Wondering if you should purchase a VVS diamond?
You're in the right place. In this Guide, we'll talk about everything you need to know about VVS diamonds as well as answer the following questions:
- Are VVS diamonds the best clarity grade?
- Should I buy VVS clarity diamonds?
- Do I need VVS clarity for my engagement ring?
What is VVS Diamond Clarity?
VVS diamond clarity is a diamond that has been given a clarity grade of Very Very Slightly Included according to the Gemological Institute of America's diamond clarity scale. The GIA is also responsible for other diamond grades like cut quality, clarity grades, color grades, and carat weight.
GIA's standard diamond clarity grading scale consists of the following tiers:
Your diamond's clarity grade is determined by a gemological grading lab. However, not all diamond grading labs are the same. GIA, AGS, EGL, and IGI are all different from one another. It's important to choose certified VVS diamonds from reliable and respected labs, like the GIA or American Gem Society (AGS). The list of recommend labs expands when dealing with VVS lab grown diamonds.
When a diamond grader grades your diamond's clarity, they are assessing the prominence of inclusions and blemishes in your diamond. Inclusions and blemishes are natural characteristics that affect every gemstone.
Inclusions happen in both mined diamonds and lab created diamonds. However, lab diamonds tend to have less prominent inclusions due to their isolated environment. Mined diamonds can come into contact with many different minerals and elements in the earth that become inclusions and blemishes.
Some included diamonds can be so included it has an impact on their durability. Inclusions closer to the surface can impact durability. Some blemishes (inclusions confined to the surface) can also threaten durability if accidentally struck.
Inclusions are judged by the size, color/relief, position, and prominence in a diamond. There's a very specific process for each lab to grade. And with VVS diamonds, it's more difficult.
The VVS diamond clarity tier consists of two grades: VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds. Out of all the diamonds graded at the GIA, they say only 5% of them account for VVS diamonds. Mined VVS diamonds can be incredibly rare, especially if the other diamond quality factors are just as high.
VVS diamonds are considered to be eye clean diamond clarity. An eye clean diamond is a diamond whose inclusions and blemishes can't be seen with the naked eye.
However, they may have inclusions under 10x magnification. Even under magnification, the inclusions in a VVS diamond are hard to spot. They are usually small specks in VVS diamonds called pinpoints. These types of inclusions won't affect durability or increase vulnerability.
What are VVS1 Diamonds?
VVS1 diamonds are the higher clarity grade of the VVS clarity tier. These diamonds have very small inclusions that aren't seen under 10x magnification. However, you may see tiny inclusions at higher magnification beyond 10x.
Here's a couple examples of what VVS1 diamonds look under 40x magnification:
What are VVS2 Diamonds?
VVS2 diamonds are the lower clarity grade of VVS clarity diamonds. VVS2 diamonds are still considered high clarity and eye-clean. However, you may be able to see very small inclusions when looking at a VVS2 diamond under 10x magnification.
Here's a couple of VVS2 diamonds at 40x magnification:
The Difference Between VVS1 and VVS2 Diamonds
The main difference between a VVS1 diamond and a VVS2 diamond is that one VVS grade (VVS2 diamonds) has inclusions that can be seen under 10x magnification and the other (VVS1 diamonds) does not.
The price of VVS1 diamonds and VVS2 diamonds can be a few hundred to thousands of dollars difference in price, but most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two with the naked eye.
VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds are both eye clean, but VVS1 diamonds are more rare and valuable if other diamond factors are the same as VVS2 diamonds.
VVS Diamonds vs VS Diamonds
Both VVS diamonds and VS diamonds are considered eye clean clarity grades. VVS diamonds rank just above the VS clarity grade tier. VS diamonds are described as Very Slightly Included and consists of two grades: VS1 and VS2.
The main difference between VVS diamonds and VS diamonds is the inclusions seen under 10x magnification or more. A VS2 diamond may have small inclusions that can be seen under magnification. However, some inclusions in them are more prominent than the pinpoints you might see in a VVS2 diamond.
Though these examples are at 40x magnification instead of 10x, you have an idea of the difference between VS clarity and VVS clarity diamonds.
VVS and VS diamonds are close enough on the clarity scale to where they look the same to the naked eye. But when it comes to price, the difference is thousands.
Though a VS diamond may have a single darker or bigger inclusions than you'd see in a VVS diamond, doesn't mean they affect durability. A VS diamond is considered a high quality diamond clarity grade.
Here's a rough price comparison of comparable VVS and VS diamonds from James Allen.
Both of these diamonds have Excellent polish, symmetry, and proportions. They slightly differ in table size, fluorescence, and length to width ratio.
VVS Diamonds vs Internally Flawless (IF) and Flawless Diamonds (F)
You already know that VVS diamonds-especially VVS1 diamonds-are very rare. But compared to internally flawless and flawless diamonds, VVS diamond quality is not as rare as these grades.
According to the GIA, internally flawless diamonds account for less than 1% of diamonds graded by their laboratories. A flawless diamond clarity grade accounts for less than 0.1% of diamonds graded by the GIA.
When comparing the cost of a VVS diamond to an internally flawless diamond clarity, you should expect roughly 5% to 20% increase in price. Sometimes even more. It depends largely on how the other quality factors are assessed as comparable.
As for a VVS diamond compared to a flawless diamond, the price difference is substantially higher. It's likely for a high quality 1-carat VVS diamond to have tens of thousands of dollars in price difference than a flawless diamond of the similar quality.
How Much Are VVS Diamonds?
The diamond pricing process goes beyond the clarity grading scale alone. Your VVS diamond's table proportions, symmetry, shape, color grade, and carat weight are also significant factors in price.
As a general rule, you should expect a VVS1 diamond to cost more than a VVS2 diamond, assuming all other factors are comparable.
Since there's so many different factors that go into the jewelry purchase process, it's hard to give a definitive number.
If we were to ballpark it, you could say that VVS diamonds can range between $5000 to over $20,000. That range usually covers what a 1-carat diamond costs. VVS diamonds in higher carat weights easily exceed this range.
You also have an option to buying diamonds at a 20-40% discount when you purchase lab grown diamonds instead of mined ones. Lab grown VVS diamonds have all the same basic chemical, optical, and physical properties as diamonds produced in nature. They are 100% real diamonds.
How to Find the Price per Carat of VVS Diamonds
If you've been shopping around for an engagement ring, you'll notice that most jewelers tag their diamonds with a price per diamond or per engagement ring. But how do you know if you're paying an appropriate price for VVS diamond quality if you're not sure what that is?
Every diamond has a price per carat, and some diamond consultants will give you the price of your diamond according to this. Per carat diamond prices may be shown as: $750 per carat for a 3 carat diamond. $750 x 3= 2250. The diamond's total price is $2,250. But remember this price is for a loose diamond alone, not its ring setting or any care plans you choose to purchase.
Finding the price per carat of a VVS diamond can be done by following three easy steps:
Assess what diamond grades you're looking for. That way, you can compare VVS diamonds of similar quality from different diamond retailers.
To find the price per carat, you take the total price and divide it by the total carat weight of the diamond (note that this only works with a loose diamond, not a pre-assembled diamond engagement ring).
Also remember that even if two VVS diamonds have the same diamond shape, color grade, clarity grade, and carat weight- they may not the same in comparison. Specific details like symmetry, polish, table size, diamond certification, and length to width ratio also contribute.
Make sure to read all the diamond specifics, not just the 4Cs of diamond quality.
Is a VVS Diamond a Good Clarity Grade?
VVS diamonds are one of the top grades on the clarity grading scale. It is considered to have top-tier clarity. So yes, a VVS diamond is an excellent clarity grade.
But Is It Necessary?
If you can afford a VVS diamond without compromising your other diamond grades, then by all means, buy VVS diamonds.
But if you're wondering how to stretch your budget in order to accommodate a VVS clarity grade, I would advise you to hold your horses.
There's no doubt that VVS means eye-clean and high clarity for your engagement ring. On the other hand, both a VVS diamond and a VS diamond don't have inclusions seen with naked eye.
VS diamonds may have bigger inclusions under 10x magnification, but the average person isn't going to inspect your diamond like that, right? Most people aren't even going to notice more obvious inclusions in a SI diamonds as long as you have great cut quality.
In my opinion, why pay for something that you and others can't see to begin with. When staring at VS diamonds and VVS diamonds next to each other, they look the same. But the price difference can be between $500-1500.
Where to Buy VVS Diamonds
Now that you're a VVS diamond clarity expert, you might be wondering where to buy VVS diamonds. Lucky for you, we've already written that article as our Top Places to Buy VVS diamonds.
And if you want to further your knowledge on VVS diamonds, check out our related articles:
- VVS1 diamonds
- VVS2 diamonds
- VVS1 vs VVS2 diamonds