Are SI Diamonds Worth Buying?

Are SI Diamonds Worth Buying?

Are you in search of the ideal platform to purchase SI Diamonds on the internet? Excellent! This comprehensive guide will provide you with insights on:

  • What SI Diamonds are
  • Warning signs to watch out for when purchasing SI Diamonds
  • Whether SI Diamonds are worth their cost

Here is a brief rundown of my recommended options. For detailed information on my top buying recommendations and an extensive FAQ section, please continue reading.

Where to Buy SI Diamonds Online

  1. James Allen
  2. Blue Nile

Are SI Diamonds Worth Buying?

The discovery of the process to cut diamonds to reveal their brilliance led to the need for a different system to differentiate between high-quality and lower-quality diamonds.

The Gemological Institute of America otherwise known as the GIA was established in 1931 to address this need. The institute has since become the global authority on gemology and jewelry, providing extensive resources and education to the industry.

The 4Cs of diamond quality – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat – were developed by the GIA to serve as the industry standard. Every diamond retailer around the world always follows this system, which helps to ensure uniformity and consistency in the grading of diamonds.

The Clarity component of the 4Cs refers to the presence or absence of inclusions or blemishes within the diamond. The Clarity scale ranges from Flawless to Included, with SI (Slightly Included) being the second-to-bottom tier. The SI tier is further divided into SI2 and SI1 levels, with SI1 being of higher quality than SI2.

Despite being slightly included, an SI diamond may still be an excellent option if it is eye-clean, meaning that any inclusions are not visible to your eyes. It is possible to find an exclusive eye-clean SI clarity diamond, and ways to achieve this can be learned from a jeweler or through online research.

  1. James Allen

Shop at James Allen

James Allen should be your top choice if you’re searching for a jewelry store with an extensive collection of SI clarity diamonds. This is due to several reasons.

First off, all the loose diamonds in James Allen’s collection are certified by the IGI, GIA, or AGS. However, it’s important to note that GIA and AGS certifications are recommended when purchasing diamonds.

In addition, purchasing James Allen’s diamonds reveals that you don’t necessarily need a rather flawless diamond so as to select a fantastic one. This is in contrast to most corporate stores that may sell you included diamonds for higher prices and suggest higher clarity grades, like VVS1 or VVS2 diamonds, to avoid visible inclusions.

What’s more, James Allen provides complete transparency by allowing you to choose from more than 3,400 SI clarity diamonds a carat or so with varying grades. The interactive 360˚ view technology permits you to personally select a ideal, eye-clean SI diamond for a lower price.

What’s more, James Allen provides education by allowing you to deal with a professional gemologist when inspecting a diamond. They’ll review your diamond in your presence including the report, and answer questions if any.

Lastly, James Allen offers a warranty for free with all their fine jewelry and engagement rings, covering routine maintenance and a free resizing on the first year of purchase.

However, it’s worth noting that James Allen offers IGI certified diamonds and special orders cannot be returned.


  • Provides over 3,400 diamonds
  • They offer both fancy colored diamonds and lab-created diamonds
  • Includes a lifetime warranty


  • Only offer diamonds with IGI certification (no other certification options)
  • Does not accept returns for special orders

Shop at James Allen

  1. Blue Nile

Shop at Blue Nile

Blue Nile offers a broad range of SI2 and SI1 diamonds, with various grades and shapes available. Although not all diamonds have the famous 360˚ view, there are still plenty that do, so finding a stunning diamond shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, more than 1,800 of the 2,500 SI diamonds in their collection have this feature.

All the loose diamonds at Blue Nile are certified by GIA, ensuring that they have been evaluated by some of the world’s top diamond experts. While a carat SI1 ideal cut diamond that features H color from this brand may cost between $4,000 to $5,000, it is slightly pricier than similar offerings from close competitors such as James Allen.

In addition, Blue Nile has a 30-day free return policy for all customers, except for special orders. However, their warranty only covers manufacturing defects and does not include services like stone tightening, rhodium plating, and prong retipping. Nonetheless, Blue Nile provides free resizing for their rings if the need arises.


  • Offers a wide selection of SI1 and SI2 diamonds, with varying grades and shapes
  • Over 1,800 of their 2,500 SI diamonds have 360˚ viewing
  • All loose diamonds are certified by GIA
  • Has a good reputation among customers
  • Offers free returns within 30 days


  • Not all diamonds have 360˚ viewing
  • Only offers a manufacturer’s warranty, which does not cover certain services such as rhodium plating, prong retipping, or stone tightening.
  • Slightly more expensive than some competitors, such as James Allen.

Shop at Blue Nile

Are SI Clarity Diamonds Cheap or Expensive?

Diamonds with I clarity grade are on the lowest tier when it comes to the diamond clarity scale, meaning they have the least clarity and are therefore the least expensive. However, the price of a diamond is determined by many factors, apart from the usual 4Cs. Factors such as diamond shapes, fluorescence, and proportions can all impact the cost of a diamond.

When buying a diamond with I clarity, it is important to consider where you purchase it from. Online diamond stores such as Blue Nile or James Allen offer lower prices for I diamonds, making them a great option. However, many people still shop at brick-and-mortar stores like Zales and Jared.

Unfortunately, these large jewelry stores often overcharge for I diamonds. For instance, a typical solitaire setting with I color and a 1 carat I1 engagement ring from Zales can cost up to $6,500. By contrast, the same solitaire cathedral diamond engagement ring at James Allen can cost significantly less.


Despite the slight differences between the rings, such as the setting height, the price difference is significant. For the price of the I clarity diamond ring from Zales, one could purchase matching pair of solitaire stud earrings to match the engagement ring and  save a few bucks on the warranty.

Shopping online for an I clarity diamond ring can save you up to 57% compared to purchasing from a large jewelry store like Zales. While the actual price will vary depending on the diamond you select, purchasing online puts you in control of the product and ensures you are getting the best possible price.

In summary, while I diamonds may be the least expensive option in terms of clarity grade, there are many other factors to consider when determining the price of a diamond. Online diamond stores like James Allen and Blue Nile offer competitive pricing for I diamonds, while brick-and-mortar jewelry stores like Jared and Zales may overcharge for these diamonds. Shopping online for an I diamond engagement ring can save you a significant amount of money and put you in total control of the product you purchase.

What to Look for When Buying SI Diamonds Online

When choosing an SI clarity diamond online, it’s important to note that its quality is not solely determined by its clarity grade. There are other factors that tend to contribute to the quality of the diamond, such as carat weight, cut, and shape, as well as small details like diamond proportions for non-round cut diamonds and fluorescence.

Carat Weight

Carat weight plays a significant role in both the cost and quality of a diamond. Opting for a large carat weight requires higher grades in the other categories to maintain its beauty.

However, ideal cut diamonds might be an exception to the rule due to their superior brilliance and ability to mask low color grades and inclusions.

Cut and Shape

Cut and shape are also crucial factors to consider. Marquise-shaped diamonds are prone to chipping at the points and may exhibit a bowtie effect, while princess cut diamonds may also chip despite their brilliant cut.

On the other hand, Brilliant cut diamonds, like round, princess, oval, cushion, and pear shapes usually have minute facets that enhance the diamond’s sparkle, making them an excellent choice for those with darker inclusions in their center stone.

RECOMMENDED:  Should You Buy a Princess Cut Diamond?

It’s also worth noting that larger diamonds are more difficult to cut than smaller ones, which explains why a 2-carat diamond is not simply double the cost of a 1-carat diamond. By keeping these factors in mind when selecting an SI diamond, you can ensure that you find the right balance of quality and value.

Pear Cut Diamond at James Allen


You should have more success locating a lovely SI clarity diamond since it’s usually quite challenging to obtain an alluring step-cut I clarity diamond. Your emerald and Asscher cuts of diamonds are step cuts.

Asscher Cut Diamond at James Allen


Diamond Visibility

To ensure that you’re making an informed purchase when selecting an SI diamond, it’s recommended that you purchase from online retailers that offer some form of technology for viewing, and in this case, the 360-degree viewer comes highly recommended. This is because SI diamonds are not considered eye-clean, and their natural inclusions may not be visible to the naked eye.

Leading online diamond retailers such as Whiteflash, James Allen, and Blue Nile offer the famous 360-degree viewing technology. Nonetheless, among the three, James Allen is the only online retailer that provides this technology for all their single loose diamonds.

Both Blue Nile and James Allen also allow their customers to toggle their diamonds continuously to examine it from different angles and observe how it interacts with light. This can help you identify any obvious or dark inclusions that your SI diamond may have.

It’s important to note that diamond inclusions are often natural and can indicate that the diamond is genuine. Diamond simulants may resemble real diamonds in appearance, but they have different physical and chemical properties.

Additionally, SI diamonds are usually the last clarity tier before eye-clean grades. Under 10x magnification, slight inclusions can be visible in eye-clean diamonds.

However, different inclusions are created differently, and darker and obvious inclusions are typically found in low clarity grades. By using a 360-degree viewer and observing your SI diamond carefully, you can ensure that you make an informed purchase and select a diamond that meets your standards.

Choosing Diamonds

It’s important to consider hand-selecting a diamond to ensure that you get the best value for money. In this case, SI2 diamonds may be more challenging to find with no visible flaws, while SI1 diamonds can be easier to come by.

Brick-and-mortar jewelry stores often don’t provide the option to choose your preferred diamond. Although retailers like Jared and Kay Jewelers have additional loose diamonds in their online offerings, they have limited inventory and aren’t certified by AGS or GIA.

When you select your own diamond, the client can prioritize finding a diamond with inclusions located in inconspicuous areas such as near prongs or in small cloudy regions.

For example, consider the two H color, excellent cut, 1.01 carat diamonds, SI2 clarity with a legit IGI certificate shown below.



The white inclusions in the SI2 diamond on the right are much less noticeable than those in the diamond on the left. By hand-selecting your diamond, you can ensure that you choose a diamond with inclusions that are less visible and don’t detract from its overall beauty.

Diamond Certification

It’s unfortunate that most people who shop at well-known online retailers like Kay and Zales are not knowledgeable when it comes to diamond certification. This is especially disheartening since it is one of the most critical factors to consider when searching for online SI diamonds.

Diamond certification is important because it guarantees that you receive what you paid for. Several diamond labs can provide certification, such as the GIA, AGS, IGI, EGL, and GSI.

However, GemEx Reports are usually light performance gem reports, and a serial number that’s inscribed on the girdle doesn’t pass off as certification.

We highly recommend purchasing any type of diamond with legitimate grading reports from either AGS or GIA, as they are the two most reputable diamond labs globally. Technically, the GIA does not use the term “ideal cut” but instead refers to them as “Excellent Cut”, whereas the AGS does.

Unfortunately, some labs have looser diamond grades restriction, which can cause problems later on. For instance, if you purchase an SI2 diamond with IGI certification, the GIA might grade it as a typical I1 clarity, which can cost you a couple of dollars.

RECOMMENDED: Diamond Grading Labs to Avoid

Moreover, when it comes time to sell the diamond, a number of jewelers accept diamonds certified by the AGS or GIA only. Therefore, it’s essential not to settle for anything less than AGS or GIA certification.

Sample Diamond Grading Report From

Returns and Warranties

It’s crucial not to overlook the return policy and warranty when purchasing diamonds online, as many buyers tend to do.

You may think that investing a considerable sum of money in a stunning ring setting and SI diamond should guarantee a lifetime of wear. In all honesty, jewelry pieces are usually made of different natural materials which eventually wear down.

The majority of online diamond rings are crafted from rose gold, white gold, or yellow gold, while some opt for the more durable platinum, which can be quite heavy.

Pure gold, with a karat rating of 24, is very malleable, making it unsuitable for use in ring settings. While some countries use higher karat gold in jewelry, it is very delicate.

Therefore, to give gold more strength and durability, it must be combined with other different metals. The karat rating, whether 10k, 14k, or 18k, indicates the number of parts among the 24 are authentic gold. In most cases, the higher the karat rating, the softer the gold.

When purchasing engagement or wedding rings, most jewelers offer 18k and 14k gold options, both of which are ideal for daily wear. However, 18k gold may wear down more quickly than 14k. Therefore, it is essential to review the warranty and return policy before making a purchase.


You know, even if you are not performing manual labor, we are unaware of how taxing our hands are all day long. You tend to rub your hands on a variety of surfaces while cooking, working at a desk, etc.

Small nicks and scratches will tarnish gold. Rhodium must be added to white gold, since it’s one of the most popular colors for engagement rings. The skin’s natural oils cause it to start becoming yellow. It takes on a silvery hue once more after replating.

The majority of white gold engagement rings require replating annually. However, some people’s natural oils on the skin speed up the fading of the silver.

RECOMMENDED: Where to Buy White Gold Jewelry?

For this reason, you ought to get diamonds from stores that provide a free or premium lifetime warranty. There are various kinds of warranties that last a lifetime, so don’t stop there.

Several merchants, including Blue Nile and Leibish & Co., provide what is known as the manufacturer’s warranty. However, these only address issues with repetition or poor design, stone tightening, prong retipping and Rhodium are not covered. They are nonetheless touted as having lifetime warranty.

Before making a purchase, be sure to read the warranty’s terms. Designer jewelry is not covered by several brands’ warranties. The location of the diamond store is another factor you would want to check.

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