When buying a diamond most people want to make sure to get the biggest bang for their buck! And I consider this to be a really good idea! After all: Why should you spend more money without any visible benefits?
As far as diamond clarity is concerned you should go for a clarity grade that is as low as possible while still being eye clean!
This very often ends in the question whether one should go for a SI1 diamond or a VS2 diamond. Let us have a look! Below for instance we have a VS2 diamond on the left and a SI1 diamond on the right:
In this particular instance both diamonds are eye clean and there will not be a visible difference in real life!
The General Rule for VS2 and SI1 diamonds
But this is not always the case, however!
In general any VS2 diamond that has been either graded by GIA or AGS will be eye clean! For this very reason you should never go lower than the VS2 clarity grade. It simply is nothing but a waste of money. This is why I think that IF, VVS1, VVS2 and VS1 diamonds are not really worth considering.
SI1 diamonds on the other hand are not always eye clean. In my experience a majority of SI1 diamonds that has been graded by GIA or AGS is eye clean. But not all of them! This means that you need to take a very close look at SI1 diamonds! But if you do, you can be sure to make some pretty decent deals!
This is why I rather recommend to go for SI1 diamonds – at least if you want to get the maximum value!
Different Examples of SI1 Diamonds
It often pays to go the extra mile to look for an SI1 diamond. The reason is that they are just cheaper than comparable VS2 diamonds. You have to be careful however. Below on the left we can see an eye clean SI1 diamond and on the right an SI1 diamond that is not eye clean:
Both diamonds are SI1 diamonds. The one on the left only has traces of haziness that can be viewed with 20x magnification but not with the naked eye! Go and check out the diamond on the right however. You will be able to see if from all angles.
You will see that the dark inclusion under the table facet is well visible. It is not only visible under 20x magnification but also if you zoom back to real life size. This is how you can know whether the particular inclusion will be visible to the naked eye or not. This particular inclusion will therefore be visible in real life as a tiny dark speck. Such a dark speck might mistaken for a speck of dirt but of course you still want to avoid it!
This brings us to the main rule for SI1 diamond inclusions: Avoid any larger dark inclusions under the table facet! If the same inclusion had been white the diamond would in all likelihood have been eye clean.
I want to demonstrate this to you with another example. Below you can see two eye clean SI1 diamonds:
If you click on the left diamond you will see that there are some slightly dark clouds under the table. But because these clouds are not really dark in nature but somewhat transparent these cloud inclusions will not be visible! That is one of the most important things to remember about inclusions.
The diamond on the right has a smaller white crystal inclusion that will not be visible either. This is simply due to the fact that the crystal inclusion is white and relatively small.
How to best decide between an SI1 and a VS2 diamond
The surest way to go about choosing an SI1 diamond is to choose an SI1 diamond that does not even have visible inclusions even under 20x magnification. This way there won’t be any possibility of a misevaluation! There are lots of such SI1 diamonds out there that would look somewhat like that:
If you have a look at the grading reports of these diamonds you might see that there are some smaller cloud inclusions or something but nothing to be worried about.
Thus, in order to make the best deal I would recommend to look out for such SI1 diamonds.
Currently, I have the impression that James Allen is one of the best places to look for SI1 diamonds because it is the only vendor that will provide you with 20x magnified HD videos of all their VS2 and SI1 diamonds. I like how one is able to see any flaw or imperfection in any diamond. Plus, it is also considerably cheaper to buy a diamond online.
Go and click here to browse through more than 8000 SI1 diamonds.
If you have any further questions please let me know and I will be glad to help you out!