If you are someone who wants to get better value for your money, shopping for SI2 clarity diamonds would be one of the best ways to do so; provided you know exactly what you are doing.
In this guide, you are going to find out what an SI2 diamond is and get insider tips to selecting an SI2 diamond the smart way. Let’s jump right in!
By definition, SI2 diamonds will contain inclusions that can be easily seen and identified under a 10X loupe. However, don’t let this scare you away from them because it is possible to find diamonds that are eye-clean if you shop for them the smart way.
No two SI2 diamond looks the same. Click here to see 100s of SI2 diamonds for yourself…
The differences between an SI1 and SI2 diamond lie in the nature of their inclusions such as size, location and density; with the latter having flaws which are more serious and visible.
Technically speaking, the characteristics of inclusions/blemishes found in SI diamonds are similar to those found in their VS counterparts. Here are some common types of inclusions you will come across in SI2 diamonds: pinpoints (carbon particles), crystals, clouds, feathers, graining and twinning wisps.
First of all, I want to address some misconceptions that many people have about SI2 diamonds.
There are plenty of consumers who had been misled by their jewelers into believing that SI diamonds are always eyeclean while some others had been reading misinformation online that SI diamonds would always have clarity related problems.
Both groups of people aren’t totally wrong but they aren’t completely correct either!
Now, I would say that the biggest mistake a consumer would make is to buy a diamond blindly without seeing it. This happens regularly at brick and mortar jewelers and mediocre online retailers where you are expected to shop solely based on grading certificates.
Most gem-quality diamonds in the market have inclusions and that’s completely normal due to their natural formation process deep within the Earth. SI2 diamonds are no different and they just happen to have more inclusions compared to diamonds with higher clarity grades.
But if you can find an eye-clean SI2 diamond, you are going to get fantastic value for your money. Here’s a case study to show you the massive price differences between an eyeclean SI2 diamond versus a VS2 and VVS2 diamond.
Feel free to click on these individual diamonds to see them in full details using James Allen’s interactive video technology.
SI2 clarity diamond prices are only a fraction of what higher clarity diamonds cost!
When seen with the naked eyes in a casual setting, no one would be able to tell the differences between these diamonds in the face up view. Yet, there’s a huge price difference between each of these diamonds.
In fact, the VVS2 diamond costs a whopping 50% more than the SI2 diamond even though they look completely identical!
To give you a better idea of price differences, I’ve compiled another price chart below with different clarity grades while keeping all other factors the same in these diamonds…
This list of GIA certified, 1 carat, D color diamonds have similar specifications except for their clarity rating. From the chart, you can see a massive price difference from the top tier clarity grades compared to the SI2 clarity diamond.
This is why an eyeclean SI2 diamond can offer you a better bang for your buck especially if you are shopping with a small budget.
When choosing slightly included diamonds, it is really important to see the diamond physically or have access to magnified pictures/videos of the stone. As you had already seen above, there are unlimited possibilities of how an SI2 diamond may look like!
SI2 diamonds are NOT created equally. In some SI2s, you could see inclusions with the unaided eye. While in many others, they simply look like a VVS or VS diamond to the naked eyes.
Check out the following diamonds from James Allen; a vendor who offers magnified pictures and HD videos of every stone in their inventory. I highly recommend them because you can SEE and know exactly what you are getting.
The diamond above has a feather at 8’oclock on the girdle area. To the naked eye, this inclusion is eyeclean. However, if you require an additional peace of mind, you can choose to cover it up with a prong and you will never see the inclusion again.
When shopping for SI2 clarity diamonds, I tend to look out for diamonds with well distributed inclusions since they would have a better probability of an eye clean appearance. Here’s another example that I think is a great choice for a value buy.
Don’t be scared by the numerous crystal inclusions in this diamond. The fact is, they are colorless and you are only looking at them in a zoomed in view. In normal viewing conditions with your naked eye, there’s no way you can see them.
Test it out for yourself by sliding the zoom-in zoom-out bar in the listing and you will be able to do this experiment yourself.
1.03 Carat D Color Princess Cut Diamond
The black inclusions are reflected by the pavilion facets and are obvious to the naked eye!
Clearly, the two examples above show the importance of having magnified photographs to view the diamonds before purchase. If inclusions get reflected by the facets of the diamond, it doesn’t get shown in the grading report.
If you had bought the diamond blindly, you would probably receive a nasty shock when you see it in person. Who would have expected the diamond to face up that way based on the inclusion plot?
The next diamond fares even worse as multiple reflections show up!
0.80 Carat H Color Ideal Cut Diamond
The circled inclusion is reflected multiple times due to its location!
I know that many shoppers often try to game the GIA/AGS grading system. They think that by choosing a diamond with the cleanest plot, they will get an eye-clean diamond. Well, it’s not and it is a DANGEROUS mistake to choose SI diamonds in this manner.
0.57 Carat E Color Slightly Included Ideal Cut Round
The plot doesn’t tell you the details like color or intensity of the inclusions!
Tip #1: It is impossible to accurately represent a 3D object onto a 2D diagram without leaving out some details of the inclusions (e.g. depth, color, density) and that’s why you should never rely solely on an inclusion plot.
Tip #2: Viewing the diamond under magnification is mandatory and you need to understand exactly what you are buying. Be honest and ask yourself whether you would be alright to know that there are inclusions in your stone.
From experience, most consumers find it harder to find a “mind-clean” diamond than it is to find an eye clean stone due to psychological issues. If possible, try and make comparisons against other diamonds from VS2 or I1 grades. This will really help you determine whether the SI2 clarity grade is suitable for you.
Tip #3: NEVER buy an SI2 diamond with a super clean inclusion plot without eye-balling the stone first. When a grade is assigned to a diamond, it is done for a reason.
Having an SI2 diagram that looks like a VVS1 or IF clarity plot is always a red flag for bigger underlying problems such as colored inclusions or severely ugly inclusions which can be reflected around the diamond multiple times. So, make sure you find out exactly what caused the SI2 rating to be assigned to the stone.
Beware of clean plots in SI clarity grades! Such diagrams are the perfect recipes for disasters…
Cloudy looking diamond that mutes brilliance and sparkle.
Most of the times, these diamonds look hazy and milky due to the huge amount of inclusions that cannot be plotted on the diagram. As a result, the diamond’s sparkle and luster will be negatively impacted as seen in the image above.
You need to be smart. Nothing is too good to be true.
On a closing note, I hope this article clears up the common misunderstandings about the SI2 clarity grade. As I’ve shown you in the examples above, there’s no need to be afraid of buying slightly included diamonds as they allow you to maximize your budget with better cut and carat weight,
The key here is never to buy an SI2 diamond without seeing full details and be smart about choosing diamonds with scattered inclusions!
If you need help or advice on diamond selections, I suggest you read this guide that shows you a step by step approach to buying diamonds. Alternatively, you can bump me an email if you need personalized advice.
I am thinking of buying a 2.03 fancy yellow cushion mod. brilliant diamond with an EGL USA certificate with SI2 clarity. The polish and symmetry are both rated as good. Color distribution is graded to be even. The price is $8800.00. It’s look very clean with the naked eye. Do you think it is a good price or is this a bad deal?
I won’t consider buy colored diamonds that aren’t graded by GIA. Most labs aren’t equipped with the correct equipment and testing procedures to detect treatments. There’s a reason why jewelers choose to send diamonds to non-GIA labs while selectively choosing to send stones to other labs for grading. My advice is; stay away.
I’m going to take a look at this diamond below this weekend. Your information here and the post on other comments is helpful. I will be asking about the cloudiness/haziness and will compare to other clarity grades. I was wondering if you had any initial thoughts?
The pavilion angle of the diamond is too steep. This will result in light leakage under the table and I personally won’t even bother to examine the diamond in person when there is no lack of better options in the market. Keep looking!
I had been considering buying this diamond:
However based on the really insightful comments above I’m not giving it second thoughts.
Any insight on this specific diamond?
In most circumstances, I would say that I need more information to work on.
In this particular case, I would avoid this diamond 100%. This diamond will most likely be cloudly and impact its brilliance in a negative way.
“Clarity grade is based on clouds that are not shown. Surface graining is not shown.”
I am looking to buy a diamond that is gia i color 1.31 carat si2. I have the picture of the diamond and gia certificate do you have an email address i could send these pics to for your opinion?
I am thinking of buying the diamond:
Can you tell me if this is any good? I have been assured that the brilliance of this diamond is great but your opinion on the inclusions would be really helpful
I look forward to hearing from you
Poor option. The proportions combination WILL result in significant light leakage. I won’t even spend a single cent on diamonds cut to these type of standards.
Paul pls advice if this is worth buying?
Cool find: GIA 1.21 Carat Diamond for $5,500 from carousell.com/p/36180971
Sorry, no deal. Terrible diamond choice because of poor cut quality. The overly steep pavilion angles is a recipe for a poor performing diamond. I don’t even need to see the diamond in person to tell you that it won’t sparkle as well as one that is cut well. Read the sections on choosing a round diamond on Beyond4cs.com and keep looking.
Thanks for all the material you post, it has really helped me in my diamond purchase quest.
I’ve already been to my local store and given my budget and constraints I’m leaning towards the following diamond:
This diamond fits the standards you list with regards to cut, but it’s an SI2 clarity.
I’m going to view the diamond before I decide, so provided I’m happy with the inclusions what’s your opinion on this diamond?
Would you suggest compromising on the other C’s to bring up the clarity to VS range? Or would it be OK to get it up to an SI1 grade if the differences between SI1 vs SI2 aren’t big.
The proportions and angles look fine on paper. However, they don’t reveal the complete picture about the diamond.
It is a good idea to invest in an ASET scope and use it to critically examine the cut quality of the diamond.
Great article. I was wondering. Any thoughts on these three stones I am looking at.
I am leaning towards #1 or #3 but now worried after reading your article.
Thoughts? Are any of these even good diamonds. Please note I will have a halo around them so might hide some imperfections on the side.
You are right to be worried and be concerned. Read this: https://beyond4cs.com/buying-diamonds-blind/
I am looking at buying this ring. I don’t know much about stones, so was just wondering whether you think that the flaws will show?
I know it is not a hugely expensive piece in terms of diamonds, but I am always weary of online sales?
Avoid it. If you want to get an item like this, you want to work with a reliable vendor with good return policies. Check out BlueNile here: https://www.bluenile.com
FYI, here are a couple of more examples of eyeclean Slightly Included diamonds.
1.00 Carat D Color Excellent Cut Round Brilliant Diamond
Crystal inclusion that can be hidden by prongs placement
1.04 Carat D Color Princess Cut Diamond
Don’t get turned off by the messy inclusion plot. This diamond will face up completely clean.
Hello, I recently purchased a 1.54 carat round brilliant cut diamond with a SI2 grade, E color. It was $9500. I am confused by the price on it. According to the rapaport price, which my jeweler said he used, at 35 back, I should not have paid this much. I was under the impression I was getting an SI1 and therefore the price would be justified according to the report. I don’t know if I got tricked in to the wrong diamond or is the price at $9500 justified. According to the jeweler, there are no inclusions visible to the naked eye but I think I see some. I cannot be sure because I am new to all of this. Please help. I need to know if I should call him and voice my concerns or is the price justified? The ring is stunning but I just want to be sure I wasn’t ripped off. Thank you!
I don’t give a jack about Rapaport prices because I know vendors who use them always do so to market and justify prices for subpar products. Jewelers who market with Rapaport prices typically charge more! Read: https://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/