Don’t worry, you’re not a cheapskate! If anything, you’re a smart shopper for considering SI2, because you don’t just go with the famous bet, you try to skim every alley in the diamond world. Good on you as there’s certainly eye clean diamonds in this grade!
A word to the wise: Not all SI2 gems are eye clean, so you should arm yourself with careful selection.
Most people who choose SI2 are doing so to maximize their budget with cut and carat weight. They adhere to the golden rule of picking eye clean diamonds. And with that in mind, opting for a lower grade doesn’t really translate to poor tastes and won’t make her feel less special.
The hunt for eye clean SI2 gems is actually a strategy. It’s the best way to score the biggest bang for your buck! In this guide, you’ll learn how to choose an SI2 diamond that will appear flawless enough to be an engagement ring. Read on and discover how big of a win it can be!
What Does SI2 Clarity Grading Look Like?
SI1 and SI2 both have flaws than can easily be seen under 10x loupe and possibly with your bare eyes. The difference between the two grades is that SI2 has more inclusions and these flaws are more visible. Although their visibility also vary in size, color, position, and density.
The good thing is, even though there are SI2 diamonds that are not eye clean, inclusions in this grade are usually not visible from the face-up view. They are smaller and will usually be seen towards the sides. It’s safe to conclude that SI2 clarity plays as the margin between invisible and evident inclusions. This grade is where your diamond skills are put to the test!
How Much Does a SI2 Diamond Cost?
Without their labels, who would’ve known that the gems below are from very different grades? These stones could be comparable aesthetic-wise, but the price difference is actually massive! Even SI1 and SI2 bears a pretty big price jump.
To give show you a clearer view of price difference, I’ve filtered SI1 diamonds in James Allen within these parameters: 1 carat, G color, and Excellent Cut.
Even the priciest gem is only at $5,420! Clarity grades better than VS2 are deemed as overkill because VS2 gems are virtually eye clean (If graded by GIA). And with cautious selection, grades lower, up to SI2, can bear eye clean diamonds that will fit your budget without compromising quality.
This is why an eye-clean SI2 diamond will offer you the best bang for your buck!
Befriending SI2 Diamond Inclusions
Now, we’ve been talking about eye clean SI2s for a while now. But what really constitutes an eye clean diamond? Does it initially mean no visible inclusions – of whatever kind – at all? Well, not really.
As mentioned earlier, flaws also vary on other factors. There’s what we call “Good Inclusions” that make the diamond seem flawless because they have just the right color, size, density, and location.
When looking for an eye clean SI2 gem, consider the characteristics of good inclusions.
Hazy white flaws are usually unseen by the naked eye and are hardly visible under 10x loupe.
They should also be small, so the diamond’s light performance won’t be affected.
Lastly, scattered inclusions that are located at the side or bottom of the stone won’t be noticeable especially when the diamond is finally set on the ring.
The kinds of flaws you should avoid are large ones that can easily be seen by the naked eye.
Stark black inclusions are also a no-no as they can take away the immaculate beauty of the gem.
Especially if they’re located on the table, under the table, or at the heart of the stone.
Diamonds with good inclusions sparkle more as the light that passes through isn’t blocked by large, dark, and badly positioned flaws.
A sure-win would be to go for a SI2 diamond that looks spotless from the face-up view.
As long as the flaws are strategically placed (at the sides and bottom), your gem will look eye clean!
Avoid SI2 Diamonds with Clean Plots!
A diamond certificate is not enough to judge an exquisite gem. The intricacies of the 4Cs cannot be easily depicted in a diagram. Thus, you should never solely depend on grading reports. It may present a lot of facts, but there’s just some factors that are better seen in 3D, if not in person.
Although the diagram trickery doesn’t stop there. Clean plots also exist! Not the ones for flawless gems where a clean plot is reasonable, but for SI2 diamonds that usually contain more inclusions.
There’s actually a couple of reasons a plot for a low-clarity diamond would appear clean. For one, inclusions reflected by the facets don’t get shown in the grading report. And most of the time, the huge amount of inclusions that make gems look hazy cannot be plotted on the diagram as well.
So, if you’ll only base on the plot, you might be surprised that the seamless diagram you’ve chosen is actually from a heavily included SI2 stone. I would recommend buying diamonds online from trusted shops where you can view the gems from all angles, so you can examine them for visible flaws.
Viewing SI2 Diamonds in High Definition 360° Videos
Now that you know how to spot good inclusions, you will also need exact photos or videos of your diamond. Brick and mortar stores offer inspections through a 10x loupe. But today’s digital shops have created high-tech means for you to watch your gem slowly spin from side to side.
James Allen is currently the top choice when it comes to magnified diamond imagery. And with their advance filter tool, you’ll also be able to customize the SI2 diamond’s 4Cs to your liking. Personally, I think that it’s a great way to choose before buying!
Should you have questions about eye clean SI2 diamonds, please send them my way or drop a comment below. I would be glad to help! 🙂