SI1 vs VS2: What's the Difference Between These Clarity Grades?

couple holding hands with woman wearing engagement ring

Buying a diamond engagement ring is all about priorities. To stay within budget, which of the four C's — cut, color, clarity and carat weight — are most important to you? And which are you willing to de-emphasize so you can spend more of your budget on the other? When making those decisions — or if you've already made a decision about clarity — it's helpful to know the difference between SI1 and VS2 diamonds.

Diamond clarity is graded on a scale from FL (flawless, and accordingly expensive) to I3 (a diamond with a number of visible inclusions, a grade not sold by With Clarity). The most popular grades sit in the middle of the scale: VS1, VS2, SI1 and SI2. (VS stands for Very Slightly included, and SI denotes Slightly Included).They're best-sellers because of their affordability, and they mostly look "clean" to the naked eye.

Why you might want to choose a VS2 or SI1 diamond

You might want to consider a VS2 or SI1 diamond if clarity is not your absolute priority, and you're looking to stretch your budget a bit — to go up in carat weight, perhaps.

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A VS2 or SI1 diamond might also be an ideal option if you've decided on a diamond shape that hides inclusions well. Round diamonds, as well as other brilliant cut diamonds, tend to camouflage inclusions within their many facets and resulting sparkle. Step cut diamonds, such as emerald and Asscher, have fewer facets and more flat surface area, making inclusions potentially more visible.

Is an SI1 clarity good?

It can be, yes! But that depends on the individual stone. We suggest working with an expert gemologist who can factor in your priorities and budget — like those on staff at With Clarity.

If you're opting for a smaller diamond, you have more working room for clarity grades. it's harder to spot inclusions in smaller stones. (You’ll have less wiggle room as your diamond carat size increases.) But if you're set on a step cut diamond, it's not a good choice as there are fewer facets to hide inclusions in the stone.

SI1 vs VS2: what's the difference?

Theoretically, the difference between SI1 and VS2 diamonds is that SI1 diamonds are more included than VS2 diamonds. But sometimes an SI1 can be a better choice than a VS2 diamond, because the inclusions are less noticeable or they're in a place that's hidden by your setting or the prongs holding it. Again, it's all about the individual stone.

si1 vs vs2 zoomed out comparison

SI1 vs VS2: how their prices stack up

Even between those two grades, diamond prices can vary widely. But generally speaking, choosing a SI1 over a VS2 diamond could save you 5 to 10 percent on the total cost.

Ready to make a selection? All of With Clarity's diamonds are accompanied by GIA reports, and our expert on-staff gemologists can help you make the best selection to work for your budget. Contact one anytime through email, phone, or chat. Or fill out the form below and they’ll pull diamond suggestions tailored to your preferences and budget, which will be delivered right to your inbox.

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