Torn between VS1 or VVS2 clarity for your engagement ring?
In this Learning Guide, we'll compare and contrast all the details you need to know about both VS1 diamonds and VVS2 diamonds, like:
- Are VVS2 diamonds worth the money?
- Do VS1 diamonds have obvious inclusions?
- Are VVS2 diamonds always more expensive?
- Is VVS2 better than VS1?
What is a VS1 Diamond?
VS1 diamonds are diamonds that have been given the diamond clarity grade of “Very Slightly Included”. VS1 diamonds are the highest clarity grade of the two clarity grades in the VS diamonds tier.
VS1 and VS2 diamonds are the first clarity grades considered to be eye clean. Eye clean diamonds are diamonds who have no visible inclusions seen with the naked eye.
Though both VS clarity grades are eye clean, the inclusions in a VS1 diamond are less prominent and noticeable than inclusions found in VS2 diamonds.
What is a VVS2 Diamond?
A VVS2 diamond is higher on the clarity scale than a VS1 diamond, which sits one clarity below it. They are also eye clean diamonds. They will have very, very slight inclusions visible under 10x magnification.
What is Diamond Clarity?
The word “inclusions” might be lost on you if you don’t know much about diamond clarity grades. Never fear, I got you.
Inclusions are natural characteristics that are found within all diamonds, including flawless ones. Though used as a blanket term, inclusions are split up into internal and external inclusions. In the trade, external inclusions are called blemishes.
Blemishes are found on the surface of a diamond. Not just the top either. A diamond has many facets and blemishes can reside on any facet. You can find blemishes on the underside of a diamond too.
A clarity grade is given to a diamond based on the details of the inclusions and blemishes found within the diamond. Diamond graders assess the following details regarding inclusions and blemishes in a diamond in order to decide a clarity grade:
- 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.
It’s important to know that there are many types of inclusions. Majority of the time, inclusions are a visible characteristic of your diamond. But in some cases, some inclusions found in lower clarity grades can leave your diamond vulnerable if struck in the wrong spot.
However, these vulnerable diamonds are usually found in marketplace sellers, like Facebook and Etsy.
The GIA Clarity Scale
Diamond clarity grades are given according to the Gemological Institute of America’s diamond clarity scale. The GIA sets all the industry followed standards of diamond quality as well.
This is the GIA Clarity Scale:
Similarities Between VS1 and VVS2 Diamonds
VS1 and VVS2 Clarity Diamonds Are Both Considered Eye Clean
If you were to set a VS1 diamond ring next to a VVS2 engagement ring next to each other, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. You’d get a 50/50 guess and hope you’re right.
If you hold the either ring close to your eye, you wouldn’t be able to see inclusions in either of them. Most people aren’t going to be that close to your engagement ring anyway.
Neither one of these grades will have dark inclusions that affect the overall beauty of your diamond. You will only see their inclusions under 10x magnification and beyond.
Neither VS1 or VVS2 Diamonds Have Inclusions that Compromise the Integrity of Your Diamonds
Though both VS1 and VVS2 diamonds are eye clean, they still have inclusions under magnification. But neither one’s inclusions are detrimental to the diamond’s structural or visual appearance.
You shouldn’t see any dark inclusions in a VS1 diamond, but there’s always an off-chance there might be a singular dark inclusion in the underside or so by a lesser grading laboratory.
You should never be able to see dark inclusions in a VVS2 diamond. The surface blemishes on a VVS2 diamond are barely noticeable and can’t affect the durability of your diamond.
Differences Between VS1 and VVS2 Diamonds
VVS2 Diamonds Tend to Be More Expensive Than VS1 Diamonds
You can expect a VVS2 diamond to cost up to around a 15% increase when compared to a VS1 diamond of the same grades and carat weight. Diamonds in the VVS clarity tier account for less than 0.5% of diamonds graded commercially so the rarity impacts price. You can expect to increase even more in larger carat weights like a 3 carat diamond and above.
That being said, not every VVS2 diamond is more expensive than every VS1 diamond. Diamond prices aren’t determined by clarity grade alone, but also many other factors contribute to its value.
The 4Cs are important in giving diamond prices, but other factors can have either a slight or big impact on diamond pricing.
Some of the other biggest factors are:
- Cut Quality
- Color Grades
- Carat Weight
- Diamond Shape
- Diamond Certification
- Online vs In-store
- Colorless vs Fancy Colored
- Natural Mined Diamonds vs Lab Grown Diamonds
And that’s only the big factors. If the details between a VS1 diamond and VVS2 diamond are mixed, it’s possible the VS1 diamond could cost more.
The Price of VS1 and VVS2 Lab Grown Diamonds
If you’re looking to save money when buying diamonds of any clarity grade, going the lab diamond route might be just the thing for you.
Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds that follow all the same quality standards as natural diamonds.
Inclusions are Easier to See in VS1 Diamonds Under Magnification
Both clarity grades have inclusions under magnification. The clarity characteristics found in VS1 diamonds will be more noticeable than the inclusions in VVS2 diamonds.
When you buy a diamond online, typically they’ll have viewers that allow you to see every detail of a loose diamond. The best ones allow you to drag the diamond back and forth to watch how the clarity imperfections interact with the light performance of the diamond.
These viewers are often far beyond the 10x magnification they’re graded under. James Allen’s viewers are set at 40x magnification.
VS1 clarity diamond inclusions may include mineral crystals, clouds, needles, or bubbles. A VVS2 diamond’s inclusions are usually small pinpoints, twinning wisps, naturals, and internal graining.
Which Should You Buy: VS1 Diamonds or VVS2 Diamonds?
Both VS1 and VVS2 diamonds are eye clean diamonds and considered to be high clarity grades. Though they are right next to each other on the GIA clarity scale.
The individual differences between the two clarity grades are minimal, but you should still be aware of them. VVS2 diamonds can be up to 15% more expensive than VS1 diamonds of similar quality.
Under magnification, you’ll notice the clarity differences between VS1 diamonds and VVS2 diamonds. But when looking at them with the naked eye, you could make an estimated guess on which is which.
But neither diamond clarity grade is necessarily “better” than the other. A VVS2 diamond is worth more and considered to be more rare and valuable. But if that’s not significant to you, you might consider the lower price of a VS1 diamond.
If you want my take, here it is. I love diamonds, and I love high quality diamonds. However, I don’t have the budget to be buying the rarest and most expensive diamonds. And if VVS2 diamonds look the same as VS1 diamonds when I’m looking at them, why would I pay more?
Nobody’s going to be looking at my diamond under magnification except me before I buy it. I’d much rather save money for the same visual appearance.
I hope you’ve gotten a good understanding of both the similarities and differences between a VS1 diamond vs a VVS2 diamond. Remember, whichever you choose, just make sure you’re not sacrificing other important details of diamond quality in order to get the best clarity grade.