Want to know the difference between VS1 and VVS1 Clarity Diamonds?
You're in the right place. Check out this in-depth comparison of VS1 vs VVS1 Diamonds.
Some questions I'll answer include:
- Is VVS1 better than VS1?
- Are VVS1 diamonds always more expensive?
- Is VS1 a good clarity grade?
What is a VS1 Diamond?
A VS1 diamond is a diamond whose clarity grade has been assessed as a “Very Slightly Included” diamond. VS1 diamonds are part of the Very Slightly Included clarity tier, which consists of two diamond grades: VS1 diamonds and VS2 diamonds. VS1 diamonds are one grade higher than VS2 diamonds and have better clarity.
What is a VVS1 Diamond?
A VVS1 diamond clarity grade has been analyzed as “Very, Very Slightly Included”. Like VS clarity diamonds, the VVS clarity tier also consists of two grades: VVS1 and VVS2. And as you can probably guess, a VVS1 diamond is considered better clarity than VVS2 diamonds.
What is Diamond Clarity?
If you don’t know a whole lot about diamond clarity, I definitely recommend checking out our Diamond Clarity Learning Guide for an in-depth analysis of the importance of clarity when picking out a diamond.
And if you’re already well versed in clarity, or just want the short version, here it is.
Diamond clarity grades are given to diamonds as a way to rate the presence of inclusions and blemishes in a diamond. Though inclusions is the term widely used to describe all clarity characteristics, there are two categories of inclusions and many variations of them.
Some inclusions happen during the diamond crystal growth process and others during the cutting and polishing process. Most inclusions in commercial diamonds impact visibility rather than durability. Still, there are certain types of inclusions that can compromise durability.
Inclusions are described as internal imperfections in a diamond. Oftentimes these are a result of air bubbles, minerals, gas, and other elements that have come into contact with the diamond as it grows within the earth.
Blemishes are surface inclusions. Some blemishes only impact visibility but some blemishes are more likely to leave your diamond vulnerable if accidentally struck.
Diamond graders are to assess the presence of inclusions and blemishes in a diamond according to the following factors:
- Size: The size of inclusions and blemishes present.
- Location: Inclusions and blemishes located in the center table facet of the diamond tend to be more noticeable than inclusions located on the outer edges or in the pavilion.
- Color: Majority of commercial diamonds sold will either have white inclusions or dark inclusions. Dark inclusions are more noticeable than white colored inclusions.Diamonds are even capable of having bright colored inclusions caused by other gem materials, like garnets or emeralds. These are not sold in stores.
- Nature: There are many types of inclusions and characteristics. Some types can affect durability and others only visibility. Some inclusions happen as a result of the growth process and others happen during the cutting and polishing process.
- Relief: The appearance of an inclusion or blemish in relation to the surrounding area. Basically the way an inclusion appears according to the facet cuts around it.
The GIA Clarity Scale
This is the clarity grade scale by the Gemological Institute of America used by majority of the jewelry industry worldwide.
Similarities Between VS1 and VVS1 Diamonds
VS1 and VVS1 Clarity Diamonds Are Both Considered Eye Clean
An eye-clean diamond is a general term to describe diamonds that don’t have visible inclusions when looking with the naked eye. Basically, if a gem grader can’t detect any inclusions by looking straight at it without magnification, it is eye-clean.
Generally, the following clarity grades are considered to be eye-clean diamonds:
It may seem like a lot of clarity grades are eye-clean, but the differences between their individual clarity grades are more apparent under 10x magnification. For the higher clarity grades, the differences are seen at 30-40x magnification.
Keep in mind that eye-clean is also subjective. Though a diamond expert may grade a VS2 diamond as eye clean, it’s possible to see darker inclusions with the unaided eye if you’re looking for them.
But the average person won’t be able to see even a dark inclusion if your diamond’s sparkle is on point. But that’s more about your diamond’s cut quality, which you can learn in-depth about in our Diamond Cut Explained Learning Guide.
VS1 Diamonds and VVS1 Diamonds Don’t Have Dark Inclusions.
I mentioned that there are many types of inclusions and how they’re assessed when given a clarity grade. In commercial diamonds, the inclusions are limited generally to either light colored inclusions or dark inclusions.
Dark inclusions are usually the result of other minerals present in the diamond. But some inclusions are fluid filled and look like bubbles instead of colored.
Under 10x magnification, a VS1 diamond has very slight inclusions. These are typically light colored. But with VS2 diamonds, it’s possible to see very slight dark inclusions.
Both VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds shouldn’t have any dark inclusions at all. The types of inclusions seen at 10x magnification in VVS diamonds are very, very, light. Usually these types of inclusions are very tiny pinpoints or feathers.
Differences Between VS1 and VVS1 Diamonds
VVS1 Diamonds Tend to Be More Expensive Than VS1 Diamonds
There’s a lot of factors beyond clarity that affect the way diamonds are priced. But for this example, let’s just assume we’re comparing the price of a 1 carat VS1 diamond with a 1 carat VVS1 diamond of same quality and shape.
VVS1 diamonds are two grades higher than VS1 clarity diamonds. Though both are eye-clean, their places on the clarity scale will dictate their cost.
The average price difference between a VS1 diamond and VVS1 diamond of same quality ranges between a 10-30% increase.
Regarding VS1 and VVS1 Lab Grown Diamonds
The cost of VS1 and VVS1 diamonds changes drastically when you switch from natural diamonds to lab created diamonds. Natural diamonds are slowly being called mined diamonds, to minimize misinterpretations about lab created diamonds, which are still called synthetic diamonds in many circles.
Lab grown diamonds have the same physical chemical structure as diamonds mined from the earth. They don’t have the same rarity or value-or price.
The price of lab grown diamonds usually comes at a 20-40% discount when compared to mined diamonds of the same quality.
And bonus, the clarity imperfections in lab grown diamonds tend to be less noticeable because the types of inclusions able to happen in lab diamonds is minimized. They don’t come into contact with other minerals in the isolated lab environment during formation.
That means you have a better chance of buying lower clarity grades that are eye-clean than you would in mined diamonds!
A VVS1 Diamond is More Valuable and Rare Than a VS1 Diamond.
Now, back to mined diamonds, or diamonds that have mined from the earth.
A lot of people have skepticism about the supposed “rarity” of diamonds. After all, how many chain jewelry commercials have we seen blabbing about how rare and special diamonds are? Then, you walk into a jewelry store and see as many diamonds as you would candy in a candy store.
And that’s just in a single Kay Jewelers store. Throw in your other retailers like Jared and Zales, diamonds are everywhere. Definitely not your idea of rare.
But that’s because most commercial quality diamonds are actually low quality. As the quality gets higher, the price increases significantly. And when the carat weight increases alongside other diamond grades, the price and value increase substantially.
And since VVS diamonds are higher on the clarity scale than VS diamonds, it’d be safe to assume the VVS1 diamond is more rare and valuable than a VS1 diamond of same quality.
But if the accompanying diamond grades to each diamond are varied, the price, value, and rarity may shift. For example, a 2 carat VS1 clarity diamond with an E color grade would be more rare and valuable than a 1 carat VVS1 diamond with an H color grade.
Which Should You Buy: VS1 Diamonds or VVS1 Diamonds?
Now that you’ve gotten a good grasp on the similarities and differences between buying a VS1 diamond or a VVS1 diamond, let’s get back to our original question.
Is a VS1 clarity diamond or VVS1 clarity diamond the better buy?
Assuming the other diamond grades are the same high quality, they both will be great choices. You can go wrong with either of them regarding clarity.
But for some, rarity and resale value is a big deal. However, if you’re hoping to make a big investment into VVS diamonds, you may want to rethink that. Diamonds don’t have a great resale value unless all grades are high and the carat weight is much higher.
In fact, the only diamonds really worth investing in that get sold at auctions are natural fancy colored diamonds.
But if you want my expert opinion, I’d say the VS1 diamond would be the best value. If both VS1 diamonds and VVS1 diamonds are considered to be eye-clean, why would you pay more for something you can’t see with the naked eye anyway?
After all, how many people are going to look at your engagement ring under 10x magnification? Not a lot, I’m guessing. And if VVS1 diamonds come at a 10-30% increase, it would make sense to buy the VS clarity instead.
But that’s just me. I hope I’ve helped you make a good comparison of VS1 and VVS1 diamonds to help you make a decision about your own diamond engagement ring.