All VS2 diamonds are considered to be eye clean — IF they’re graded by one of these two diamond-grading labs.
Any diamond graded by the GIA or AGS as VS2 or better clarity is automatically eye clean.
The definition of eye clean is not anything official, however. It’s not a gemological designation. But it’s a real thing all the same. My 3-part definition, which is the definition used across the industry, is this: “A diamond is eye clean if the unaided human eye can’t see any flaws when it is 1) mounted on a ring and 2) worn on a finger 3) at arm’s length.”
But what about SI1 diamonds? “How do I know if my SI1 diamond is eye clean?”
By looking at it closely, checking for the locations and sizes and colors of any inclusions (flaws). Follow the step by step directions below.
First, have a look at some live examples of eye clean SI1 diamonds
Then follow my easy instructions for getting the hang of it, below:
Here’s exactly how to know if your SI1 diamond, or the one you’re looking at, is eye clean:
- Shop only at James Allen, Blue Nile, or other store which gives you full, 360-degree video views, blown up large, of your diamond.
- Look at only GIA, AGS, or IGI graded SI1 diamonds. You can count on these labs not to inflate the grade.
- Look for diamonds that have white or gray inclusions. Or very tiny specks of black.
- Use those 360-degree video views. Turn the diamond around and around. You’ll be able to see some inclusions. (Every SI1 diamond has them.)
- Shrink the views down to about twice or three times the size of the actual diamond. (This is because the best computer screen is nowhere not as sharp as your own eyes when the diamond is truly in front of you.)
- Look for diamonds that have inclusions NOT near the top. Buried deep inside the diamond is better.
- If possible, get some experience looking at diamonds close up, in real life. You can go to a local jeweler. Just don’t take up too much of their time. You won’t buy there. That’s because you’d pay so much more there than you would at James Allen or Blue Nile. Look specifically at SI1 diamonds AND VS2 diamonds (That’s for comparison — ALL VS2 diamonds graded by GIA or AGS are automatically considered to be eye clean.) (But make sure they’re graded by the GIA, AGS, or IGI only. You’re wasting your time looking at diamonds graded VS2 and SI1 by other labs than those three. Some stores don’t even use grading labs! They just eyeball and (with bias in my opinion) just assign a diamond a clarity score.)
Why it’s important to know how to tell eye clean SI1 diamonds apart from non-eye-clean SI1 diamonds
This info graphic about eye clean diamond savings says it all. SI1 is where the bargains are. VS2 and above (if graded by the GIA, AGS, or IGI) are almost 100% guaranteed to be eye clean. In SI2 diamond inventories you CAN find eye clean diamonds but it’s difficult. IN SI3 and worse clarity, you’ll NEVER find an eye clean diamond. So don’t waste your time.
If you can find an SI1 diamond that is eye clean, you’ll pay less for a diamond that looks 100% the same, clarity-wise, as even a Flawless diamond — as long as it’s viewed 1) on a ring 2) worn on a finger 3) and held at arm’s length.