SI1 vs VS2 Diamonds – Which One Is Better?
SI1 vs VS2 Diamonds – If you’re looking for a beautiful diamond on somewhat of a budget, which most people are, you can certainly stretch your dollars by considering diamonds with SI1 or VS2 clarity grades. Using the GIA clarity grade scale for diamonds, a VS2 clarity graded diamond would be better than an SI1 clarity grade. However, that does not necessarily mean the SI1 diamond would look worse when compared side-by-side to a VS2 diamond. It would depend on the location of the inclusions and the types of imperfections.
The Clarity Grade of a Diamond
The clarity grade of a diamond indicates how many inclusions or imperfections the stone has. These inclusions are the result of tiny crystals being trapped inside the stone during formation. A diamond with a clarity grade of VS2 is not internally flawless. However, the inclusions are usually not visible to the naked eye. Only someone with a trained eye who puts the stone under a 10x magnifier could spot the inclusions.
A VS2 diamond has very small inclusions. Therefore, it would be highly unlikely that they’d have any effect on the diamond’s appearance. If you’re wondering what the differences are between SI1 vs. VS2 diamonds; an SI1 clarity grade indicates that the diamond’s imperfections can be more easily seen under a 10x magnifier than a VS2, but would still be extremely hard to see with the naked eye.
The imperfections within an SI1 diamond could be spotted quite easily if you view a magnified video of the stone or look at it through a loupe. You should know that the images of diamonds you see online are usually enlarged by 20x and possibly more. Therefore, any inclusions you notice under this degree of magnification will not likely be noticeable in person. If you want a realistic look at any diamond you’re looking at online, reduce the image on your screen down to the size of your smallest fingernail.
Enlarged Photos of Different SI1 Diamonds
When purchasing a diamond on a budget, you should consider buying an SI1 vs VS2 diamond since they are more affordable and often appear equally beautiful. However, you do need to be careful. In the photos below, the one on the left is an eye clean SI1 clarity, whereas the one on the right is an SI1 clarity diamond that is clearly not eye clean.
While both are SI1 diamonds, you can only see the slight haziness in the one on the left under a 20x magnifier. You cannot see it with the naked eye! On the other hand, you can easily spot the imperfections in the diamond on the right with a 20x magnifier, as well as with the naked eye. You can view it here.
You can easily see the dark inclusion located beneath the table facet under a 20x magnifier, and when you reduce the image size to the diamond’s actual size. I recommend to always view a diamond under a 10x magnifier so that you know whether you could see the stone’s inclusions with the naked eye. The inclusion mentioned above will seem like a tiny dark spot to anyone looking at the stone. They might think it’s just a tiny speck of dirt, but who would want that?
Our advice if you’re thinking about buying an SI1 diamond
Avoid buying one with large dark inclusions located beneath the table facet. It’s a different matter when it comes to large white visible inclusions because they often can’t be seen with the naked eye, making the diamond eye clean. It has been my experience that most of the diamonds graded by AGS or GIA as SI1 are eye clean (to check look at the grading reports). However, this does not mean that all of them are eye clean. Therefore, you need to look very closely at any SI1 diamonds you may be considering. If you can find an eye clean SI1, you should be able to get a reasonable price.
What’s the trick to finding an eye clean diamond if I’m searching online?
I found a perfect answer to this question online at Reddit, which is as follows:
You can find a gorgeous eye clean diamond online if you know what your parameters are. Look for GIA graded diamonds in the color range of J-D, with clarity grades of VS2-IF or FL. You also would want an excellent cut, symmetry, and polish with zero-medium fluorescence. In terms of carat size, your range can start at 1.90 and up if your budget is no more than $15,000.
Along the way, you may even be able to find an underpriced VVS2 diamond. Most people aren’t on the lookout for these diamonds, which means you can often purchase them at bargain prices. Here’s why – someone searching for a J color diamond is generally not looking for a diamond with VS1 or VVS2 clarity. Since there is little demand they are therefore priced much lower than usual.
What clarity do you recommend for the center diamond of an engagement ring? SI1 vs VS2 Diamonds
Most reputable jewelers would suggest buying an SI1 or VS2 diamond because you would then have more money to spend on a diamond with the larger carat weight and/or higher color grade. There really is not much, if any visible difference when looking at SI1 vs. VS2 diamonds with the naked eye.
To get a beautiful eye clean diamond online, you would need to look at the images and videos of a lot of diamonds before making your purchase. This is often a much better way to shop than going to a local jeweler who would have you looking at diamonds through a loupe. When you see the images and videos online they are under far more magnification so you can easily see any imperfections.
When selecting the center diamond for an engagement ring, you would want to avoid diamonds with inclusions that can be seen through the table (the flat area on the top). Inclusions in this area would be far more visible than if they were way off to the side. This is more concerning in diamonds with larger tables, such as fancy cut shapes.
Conclusion – SI1 vs VS2 Diamonds
I recommend that you shop for SI1 clarity diamonds at James Allen because it’s the only site where you can compare SI1 vs. VS2 diamonds under 20x magnification in HD videos. This way you can see any inclusions and/or blemishes on the diamonds you’re considering. Plus, it is much less expensive when you buy diamonds online as opposed to a retail jewelry store.
An Insiders Tip:
When searching through diamonds at James Allen, try reducing the 20x magnification down to 2x magnification, as follows:
When you do this, you can view the diamond in a far more realistic state. Yes, you’re still seeing it on your monitor at 2x magnification, which is still a little larger than the actual stone. However, if you reduced it any lower you could hardly see anything.