate gemologist will further explain this matter with additional tips to buying diamonds in a smarter way. Firstly, let’s look at the importance of a diamond’s cut. 

The cut of a round brilliant diamond starts at poor and goes up to excellent. When you move up the cut grade scale, the diamond will begin to have more brilliance and fire. How a diamond’s facets are arranged determines how the light enters the diamond and reflected back to your eyes. 

Poor, good, very good and excellent diamond cuts

If a diamond is cut with certain proportions, its brilliance will be maximized. On the other hand, a diamond with a poor cut has a lack of brilliance as light leaks out of it. As a result, the flaws in these stones are more noticeable. 

Diamond Clarity

The more proportional the round diamond’s cut, the more brilliance it has.

Keep in mind that a diamond’s cut is something that is best understood when seen in a 10x magnified picture. Many customers may have done their research, but they won’t completely grasp the importance of diamond’s cut until seeing one close-up through the 10X magnification of 360-degree, HD videos of diamonds. 

RELATED: How To Buy Diamonds with the Best Value

How Colour Affects Diamond Appearance

Diamond color grades

A diamond’s colour is graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) using the letters from D to Z. The less colour a diamond has, the higher the diamond’s quality. Diamonds with D colour are virtually colourless whereas diamonds on the lower colour scale have a stronger yellowish tint, which becomes easily noticed when compared to diamonds graded K colour and lower. 

A common misunderstanding that we hear from our customers is that most of them assume a diamond with a lower colour scale will have less sparkle or brilliance than a diamond with higher colour scale. However, this is not always true.

If you’re choosing a round brilliant diamond with a H colour or above, the cut grade is what makes a diamond look beautiful. Let’s just take these two round brilliant diamonds as an example. They are both 3EX cut diamond, but one is a D colour and another is H colour. 

D colour H colour diamond

Can you see any difference in colour between these two diamonds?

Both diamonds have excellent light return and excellent contrast patterns even with completely different colour grades. Even under bright light and with close up, it’s nearly impossible to see the difference despite one diamond is a D colour and another is H colour. 

This is why we highly recommend to not take the diamond’s colour as your top priority. Instead, pick a diamond with the highest cut, then choose a colour grade that looks almost colourless that will help you to save more. 

RELATED: 5 Tips On How To Save On Your Engagement Ring

How Clarity Affects Diamond Appearance

Diamond Clarity

To be honest, diamond clarity does not always affect the brilliance of a diamond as much as many people think. A diamond with lower clarity grade is not necessarily less bright than a higher clarity stone, and vice versa. 

Keep in mind that higher clarity diamonds do not look much different in terms of brightness from mid to low clarity stones of similar colour and cut. 

Most diamond inclusions are very small and not visible enough to affect brightness directly. Unless you’re looking at a diamond with visible inclusion, the impurities will affect the light passing through the diamond and diminish its brightness. However, this will not occur in ZCOVA. 

So How Do You Choose A Diamond With The Most Sparkle?

When you’re choosing a round brilliant diamond, we highly recommend not to focus on clarity only. Instead, you should consider the three most important Cs together – Colour, Cut, and Clarity, but Cut as the top priority.

A better approach to buying round brilliant diamonds is to look at the lower clarity grade in which inclusions cannot be seen with naked eyes and spend more money on cut and colour. Try getting diamonds with a cut that is rated EXCELLENT on the GIA scale. 

At ZCOVA, we only offer 3EX round brilliant diamonds. To make it even better, we have LUMOS by ZCOVA diamonds that come with dual certificate of GIA & GemEx for #CertifiedBrilliant. We use GemEx Light Performance (Brilliance, Fire & Sparkle) to determine how brilliant a diamond is. 

GemEx comparison between good and excellent diamond

Observe how these two diamonds interact with light through GemEx Brilliancescope® Viewer.

RELATED: What is GemEx Certification

You’ll be surprised with what you’re getting from LUMOS by ZCOVA diamonds! It’s not just about the 4Cs of diamonds. Every diamond is carefully selected by our in-house GIA graduate gemologist to ensure they meet our strict requirements. If you have any questions or need any advice on choosing the best diamond, don’t be shy to reach out to our jewellery experts for unbiased opinion. 

Now, over to you. What is it that you think would affect a round diamond’s brilliance the most?

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