Many diamond shoppers buy SI2 diamonds. SI1 is one of the more popular clarity grades. But if you see a diamond labeled SI2, what does this mean? Is buying one a good idea, and how can you be sure that you are getting your money’s worth? I’ll explain everything below.
What is SI Clarity?
There are many different clarity levels of diamonds. They’re defined by the number of flaws that a diamond has and how noticeable they are at different levels of magnification, or with the naked eye. There’s a scale to clarity, which was developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
What is SI2?
All SI diamonds are designated as SI1 or SI2. These are considered subgrades. SI1 is the higher of the two.
SI2 diamonds have inclusions which you may—or may not—be able to see with the naked eye, at least when observing the stone from above. They’ll be visible without magnification in most cases, but not always. The inclusions will be more visible when viewing the stone from the side.
What is the Distinction Between SI1 and SI2 Diamond Clarity?
The difference between these two clarity levels is based on the visibility of their inclusions.
For example, most SI1 diamond inclusions can’t be seen with the naked eye. They require the magnification of at least a loupe, sometimes a microscope, when viewed from above.
In SI2 diamonds, the flaws are typically much more visible, and can be seen without the use of a loupe or microscope in most cases. However, they are typically located toward the sides of the diamond—they’re not obvious, large flaws that are visible when looking through the stone from above.
How is SI2 Compared to I1 Clarity?
The I clarity level has three subgrades—I1, I2, and I3. The highest of these is I1. With these diamonds, there’s no need for magnification to see flaws through the top of the stone. This isn’t usually the case with SI2 diamonds.
While a few might have inclusions visible through the top, they are much smaller and there are fewer of them than you might notice in an I1 stone. Essentially, SI2 represents the divide between diamonds which have inclusions that are practically invisible versus those that have very visible flaws.
SI2 Clarity Scams—What You Should Know.
For those who aren’t very experienced with diamonds, noticing the distinction between a very good I1 stone and an SI2 on the less valuable end of the scale may be difficult. Unscrupulous diamond sellers and jewelers may misrepresent a stone’s clarity grade in order to charge more for it.
If there are flaws that are easily visible from the top of the stone without magnification, it’s worth considering that it may not be an SI2 stone, even if that’s what the seller is saying it is. It’s possible, of course, for some SI2 stones to have visible inclusions from that angle, but rather rare.
How to Avoid Being Scammed
Of course, if you are not a gemologist, it’s not the best idea to try to determine a stone’s grade on your own. Instead, you should look only to buy diamonds that have been certified. Don’t simply trust any certificate you’re shown, however. It’s important to take note of which lab issued it.
There are only a few well-known certification labs, including the GIA and the AGS. Reputable sellers choose to sell stones certified by reputable labs.
- Which Diamonds are Certified?
- Who Certifies Diamonds and How
- The Fifth C of Diamonds – Certification
- Local Jewelry Store Checklist
Is an SI2 Clarity Diamond Worth the Money?
The main advantage of purchasing an SI2 clarity diamond over one that’s a higher clarity grade is that it should be less expensive. In some cases, an SI2 diamond could save you thousands of dollars.
Of course, you also want to choose a diamond that you’ll be happy with. Take into consideration the stone’s setting, for example. If the sides of the stone are generally well covered, an SI2 stone could be an inexpensive alternative that doesn’t disrupt the beauty of the overall piece at all.
Take the time to compare stones of different clarities, and even stones with the same clarity—some settings may make some SI2 diamond flaws more obvious than others.
Other Things You Should Consider
In addition to the setting and the clarity, also consider the cut of the diamond. Make sure you only choose a diamond that has a cut rated as “good” at a minimum. The better the cut, the more brilliant it will be, and the less visible its inclusions.