Let’s talk about I2 Clarity Diamonds.
I2 Clarity falls directly in the center of the I Clarity Grading Range (which is I1, I2 and I3).
I Clarity basically means:
Imperfect, or Included.
But more than likely you’ll also hear “Eye-Visible“, and that’s because I Clarity Diamonds are the Lowest Clarity Grades on the market (just above Industrial Diamonds), and they DO have eye-visible Inclusions in them!
Take a peek at the Clarity Grading Chart below. You see, as the Clarity gets lower on down the list, the amount of Flaws increase. Not to mention the fact that the size of them, and how obvious they stand out becomes…
A closer look at the I Clarity Range using real Diamonds would look more like this…
The True Definition of an I2 Clarity Diamond is:
An I2 Clarity Diamond has Inclusions or Flaws that are very visible to the unaided eye!
So when you glance down at an I2 Clarity Stone, you’ll see things like: Pin-Points, Large Feathers, Black Carbon Spots, Fractures, Chips, Cloudy Areas, Crystals and Lines, as shown below…
And yes, in an I2 Diamond, they will be noticeable!
There are many reasons why one would want to buy such an Included Diamond:
- They are Cheaper – it can cut the COST by about HALF!
- You can buy a Bigger Carat Weight Diamond with the Money you’ll Save
- Most people can’t see Visible Inclusions anyway (they have bad eyes, or they just don’t care)
- Most Diamonds on the market are Included, or have Flaws to some degree (Visible or Microscopic)
- I2 Diamonds don’t need to be Certified! (Usually only Higher Quality Diamonds demand this)
- No one is going to Switch, Swap or Steal your Diamond
- Some I2 Clarity Stones do face up very nice!
There are also some bad reasons to owning such a Low Clarity Diamond…
- You’ll see Inclusions and Blemishes for the rest of your life (and you’ll always try to "wipe" them away)
- Your Diamond may lack Sparkle and Brilliance, and look Dull, Dark and Lifeless!
- You won’t get much Value using it as a Trade-In or Upgrade
- I2 Clarity will also be Hard to Sell!
- Large Inclusions can actually Weaken the Diamond
- Low Clarity often means the Color and the Cut of the Diamond is Low as well
- When you show off your ring, the Flaws will be the FIRST thing people see!
So there’s Both Good Points and Bad!
You’re the only one who can decide if you’d be happy with such a stone…
Like I said, I have seen some stones face up very nicely. Some actually do look more like an SI Clarity Diamond. It’s rare, but if you look hard enough I’m sure you’ll find some in the local Jewelry Stores or even online.
Generally the I2 Diamonds that look better are the ones that have “White” Inclusions in them, versus “Black” Inclusions (like Black Carbon Spots).
Compare the 2 Diamonds Below…
Black Inclusions are just more Obvious!
The Flaws in an I2 Diamonds (under a microscope) are fascinating to look at. Plus, it can also help you understand Clarity much better, and much faster.
Some Diamonds are so filled with Flaws they look like a Big Jigsaw Puzzle!
Just make sure, if you decide you want one, that it doesn’t have huge Feathers or Lines or Fractures running across the stone. Those could really weaken the Diamond Structure, hurt the Integrity of the Stone, and make it very easy to hit it and Chip it, Crack it or even Snap it in two.
A lot of mainstream Jewelry Stores (who really push “Price” over "Quality"), like Kays, Zales and Helzberg, do sell I2 Clarity Diamonds (as well as Higher Grade Diamonds of course). Take a peek below at some of their Deals…
Most Diamond Dealers though won’t sell I2 or I3 Diamonds… They just don’t want to be associated with Lower Quality Goods! The stones don’t look great, they know most people wouldn’t be happy with them, and Diamonds of this Clarity have a habit of tying up inventory and staying in stock for many, many years.
It’s just not worth it!
Looking at two of the biggest Diamond Dealers online, you’ll see that neither of them carry I2 Clarity Diamonds. Blue Nile doesn’t even carry ANY I Clarity Stones, and James Allen only carries I1 as their lowest grade.
So is an I2 Clarity Diamond Right for you?
If you don’t mind some Flaws, are willing to sacrifice Clarity (maybe for a Larger Carat Weight), and want to Save a lot of Money, then by all means check them out.
But if Quality is an issue, then I would recommend sticking with a little bit better Clarity like SI1 or SI2.
That way, you won’t be seeing spots before your eyes!
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About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.