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SI2 Diamonds: Suitable for an Engagement Ring?
SI2 diamond, 1.03ct, H color, ideal cut
When shopping for an engagement ring, it is important to consider the diamond’s clarity. The diamond clarity grade is determined by how many blemishes and inclusions (flaws) are visible to the naked eye. SI2 clarity diamonds have blemishes and inclusions visible without magnification, but they are usually not obvious.
If you are looking for a quality diamond at a budget-friendly price, an SI2 diamond may be a good option because it can be so much more affordable than some other options on the market. In this blog post, you’ll find out if an SI2 clarity diamond is the right choice for you and what you need to consider before buying one.
- What is an SI2 clarity diamond?
- What is the difference between SI1 and SI2 clarity diamonds?
- Common misconceptions about SI2 clarity diamonds
- Is it possible to find eye-clean SI2 clarity diamonds?
- How much do SI2 diamonds cost?
- How to go about buying an SI2 clarity diamond?
- Diamond quiz: Can you spot the difference?
SI2 Diamond Summary
- SI2 is a relatively low clarity grade and stands “slightly included 2”
- An SI2 diamond is likely to have some inclusions or blemishes visible to the naked eye, but it is possible to find eye-clean SI2 clarity diamonds
- You can save a significant amount of money by choosing an SI2 diamond, as diamonds with this clarity grade are greatly discounted
- Certain diamond shapes are better suited for lower clarity grades than others, e.g., a brilliant round cut is better suited than an Emerald cut diamond
- You might want to choose a higher clarity grade if you want to buy a huge diamond or certain fancy shaped diamonds
- The best places to shop for VVS1 or lower clarity grade diamonds are James Allen and Blue Nile
What is an SI2 diamond?
Clarity is one of the four “C’s” of diamond grading, along with carat weight, cut, and color. Clarity grades range from included (I) to flawless (FL). Included diamonds have flaws visible to the naked eye, while flawless diamonds have no inclusions or blemishes whatsoever.
As you can see in the GIA (gemological Institute of America) clarity scale below, SI2 diamonds (with SI standing for “slightly included”) are considered a relatively low clarity grade:
Most SI2 diamonds fall into the “included” category, meaning they have at least one flaw visible to the naked eye. To be classified as SI2, the diamond must have two medium-sized flaws that are easily seen under 10x magnification.
Under 10x magnification, SI2 diamonds can appear to have small chips along the girdle or tiny white marks on the stone’s facets.
This should never discourage you from buying an SI2 diamond online because you can find some stunning eye-clean diamonds for a fraction of the diamond cost.
If you can find an eye-clean SI2 diamond (and I’ll show you how below), then SI2 diamonds can be an excellent choice for a diamond engagement ring! That’s because the inclusions won’t take away from the diamond’s beauty while saving you money at the same time.
Just take aa look at the three SI2 clarity diamonds below:
Here’s the link to each one of them:
Difference between SI2 and SI1 diamond clarity
Keep in mind though, that an SI2 clarity diamond can sometimes appear clearer than an SI1 clarity diamond, that’s because no two diamonds are alike. And sometimes inclusions can be in unfortunate locations that greatly affect the diamond’s overall appearance.
Just take a look at the two diamonds below. Most people would agree, that the SI2 diamond looks better than the SI1 diamond:
Ignore Common Misconceptions Regarding SI2 Diamonds
Jewelers have been known to mislead their customers into believing that all diamonds with an SI clarity grade are eye-clean. Furthermore, many diamond shoppers have been misinformed by bogus online articles claiming SI diamonds are always problematic.
Both of these are misconceptions. However, they aren’t entirely wrong, nor are they correct. An SI2 diamond has visible inclusions under a 10x loupe. However, it can still be eye-clean.
If you’re shopping for a diamond, the biggest mistake you can make is to buy a diamond at a brick-and-mortar store. That’s because you won’t be able to inspect a diamond in detail. It’s like buying one without ever seeing it.
A much better and safer way to look for a suitable diamond is online, at reputable online shops such as James Allen or Blue Nile. These vendors provide you with high-quality videos that allow you to inspect a diamond from all angles.
Is it possible to find an eye-clean SI2 clarity diamond?
You might be wondering if it is possible to find SI2 clarity diamonds that are eye clean? Or, in other words: SI2 clarity diamonds are good enough for engagement rings.
The answer is yes!
While it is true that SI diamonds have more inclusions than higher clarity grades, it is possible to find high-quality gems with this clarity rating.
I always recommend that you find diamonds within this clarity range first before opting for a higher clarity grade. That’s because you can save money with this lower grade while still finding the perfect diamond, thus getting the best value.
If you come across an eye-clean SI2 diamond, you should consider buying it because you’ll be getting an excellent stone for a fraction of the regular price.
Here, I’m listing a couple of examples of eye-clean round cut diamonds within this clarity range:
- Example 1: SI2 Clarity Diamond, 1 carat, H color, ideal cut ($2,980)
- Example 2: SI2 Clarity Diamond, 1 carat, G color, ideal cut ($3,920)
If you click on each diamond, you’ll be able to see them in all their glory using the interactive video technology provided by James Allen. Each diamond from James Allen comes with a grading report and can be inspected via HD images and videos.
When looking at these diamonds in a typical setting with the naked eye, there isn’t anyone who could see the differences when they’re face up. But, notice the enormous price difference!
The price of the VVS2 diamond is a huge 55% more than the price of the SI2, yet even to a diamond expert they look identical!
Note: The only time you definitely might want to opt for a better clarity grade is if you are considering a larger diamond for your diamond ring. The higher diamond quality is necessary here since eye-clean diamonds are rare.
Additionally, certain diamond shapes hide specific inclusions such as scattered inclusions or a black inclusion better than others. As a rule of thumb, it is more difficult to find an eye-clean stone with a fancy shape than a traditional round diamond.
Do SI2 diamonds sparkle?
The answer to this question is it depends! SI2 clarity diamonds are the second-least expensive of the eleven diamond clarity grades, so they may not sparkle as much as those in higher grades. However, many SI2 diamonds still have plenty of brilliance and fire, thanks to their 58 facets. That is if you choose a brilliant diamond.
How much an SI2 diamond will sparkle heavily depends on the location and size of the inclusion and blemishes. Noticeable inclusions and blemishes closer to the surface will have a greater impact on the diamond’s sparkle than those buried deeper in the stone.
Besides the diamond’s clarity, the cut quality will also affect how much light can escape from the diamond and, as a result, how sparkly it appears. A well-cut SI2 diamond will sparkle more than a poorly cut stone of the same clarity grade.
So, in answer to the question: does an SI2 clarity diamond sparkle – it depends on the individual diamond!
To show you an example of a nearly eye clean diamond with SI2 diamond clarity, check out these two loose diamonds I found on James Allen:
How much can I expect to pay for an SI2 Diamond?
In diamonds larger than 1 carat, clarity makes a big difference, and SI2 inclusions would be much easier to spot, so you can often find an SI2 at half the cost of a similar-sized VS1 diamond.
Approximately 1/3 of the diamonds being sold are in the SI1-SI2 clarity range. If your priority is size and price, your best bet may be an SI2 clarity diamond.
To provide you with a clear picture of the price difference, I’ve sorted the James Allen SI1 diamonds accordingly: 1 carat, excellent cut with H color.
As you can see, prices drop significantly when you get to the SI clarity range. You will get the most for your money by buying an eye-clean SI2 diamond!
How to Go About Buying an SI2 Clarity Grade Diamond
As demonstrated above, you know that the possibilities are endless when it comes to the appearance of an SI2 diamond. When selecting a diamond with black inclusions or other inclusions, you must see the gemstone in detail. Magnified photos or videos can help enormously with that.
No two SI2 diamonds look alike. Some SI2 diamonds are not eye-clean, yet others can look to the naked eye just like a VS or even a VVS diamond.
Have a look at these James Allen diamonds. James Allen, along with Blue Nile lets you look at magnified photos and even HD videos of each stone they have for sale. These two vendors have my highest recommendation because you get to see the stone before buying clearly.
3 More Tips to Keep in Mind When Selecting an SI2 Diamond
- When looking at all the James Allen, try turning down the 20x magnification to just 2x, as shown below: When you do this, you can see the diamond as it is. Since you’re viewing it on your computer screen, we think a 2x magnification works best, even if it’s slightly larger. Any James Allen diamond that appears eye-clean at 2x magnification will most likely also appear eye-clean when you see it in person!
- There is no way to accurately show a 3D object on a 2D diagram because you’d have to omit the inclusions’ depth, density, and color. This is why you cannot 100% rely on an inclusion plot.
- If you have any hope of knowing exactly what you’d be buying, you must view the diamond under magnification. Be honest with yourself when deciding whether you would be happy with an included diamond.
BI hope the common misconceptions about SI2 diamonds have been cleared up with this article. As you’ve seen in the above examples, you do not need to shy away from buying a diamond with some inclusions. You can still get an eye-clean one while stretching your budget to get a larger stone with a better cut.
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Can you tell the difference?
One of the two diamonds below has a clarity grade of VVS1, the other one of VS1. Can you tell which one has the lower clarity grade and costs $1000 less?