Best Place to Buy VS Diamonds in 2021 (VS1 & VS2 Clarity Options)

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Looking for the best place to VS Diamonds online?

Perfect! In this LearningJewelry.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are VS Diamonds?
  • Red Flags When Buying VS Diamonds?
  • Are VS Diamonds Worth the Price Tag?
  • And much more!
vs1 and vs2 diamond info

Below is a quick list of all my top picks. Keep scrolling to learn more about my best buying tips and tricks, as well as a comprehensive FAQ section. 

Top 4 Best Places To Buy VS Clarity Diamonds Online

  1. James Allen (My Top Pick)
  2. Clean Origin (Best VS Lab Diamonds)
  3. Blue Nile (Best GIA Certified VS Diamonds)
  4. Ritani (Best Cost Analysis for VS Diamonds)

What Are VS Diamonds?

When talking about "VS" diamonds, we're talking about the clarity of a diamond. All diamond quality is determined by the 4Cs as put forth by the Gemological Institute of America.

Clarity is one of those Cs. Clarity is how free of natural inclusions and blemishes your stone is. 

VS clarity diamonds consist of two individual grades, VS1 and VS2. They are the 3rd tier of diamond clarity on the clarity scale.

VS stands for Very Slightly Included, which means that very slight and minor inclusions can be seen when the diamond is under 10x magnification. 

For more info on VS diamonds, you can check out the FAQ at the bottom of the page. 

#1 Buying VS Diamonds At James Allen

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When you're buying VS diamonds, James Allen is our number one pick. The reason why we think it's the best is because of their flawless 360ˆviewer. 

Since VS diamonds can have visible inclusions, you don't want to buy from a chain store like Jared, Kay, or Zales. These places sell preset diamonds and most of them are I1 or SI clarity in store. Online, you might find a VS diamond on their sites for probably double what you'd find at James Allen. 

Not to mention that James Allen has lots of loose diamonds for you to look at from the comfort of your own home. Using their viewer, you can ensure that you don't receive a diamond with a dark inclusion in the center. 

Check out the video below of two VS2 diamonds (similar in price and other grades) using James Allen's 360˚viewer.  

Can you see how much more clear the first VS2 diamond is than the second? 

The price difference is about $130, but visually it makes a major difference. The reflections in the second diamond really show where all the dark inclusions are. This is why you need a clear 360˚ viewer. 

James Allen also carries certified diamonds for half the cost those stores do as well. They carry mostly GIA and IGI certified diamonds, but you should only purchase GIA or AGS diamonds when buying natural VS diamonds (mined, not lab created).

GIA certified diamonds are the most accurate grading labs, so you can be sure you're getting what you're paying for.

Read also>> Best places to buy GIA diamonds?

The other thing is about James Allen is they have the largest selection of loose VS diamonds. A viewer is great, but it means nothing if you don't have a wide selection to pick from. 

James Allen carries around 6,200 VS2 diamonds (min H color, min 1 ct, Very Good+) and almost 5,900 high quality VS1 diamonds of different diamond shapes. That's about 12,000 different VS diamonds to choose from. 

The price of a 1 carat colorless and near colorless, ideal cut VS diamonds from James Allen will start out in the low end at about $3100.  On the high end, it can reach up to over $500,000 for a 10 carat ideal cut diamond with a clarity grade of VS1. 

In addition to a large selection and crystal-clear viewer for VS diamonds, they also include a free lifetime warranty with all your jewelry. So whether you've built your own ring, earrings, or IF diamond pendant, you get a free warranty.

A lot of brands won't cover routine maintenance like James Allen does.

Pros

  • Clear 350˚ view on diamonds
  • 12,000 VS diamonds
  • Half the cost of chain store diamonds
  • One on one with diamond expert
  • Free lifetime warranty

Cons

  • offers IGI diamonds

#2 Buying VS Diamonds At Clean Origin

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Clean Origin is a baby to the industry of online diamonds, but don't count them out just yet. Even though they've only been around since 2017, they are our favorite lab diamond store online. 

Lab grown diamonds have been growing increasingly popular, especially with newer generations. People are slowly learning that lab diamonds (formerly called synthetic) are still real diamonds. 

Clean Origin sells lab diamond jewelry in every form, including bracelets. They allow you to choose your own lab diamond using their 360˚viewer. Their diamond viewer is a little complex, with a bunch of added features. Not necessarily needed, but some people might like the extra scrutiny.

Check it out in my video below:

Their selection of diamonds is a bit smaller compared to James Allen. They have around 4000 VS2 diamonds and 5000 VS1 diamonds of different individual grades and certification. 

The cost of a 1 carat round ideal cut VS1 diamond with minimum H color will start at $1400 on the low end and $53,000 on the high end. For VS2 diamonds, it'll start at $1300, all the way up to $62,000! There are of course, different quality factors that affect price which might cause some VS1 diamonds to cost less than VS2 diamonds. 

The disadvantage to buy lab grown diamonds is that they are much less valuable than natural diamonds. The value of lab grown diamonds is always dropping, so prices fluctuate. This makes them ineligible for trade-in or upgrading. All of our other picks have a diamond buyback program. 

Read also: Natural diamonds vs lab diamond

But a cool thing about buying at Clean Origin is that you're going to be more likely to find eye-clean VS2 diamonds to choose from than other places. Lab diamonds don't have oddly shaped inclusions like natural ones do. Their inclusions are longer and needle-like, which are usually less noticeable unless they're big. 

The reason you can see it so clearly above through the pavilion of the emerald cut diamond is because clarity imperfections are easier seen through them and Asscher cut diamonds

Clean Origin doesn't have a great warranty though, only a manufacturer's one. Basically it just covers design and manufacturing defects. Prongs, rhodium plating, and stone tightening will have to be paid for. 

But what they lack in warranty they make up for in return policy. Lots of people are skeptical about buying engagement rings online.

Clean Origin cushions those people with a 100 day return. Keep your lab diamond engagement ring for a while and make sure you like it. None of our other picks do this. 

Pros

  • Exclusively lab diamond store
  • 100 day return policy
  • More eye-clean VS2 diamonds
  • Much cheaper than mined diamond stores

Cons

  • No buyback program
  • Manufacturer's warranty only covers design flaws


#3 Buying VS Diamonds At Blue Nile 

Blue Nile is the godfather of all online diamond retailers. They have been around since 1999, earning them a good standing reputation as a safe online diamond store. 

Like our other picks, they sell loose diamonds and ring settings as well as a large collection of gemstone jewelry. I really like Blue Nile's selection of ring settings to choose from when you build your own ring. They have plenty of their own style settings like their Gallery Collection, which are high quality rings set in platinum. Or, you can opt for a brand designer like ZAC Posen or Monique Lhuillier. 

They have around 40,000 different VS2 diamonds (from small carat to large) and almost 40,000 different VS1 diamonds with assorted grades and shapes. That's more than any of our other picks and all of their diamonds are GIA certified. 

The drawback is that not all of Blue Nile's loose diamonds have 360˚ viewing. You can filter the diamonds to reflect the ones that do, which is nice. Being able to visibly see your diamond before you buy it is essential when purchasing diamonds online. 

If we narrow it down using the 360˚ filter, we are left with about 13,000 loose diamonds for each VS grade. Still a ton, but consider other grading factors like carat weight and cut grades. That'll narrow the search down even more. 

On the low end, a VS2 diamond (with same qualities above) at Blue Nile will run you around $5000. Top quality ideal cut round VS2 diamonds will run a max of $11,000. Not too bad in comparison to some of the other high dollar items. But while the maximum may be smaller, the minimum is much higher than some of our other picks. 

Still, people often choose Blue Nile over most online retailers, so it's clear that price isn't everything to all. 

Lastly, I really wish they had a real warranty, not a manufacturer's one. Any routine maintenance to your jewelry will have to be done at an additional cost. 

Pros

  • Only carries GIA certified diamonds
  • Wide selection of ring settings
  • Long standing reputation
  • Buyback

Cons

  • Warranty doesn't cover routine repairs
  • Doesn't have 360˚ viewing on all diamonds
  • More expensive on average


#4 Buying VS Diamonds At Ritani

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Known best as a brand name ring designer, Ritani has ventured into the world of diamonds online. They carry loose diamonds (natural and lab created) as well as their patented ring settings and other fine jewelry. 

Ritani's selection of diamonds overall is much smaller that our other picks, but that doesn't mean it's not a good choice. They carry over 4500 colorless/near colorless VS diamonds weighing a minimum of 1 carat, with ideal cut/very good cut grades.

Unfortunately, over 3,000 of them are popular diamond shapes like round, princess, and cushion cut. If you're looking for a pear cut diamond, you'll have less than 200 to choose from.  So, if like more unique diamond shapes, you might not have the biggest pool to pick from here at Ritani. 

One thing that sets Ritani apart from its competitors is their market analysis that comes complete with all their diamonds. They break down the cost of your diamond and show you how much the processing and shipping fees are from the manufacturer. They also show you how much they charge in markup costs too. Having an analysis like this definitely instills customer trust, especially those people who think diamonds are a ripoff altogether. 

ritani market analysis

Now if only they could give us 360˚ viewing on ALL their loose diamonds, I'd be ecstatic. Ritani's biggest fault on their site is the fact that not all of their diamonds have 360 viewing and some of them don't even have anything but a stock photo.

Fortunately, they say they can provide HD photos of any of their diamonds within 48 hours. But I feel like a lot of people would just rather purchase from a retailer like James Allen that has a 360˚ view on EVERY diamond.  

ritani 360 view setting

That is, unless you really like their ring settings. Another benefit gained from buying diamonds from Ritani is that they were a ring setting brand first. Meaning, you can pick from a collection of unique engagement rings that no other brand has. Every store has a pavé halo, or a cathedral solitaire ring. Ritani allows you to pick from their exclusive pool. And they're not a huge brand, so the originality deepens. But remember, these setting will be more expensive than unbranded ones. 

Read also: Should you buy a cathedral ring setting?

Lastly, I do want to point out another advantage to buying with Ritani-a free lifetime warranty. Their warranty covers routine maintenance like rhodium plating, prong retipping, and stone tightening. 

Pros

  • Market Analysis
  • Original ring settings
  • Name brand selections
  • Free lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive ring settings
  • Inconsistent on pictures and 360˚ video
  • smaller selection of unique diamond shapes


Are VS diamonds real?

Believe it or not, but this is really asked a lot. VS Diamonds are real diamonds. The only reason people might think it's fake is because a lot of people know that natural diamonds have inclusions. 

But since VS1 and VS2 diamonds can appear flawless, some might assume they're fake like a moissanite or cubic zirconia. Thankfully, there are many ways to test if a diamond is real. 

Read also>> Ways to see if a diamond is real

Which is better,  a VS or VVS diamond?

If we're talking from a diamond expert's opinion, VVS diamonds are more valuable than VS diamonds. They are on a higher clarity tier, so they will cost more and fetch higher prices. 

That's not to say that you can't have a crappy VS or VVS diamond though. Your other diamond grades are crucial in determining best quality. A 1 carat round VVS2 diamond with a Good cut grade and D color is going to be worse quality than an ideal/excellent cut VS1 diamond with the same grades. 

The reason for this is because you should never compromise on diamond cut, especially with round diamonds. You should always choose ideal/excellent cut and very good cut grades for other fancy diamond shapes. 

What's the difference between VS1 diamonds and VS2 diamonds?

The difference is minimal between the VS1 and VS2, but you will find VS1 diamonds generally cost more and are more valuable. They are also more likely to be free of visible imperfections . 

But as carat weights get larger, you'll notice the difference between the two VS grades. VS1 diamonds may have one or two dark inclusions, while VS2 diamonds may have more. 

If you buy from an online retailer with a 360˚ viewer, the difference between the two is the price you're paying by choosing an eye-clean VS2 diamond that looks flawless. 

Do VS diamonds need certification?

EVERY diamond need certification. 

VS diamonds might not be the highest clarity grade, but it doesn't mean they aren't expensive. That being said, how would you feel if you bought what you thought was a fantastic VS1 diamond, only to find out it was an SI2 diamond?

You probably wouldn't be too happy. You paid VS1 prices for a diamond that is two clarity grades lower. You'd assume this is because the jewelry store is a scam. That's not quite true. 

Read also>> Which diamond certifications should you avoid?

If you're buying a VS diamond, you'll want to only purchased certified diamonds. Certified diamonds are looked at by a professional diamond lab to ensure that said diamond is exactly what it's advertised at.

 But you can't just get any certified diamond. You should only get diamonds certified by the GIA or the American Gem Society. Both the GIA and AGS are the top diamond grading labs and are the standard for diamonds.

gia cert report

Many brick and mortar stores like Kay and Zales sell IGI certified diamonds. James Allen does too. We don't recommend buying any IGI diamonds because their diamond grades are not as strict as the other two.

It's actually possible to take an IGI diamond and get it certified from the GIA. You'd be surprised to know that it could come out differently than it was advertised, because of the grading report, not the actual store. But they don't tell you this at the stores either.

Stick to shopping for VS diamonds at trusted retailers like James Allen and you'll be happy you did.

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