Wondering if a VS2 diamond is in your future? Then you're in the right place.
In this article, I'll tell you everything you need to know about buying a VS2 clarity diamond and answer common questions like:
- What’s the difference between VS1 and VS2 diamonds?
- How much are VS2 diamonds?
- Is a VS2 a good clarity grade for an engagement ring?
What is a VS2 Clarity Grade?
A VS2 clarity grade is a diamond that has gone through the grading process by a skilled diamond expert and is determined to be "Very Slightly Included". Very Slightly Included diamonds consist of two grades: VS1 and VS2.
Diamond clarity is one of the 4Cs of diamond quality, as put forth by the Gemological Institute of America in the 1940s. A diamond's clarity grade, cut quality, color grade, and carat weight make up the four major factors of diamond quality.
The difference between a higher clarity grades and a lower clarity grades is the presence of natural inclusions and blemishes in a diamond. Diamond inclusions are present in every diamond, but some are more noticeable than others. The more noticeable imperfections in a diamond, the lower its diamond clarity grade.
A VS2 diamond is the first diamond grade considered to be an eye clean diamond. Eye clean diamonds are diamond whose clarity details aren't able to be seen with the naked eye.
However, a VS2 diamond may have slight inclusions seen under 10x magnification and beyond.
About Diamond Inclusions
The term "inclusions" is used as a blanket term for all inclusions and blemishes in a diamond. However, there's a distinct difference between inclusion and blemish.
Blemishes are imperfections that are on the surface of the diamond, even after the polishing process. Some types of blemishes can affect the durability of your diamond. Certain types of blemishes located close to the edge or girdle of diamond could chip if accidentally struck.
Inclusions are internal. Sometimes you'll hear blemishes called external inclusions. Internal inclusions are trapped inside the diamond and don't affect durability. The exception to this would inclusions that start as internal but reach up to the surface.
When diamond grading experts assess a diamond's "characteristics" (inclusions, blemishes, flaws, imperfections, etc.), they look at the following attributes of diamond clarity:
- Size: The size of inclusions and blemishes present.
- Location: Inclusions and blemishes located in the center table facet of the diamond tend to be 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.
Some dark inclusions can be more visible in long facets rather than choppy ones, such as in step cut diamond shapes and brilliant cut diamond shapes. The light performance of some shapes makes visible inclusions appear less noticeable.
The GIA Clarity Scale
The GIA isn't the only diamond grading laboratory around, but they're the most respected. Almost everyone in the trade industry follows the GIA diamond grades, including the clarity scale.
The official GIA clarity grade scale consists of the following grades:
VS2 vs VS1 Clarity Diamonds
Both VS2 diamonds and VS1 diamonds are part of the Very slightly included diamond clarity tier. Typically, there's very slight differences between clarity grades within the same tier.
But when comparing VS2 diamonds with VS1 diamonds, you may notice a more distinct difference when viewed under high quality imagery or magnification beyond 10x.
A VS2 diamond can have a dark inclusion or small inclusions that are dark colored. VS1 diamonds don't typically have any types of dark inclusion, but more on the lighter side.
Not all VS2 diamonds have dark inclusions, but I've browsed many-a-loose diamond in my day and noticed this trend on many VS2 diamonds.
And though VS2 diamonds are said to have no visible imperfections with the naked eye, I tend to see them if I'm looking for them. But if you can't see them, then it shouldn't matter.
Here's some of the VS2 diamonds that have those inclusions I spoke of. Keep in mind that these images are at 40x magnified, so the inclusions are bigger than they actually appear under 10x magnification.
Is VS2 a Good Clarity Grade for a Diamond?
There's no such thing as the perfect diamond. But that doesn't mean that the perfect diamond engagement ring for you doesn't exist.
One would assume that diamonds graded with flawless clarity wouldn't have a single inclusion present in the entire diamond. However, even flawless diamonds have microscopic inclusions able to be seen at the highest magnification.
There are no truly flawless diamonds.
And even so, you can't tell the difference with the unaided eye. Clarity grades from VS2 and above are considered eye clean diamond clarity. That means most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference in clarity grade when looking at them all side by side with the naked eye.
The price differences, however, can be astronomically identifiable.
So, is a VS2 diamond a good clarity grade? In most cases, yes. In other cases, you may exercise just a little caution when picking your VS2 diamond out.
What Makes a Good VS2 Diamond?
A "good" quality VS2 diamond depends on its other factors. Though there is an exact science to clarity grading, most of it comes down to consumer visibility. A technically "noticeable inclusion" may be noticeable to some, but virtually non existent to another.
Personally, despite my terrible eyesight, I always notice visible imperfections because I naturally look for them. But as a worker in the diamond industry, that's pretty standard.
So "eye clean" can be relative.
Since diamond quality isn't assessed on just clarity grade alone, a good VS2 diamond would be a diamond with other quality grades as well.
Experts can argue on what good clarity diamonds and high quality diamonds are. On their own, VS2 diamonds with tiny imperfections under magnification are considered quality.
Here's what I might consider a good VS1 diamond with generic grades:
- Very Good-Excellent Cut Quality (better light performance)
- Color grade H or Higher (near colorless to colorless)
- 1 Carat Diamond Weight (in relation to other chosen grades)
- Any Diamond Shape (make sure to view 360 video for all shapes)
There's other details that need to be analyzed further, but these are the major grades I would consider. I'd also make sure my VS2 diamond was certified by a reliable grading laboratory.
Grading Reports for VS2 Diamonds
If the terms "diamond certifications", "grading reports", or "certified diamonds" doesn't resonate to you, now's the perfect time for a mini crash course.
If you want the whole enchilada, cruise on over to our guide on Diamond Certification?. Not only will it review different labs for certified diamonds, but the article also dives more into why diamond certification so important.
But in short, there are some labs that grade diamonds differently than others. Your diamond's grading report is the proof that your diamond has the grades it was advertised as.
But since not all labs are graded the same, there have been reports of the the same diamond sent to various labs in the industry coming back with different grades.
Here's an illustration.
Say you bought a VS2 diamond with certified diamond with a grading report from a lesser known grading lab than the GIA. The GIA is regarded as the best diamond grading authority in the world. Only the American Gem Society is said to compete with the consistency in grading, though the AGS grades diamonds slightly differently than the GIA scales.
You can send any diamond in for a GIA grading report, even if it had another report upon purchase. How would you feel if you paid for the VS2 diamond from your retailer only to find out that the GIA grades your diamond's clarity as an SI2 diamond instead?
That's a grade below and a value difference as well. That according to comparison, you paid for a diamond of lesser quality than you thought.
That's why we recommend sticking to particular grading laboratories when buying certified diamonds. There are many diamond labs to avoid, depending on if you're purchasing mined or lab created diamonds.
Best Diamond Shapes for a VS2 Diamond
A VS2 diamond clarity grade is regarded as an eye clean diamond grade. However, some diamond shapes may reveal clarity imperfections in a VS2 diamond to be more prominent than it would in the same location of a different diamond shape.
The general concern of this is with step cut diamonds. Long facets with dramatic flashes of light tend to show dark inclusions more. But remember, not all VS2 diamonds have a dark inclusion smack in the middle. But if it does, you'll definitely notice it in emerald cuts as opposed to round brilliant shapes.
How Much Are VS2 Clarity Diamonds?
The diamond buying journey can be very confusing if you don't know how to navigate it. Fortunately, we have many Learning Guides that help you do just that.
There's a lot of miscommunications (and some truths) about diamonds that have hurt the industry. From misinformation regarding conflict diamonds to corporate scandals in jewelry industry, it's no wonder why the general public is becoming more skeptical about diamonds.
After all, diamonds are everywhere. How can they be rare? These thoughts lead those to becoming suspicious about diamond prices.
Determining diamond prices is a complex process, just like everything else to do with the jewelry trade. There's many factors that go into the price of a diamond, beyond the 4Cs.
Some diamond details that can affect the price of a VS2 clarity diamond include:
Some of these factors have a greater impact on price while others not so much. For example, diamond fluorescence may only affect your Vs2 diamond's price by a couple hundred dollars. It's more of a preference than anything, but diamonds with no fluorescence are considered higher quality. Diamonds with strong fluorescence are generally cheaper.
On the other hand, there are many who would assume that a 2 carat diamond with VS2 clarity would be the same price as two 1 carat VS2 diamonds (assuming other factors are the same).
But as you increase the carat weight of your diamond, the price increases substantially. Carat weight is a big factor that will drive up the cost significantly on any diamond clarity grade. Minor inclusions can also appear more noticeable in larger diamonds.
Lab Grown Diamonds with VS2 Clarity
Another significant factor that affects diamond price is its origin. We're not talking about the country which it was mined, but rather if it is a mined diamond or a lab grown diamond.
The interest in lab grown diamonds has skyrocketed in the last 10 years, particularly among those concerned about environmental and social issues regarding diamond mining.
Though not all lab grown diamonds are 100% sustainable, many people have chosen to purchase lab grown diamond engagement rings. Lab grown diamonds are said to be between 20-40% less expensive than mined diamonds of the same clarity grade.
Often times, I've seen them discounted more than that.
Lab grown diamonds don't have the same resale value as mined diamonds, but diamonds in general don't make great investments unless we're talking fancy colored diamonds.
Instead, lab grown diamonds have the same basic properties as mined diamonds. Lab grown diamonds still produce inclusions during both the growth process and the cutting process. However, the type of inclusions are limited in lab diamonds due to their isolated laboratory environment.
Check out this price comparison of a mined VS2 clarity diamond and a lab created VS2 clarity diamond of similar quality.
Where to Buy a VS2 Clarity Diamond
You'll have better luck searching for a VS2 clarity diamond at an online diamond retailer than in stores. Online diamond retailers have the ability to show you hundreds to thousands of loose VS2 diamonds online at high magnification.
Brick and mortar jewelry stores have policies and expenses to consider when they carry merchandise to line their cases. And most of them carry preset engagement rings instead of loose diamonds and empty mountings.
Chain retailers like Zales and Kay don't tend to carry VS2 diamonds or larger stones in store. Your selection is more limited and you'll be persuaded to get your special VS2 diamond at one of their events so they can make their sales goals for said event.
That's not in everyone's timeframe. You also can't really compare loose diamonds side by side. It's much easier to see 360˚ video than through a jeweler's loupe or a gem microscope.
So, there's many reasons why we recommend taking to the internet over a chain mall retailer when buying a VS2 clarity diamond engagement ring. But there are many, many diamond retailers on the web and all of them claim to be the best.
But it's the world wide web, so be aware that not every diamond retailer or seller on the internet is legitimate. You'd do best to stick to more popular online retailers with years of experience and lots of customer reviews.
If you want the specifics, we've got the guide. Check out our Where to Buy VS Diamonds Online to see which online diamond stores we recommend for VS1 and VS2 diamonds.
FAQs on VS2 Diamonds
Are all VS2 diamonds the same in terms of clarity and quality?
While all diamonds with a VS2 clarity grade have inclusions visible under magnification, the specific nature and location of the inclusions can vary. It's important to assess each diamond individually to determine its quality and desirability.
How do VS2 diamonds compare to other clarity grades?
VS2 diamonds are one grade below VVS2 (very, very slightly included) and two grades below the Flawless and Internally Flawless categories. They offer a good balance between quality and value.
Are VS2 diamonds a good choice for an engagement ring?
Absolutely! VS2 diamonds are a popular choice for engagement rings. They offer excellent clarity without compromising on beauty and can provide an eye-catching sparkle.
How can I ensure I'm buying a high-quality VS2 diamond?
To ensure you're purchasing a high-quality VS2 diamond, it is important to obtain a grading report from a reputable gemological laboratory such as GIA or AGS. This report will provide details about the diamond's specific characteristics, including its clarity grade.