Diamonds are a popular choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry, and with good reason. These beautiful gemstones are known for their hardness, durability, and sparkling appearance. However, with a wide range of SI2 diamond clarity grades available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right diamond for your needs.
One option to consider is an SI2 diamond, which stands for “Slightly Included 2.” These diamonds are graded on a scale from “Flawless” to “Included,” with SI2 falling towards the lower end of the scale. While these diamonds may have more visible inclusions than higher clarity grades, they can still be a great choice for those looking for a high-quality diamond at a more affordable price. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at SI2 diamonds and discuss the pros and cons of choosing this clarity grade.
What are SI2 diamonds?
SI2 diamonds are diamonds that have been graded as “Slightly Included 2” on the clarity scale. This scale ranges from “Flawless” (FL) to “Included” (I) and is used to assess the number, size, and location of any inclusions or blemishes within a diamond.
Inclusions are internal imperfections within a diamond, such as cracks or foreign materials, while blemishes are external imperfections, such as scratches or chips. In general, the fewer and smaller the inclusions and blemishes, the higher the clarity grade and the more valuable the diamond is considered to be.
SI2 diamonds are considered to have slightly more inclusions than diamonds graded as “Slightly Included 1” (SI1), but fewer and smaller inclusions than diamonds graded as “Included” (I1, I2, or I3). These inclusions may be visible to the naked eye when viewed from the top of the diamond (the crown), but they are not typically visible when viewed from the bottom (the pavilion).
Overall, SI2 diamonds are still considered to be high-quality diamonds, but they may have slightly more visible inclusions than higher clarity grades.
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How are SI2 diamonds graded?
SI2 diamonds are graded by trained gemologists who use a 10x magnification loupe to examine the diamond for inclusions and blemishes. The gemologists will look at the diamond from various angles, including the top, bottom, and sides, to determine the number, size, location, and visibility of any inclusions or blemishes.
The clarity grade is then assigned based on the overall appearance of the diamond. Diamonds that are graded as “Slightly Included 2” (SI2) have more visible inclusions than diamonds graded as “Slightly Included 1” (SI1) or “Very Slightly Included” (VS1 or VS2), but fewer and smaller inclusions than diamonds graded as “Included” (I1, I2, or I3).
It’s important to note that the clarity grade is just one factor to consider when buying a diamond. Other important factors include the cut, color, and carat weight of the diamond. It’s also important to work with a trusted jeweler or retailer to ensure that you are getting a high-quality diamond that meets your needs and budget.
Debunking Misconceptions About the SI2 Diamond Clarity Grade
Here are a few misconceptions about the SI2 diamond clarity grade that are worth debunking:
- Misconception: SI2 diamonds are low quality.
Reality: While SI2 diamonds may have slightly more visible inclusions than higher clarity grades, they are still considered to be high-quality diamonds. In fact, the inclusions in an SI2 diamond may not be visible to the naked eye when viewed from the top of the diamond, and they can still have excellent sparkle and fire.
- Misconception: SI2 diamonds are not a good value.
Reality: Because they have slightly more visible inclusions than higher clarity grades, SI2 diamonds are typically less expensive than diamonds with higher clarity grades. This makes them a great option for those looking for a high-quality diamond at a more affordable price.
- Misconception: SI2 diamonds have no sparkle.
Reality: While the inclusions in an SI2 diamond may be visible, they do not necessarily affect the diamond’s ability to sparkle and shine. The cut, which determines how the diamond reflects light, is a more important factor in a diamond’s sparkle.
- Misconception: All SI2 diamonds look the same.
Reality: No two diamonds are exactly the same, and this is true for SI2 diamonds as well. The size, location, and number of inclusions in an SI2 diamond can vary, and this can affect the overall appearance of the diamond. It’s important to carefully examine an SI2 diamond to ensure that it meets your standards and preferences.
Tips for buying SI2 diamonds
- Consider the location and size of the inclusions: When shopping for an SI2 diamond, it’s important to consider the location and size of the inclusions. Inclusions that are located near the edges or corners of the diamond may be more visible than inclusions that are located in the center of the diamond. Similarly, larger inclusions may be more noticeable than smaller ones.
- Use a loupe: A loupe is a small, magnifying glass that is used to examine diamonds. When shopping for an SI2 diamond, it can be helpful to use a loupe to get a closer look at the inclusions and determine their visibility.
- Work with a trusted jeweler or retailer: When buying an SI2 diamond, it’s important to work with a trusted jeweler or retailer who can provide you with a detailed report on the diamond’s quality and help you make an informed decision.
- Don’t sacrifice cut for clarity: While clarity is an important factor to consider when buying a diamond, it’s not the only factor. The cut of a diamond, which determines how it reflects light, is also important. It’s generally a good idea to prioritize cut over clarity, as a well-cut diamond will have more sparkle and fire.
Setting that goes best with SI2
When choosing a setting for an SI2 diamond, you have many options to consider. Here are a few options that may work well with an SI2 diamond:
- Prong setting: A prong setting is a classic choice that works well for showcasing a diamond. In this setting, the diamond is held in place by prongs that are attached to the ring band. This setting allows for maximum light to reach the diamond, which can help to enhance its sparkle.
- Bezel setting: A bezel setting is a type of setting where the diamond is encased in a metal rim. This can help to protect the diamond and reduce the visibility of any inclusions.
- Halo setting: A halo setting is a popular choice that features a center diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds. This can help to draw attention away from any inclusions in the center diamond and create a more cohesive, sparkling look.
- Pave setting: A pave setting is a type of setting where small diamonds are set closely together and held in place by small beads of metal. This setting can create a continuous, sparkling appearance and can help to minimize the visibility of any inclusions in the main diamond.
Ultimately, the best setting for an SI2 diamond will depend on your personal style and preferences. It’s a good idea to try on different settings and see which one you like best.