Diamond clarity is one of the key factors that help assess diamonds and their value, whether they are mined or lab-grown diamonds.
In this blog, we deep dive into I2 diamonds — what they are, how good their clarity is, and whether you should buy I2 diamonds. If you are looking to buy lab-grown diamonds at an affordable price, this article is definitely for you.
Diamond clarity is the absence of inclusions such as blemishes, bruises, marks, cracks, both internal and external. Diamonds are graded on a scale of Flawless (FL) to Included (I1, I2, and I3).
Here’s an expert diamond clarity scale:
Flawless: Total transparency. These gems are exceptionally rare.
Very, Very Slightly Included: Near transparency. Inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Again, rare.
Very Slightly Included: While inclusions are present and more easily detected by a jeweler, they are still microscopic (by 10x).
Slightly Included: Inclusions are discrete, but obvious to a jeweler. They may or may not be seen by the naked eye.
An I2 clarity grade falls within the lower range of the diamond clarity scale. Mined or lab diamonds with an I2 grade have noticeable inclusions that can impact the overall beauty and brilliance of the diamond. However, due to this, I2 diamonds are budget-friendly. So, if you’re looking at diamond price as the main purchase decision factor, you could consider I2 grade.
As I2 diamonds have inclusions, they are not suitable for engagement or wedding or other special occasions. However, these diamonds can be used as side stones, which are typically used around the main diamond in jewelry.
While I2 diamonds have visible flaws, they are an affordable option. And despite their flaws, I2 diamonds are at times preferred for their uniqueness. It's important to remember that the reason I2 diamonds are budget-friendly is because they have faults.
In some cases, you might come across I2 diamonds as side stones or the smaller diamonds around the bigger, main diamond. These tiny diamonds blend seamlessly into the overall design, and any minor imperfections become virtually invisible. In this case, there's no need to splurge on a higher clarity grade since the inherent beauty of these diamonds will shine through regardless.
Conversely, if clarity and high-quality is your priority, you must avoid I2 diamonds. Why? Because clarity significantly impacts a diamond’s ability to sparkle. The number and size of inclusions play a key role in giving its sparkle quality. Moreover, since these diamonds are already damaged, it's easy for them to face more damage.
It is important to consider the density and place of blemishes or inclusions in the I2 diamond as this will decide how the light dispersion occurs on the diamonds. Truth is, not all inclusions are equal, hence consider the placement and location.
Along with diamond clarity, you must also diamond color and cut as these factors also influence the impact of inclusions on diamond performance.
Another factor to consider is the jewelry design for which you’re looking to buy lab diamonds of I2 clarity grade. It may be possible that the placement of I2 diamonds in a particular design might not interfere with its performance. In this case, it’s cost-effective to buy I2 diamonds.
If inclusions are in diamond girdle, you could opt for a prong setting as it would provide a protective cradle to your I2 diamond and thus hide inclusions.
Inclusions in the diamond pavilion could work when you choose a bezel setting as it can conceal the lower portion view.
If you’re looking to buy a lab-diamond with I2 clarity, you could look up online lab made diamond manufacturers and retailers. Many man-made diamond manufacturers offer I2 grade diamonds that could work perfectly well on various jewelry pieces and could also be easy on your pocket.
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