Bottom Line Recommendations…
- VVS diamonds represent the most sought-after clarity grade. They are not as expensive as the Flawless or the Internally Flawless diamonds but still offer a stunning stone. Compare a VVS oval cut here with an IF oval cut here. When evaluating your diamond, remember to combine the other factors that affect the appearance of the diamond such as the diamond color and the cut.
- VVS diamonds will have amazing sparkle and brilliance when dealing with brilliant cuts. Many different types of blemishes and imperfections can occur in a diamond. However, the VVS diamonds have few of these.
- The difference between VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds is the location of the inclusions. VVS1 is nearer the edges while VVS2 are closer to the center. When dealing with brilliant cuts, you can get an eye-clean diamond in the VVS2 clarity scale. However, for step cuts, such as this emerald cut here, it is better to maintain VVS1 since these have large tables that can draw the eye to imperfections in the stone.
- There are many reasons why it’s a great idea to go for the VVS clarity grade. The diamonds are rare which makes them unique, they are eye clean and will offer amazing brilliance or luster depending on the cut, and they are not as expensive as the flawless or internally flawless diamonds.
- You can save even more on the price of a VVS diamond by going lower on the color scale. Take a look at an oval cut here. However, do not compromise on the cut quality. By choosing a yellow gold setting, you can pick a diamond with a tint of color and it will still appear white.
- You can find some of the most stunning VVS diamonds from our favorite diamond sellers—James Allen and the Blue Nile. They offer the best in 360-degree videos to help you make a good diamond evaluation.
Each of these factors affects the overall appearance of the stone. The cut, for example, affects the brilliance and fire of the diamond. It will also affect the overall carat weight if the stone.
But when it comes to clarity, it’s all about how clear a diamond appears. Buyers will aim to achieve the least blemishes and inclusions in the diamond for their budget.
VVS diamonds are known for being clear and with few blemishes.
What are VVS Diamonds?
Most diamonds mined from the earth’s crust will have too many inclusions to be used in jewelry. Instead, they will be used in tools and other for mechanical purposes. Those that have few imperfections will be chosen for jewelry and will be judged according to the GIA clarity scale.
VVS means very very slightly included. These diamonds do have inclusions and blemishes, but they cannot be detected by the naked eye. What’s more, is that they are not easy to find even when the diamond is placed under 10X magnification.
The VVS diamonds are further divided into two categories. These are the VVS1 and the VVS2. There is a very minimal difference between these two and the naked eye will not be able to tell them apart.
However, the main difference is the location of the inclusions in the diamond. VVS1 diamonds have inclusions that are set closer to the edges. On the other hand, VVS2 diamonds have inclusions closer to the center.
Many times, the VVS1 diamonds will have just one or two inclusions that are nearer the edges. VVS2 diamonds may have a few more inclusions nearer the center. Since most of the light will enter the diamond through the table facet, such inclusions are more likely to affect the diamond’s sparkle. This is one reason why VVS2 diamonds are lower on the clarity scale than VVS1.
When looked at the diamonds under a microscope, it is harder to spot inclusions that are near the edges than those closer to the center. This also explains why VVS1 diamonds are higher on the clarity scale compared to the VVS2 diamonds.
What is the clarity scale?
The diamond clarity scale ranges from diamonds that have no inclusions, categorized as flawless (FL) diamonds, to diamonds that contain inclusions that can be seen by the naked eye. These are categorized as Included (I).
From the Flawless (FL) category is the Internally Flawless (IF) category. From here you move to the VVS diamonds. They are therefore on the higher end of the clarity scale making them highly valuable and sought after.
It takes specialized and highly powerful tools to be able to spot the inclusions in VVS diamonds. These stones will look flawless to the naked eye. That said, their prices are much lower than the flawless diamonds.
The different categories in the GIA clarity scale include:
FL & IF— these diamonds have no inclusions. They are extremely rare and are therefore highly valuable. They command the most prices.
VVS1 & VV2—these have very small inclusions. The conclusions are not invisible to the naked eye. This makes them appear flawless. It is even hard to sport the inclusions with 10X magnification. They are valuable and are also very rare.
VS1 & VS2— these diamonds have very small inclusions. They are rare and are also quite valuable. You will not see the inclusions with the naked eye. For that, you will need 10X magnification. However, to spot the inclusions, you will also need to know how and where to search for them.
SI1 & SI2—these are slightly included diamonds that have small inclusions. You will be able to see the inclusions with 10X magnification. Many sellers and experienced buyers consider these category stones as offering the best buck for your cash. They are affordable and appear nearly flawless.
I1, I2 or I3—The diamonds are included. You can even pick up the inclusions with your naked eye.
Why you should buy a VVS diamond
Consider the fact that these diamonds are rare, are clear to the naked eye and are not too steeply-priced and you can begin to appreciate why they are often the number one choice of most diamond buyers.
VVS diamonds have a lot going for them.
However, as you choose your VVS diamond, make sure to consider the other factors such as the cut as this also has a huge effect on the brilliance, fire and the scintillation of the diamond.
If you are on a budget and you need a stone that appears clear and is not too highly-priced, the VVS diamonds are an excellent choice.
These stones, however, are not easy to come by. Finding a VVS diamond that also meets your carat weight, color and cut requirements will require a bit of searching.
But the appeal of the VVS diamonds goes more than that. They are a good investment. Over time you can expect the value of the diamonds to rise at a much faster rate than diamonds lower on the clarity scale.
Understanding Inclusions and Blemishes
When talking about inclusions, what exactly are they? Well, these are simply gases, solids and sometimes even liquids that are trapped inside the rock during the formation of the diamond. They could also be a foreign material or another diamond crystal.
Inclusions could also be small cracks in the diamond structure. Too many of these cracks will cause the diamond to look hazy or whitish.
When the diamond is cut and polished it will be observed and evaluated fewer than 10X magnification to determine the extent of these imperfections.
Inclusions may include feathers, clouds, knots, cavities, included minerals, laser drill hole, needle, grain center, and bearding, pinpoint, or twinning wisp.
Blemishes on the other grand are the surface imperfections. These are easier to deal with than inclusions as the stone can be polished for a better look.
Blemishes may include polish lines, naturals, abrasions, breaks, dark spots, light spots, chips, scratches and grain boundaries.
Common inclusions in VVS diamonds
Some inclusions are more common in the VVS diamonds than others. These include:
These are tiny cracks that cannot be seen by the naked eye. They may be multi-colored or they may be white. They occur during the formation process and not during the cutting process.
These are tiny mineral deposits. While they may appear solitary, some may come in clusters. Sometimes diamonds can be contained inside the diamond.
When there are numerous pinpoints, they are referred to as clouds.
This is formed during the growth of the diamond when there is an uneven pattern that appears wavy.
These appear like tiny rods under 10X magnification and also occur during the diamond formation.
Enhancing the clarity of the VVS diamonds
There are multiple ways to remove the inclusions in a demand. One of them is laser drilling. This is where a hole is cut into the diamond to reach the inclusion and then using an acid wash to remove the colored agent.
In case a demand has a fracture, this can also be filled. The diamonds, in this case, are referred to as fracture-filled diamonds and venders must disclose such information to the buyer.
Often such enhancements are done on diamonds lower on the clarity scale and will not often happen with VVS diamonds
Considerations when grading the clarity of a diamond
There are several considerations that need to be made before a diamond is assigned a clarity grade.
Size if the first factor to consider. Since larger blemishes and inclusions will be easier to notice under magnification than smaller inclusions, they will cause the diamond to have a lower clarity grade.
The number of inclusions is the second consideration. The more inclusions a stone has, the easier they can be seen. The diamond will, therefore, receive a lower clarity grade and vice versa.
The position of the inclusions is also considered. Inclusions that are closer to the table are more likely to be visible under 10X magnification than inclusions that are nearer to the edges. This will cause the stone to have a lower clarity grade when inclusions are closer to the table.
When there is an inclusion that is located under the table facet and is closer to the pavilion, this will be reflected multiple times inside the diamond.
Fourth is the nature of the imperfection. It could be an internal flaw called inclusion or an external flaw called a blemish. If there is an internal flaw, this automatically disqualifies the diamond from the Flawless or Internally Flawless categories.
Lastly is the color of the inclusion. Imperfections that tend to be in contrast with the surrounding diamond structure are called relief. How much relief is noticeable will determine the clarity grade for the diamond. Colored inclusions will be more easily seen since they contrast more with the surrounding stone.
However, there is an exception to this rule when it comes to the black pinpoint. This is because the black pinpoint is harder to spot than the white pinpoint.
What to consider when buying a VVS diamond
As a diamond buyer, it’s important to note that marketing plays a huge role in the diamond industry. Some sellers will bash lower clarity grade diamonds and market higher clarity grade diamonds as being superior. At the end of the day, it’s all about how the diamond appears.
There is nothing wrong with going for a higher clarity grade and paying the highest premium for a diamond. However, if you are on a budget, a VVS diamond or one with a lower clarity grade can be the right stone for you provided it is eye clean.
Also, consider the investment potential of the stone. Many buyers will buy a diamond that is too high on the clarity scale to gain any appreciation over time. It’s better not to buy a diamond as an investment product.
When evaluating the VVS diamonds, always ensure that you do so using magnification. Some of the best diamond sellers such as James Allen will provide you with technology to help you evaluate the diamond yourself.
Where you can buy VVS diamonds
VVS diamonds are among the most popular clarity grade for engagement rings, earrings, and pendants. The fact that they are so popular means that even while overall, they are quite rare, many of the best jewelry sellers will have them.
Some unscrupulous sellers will also claim to have them, but you need to always be careful and avoid these. The great thing is that it is easy to tell them apart. Always obtain your diamond from a seller who can provide you with a GIA certificate of the stone.
After all, the GIA is the best grading lab in the world and is, therefore, the most widely used. It is a good idea to err on the caution side and use them instead of the other grading labs. With the clarity of the diamond as your main focus when dealing with VVS diamonds, you can get all the information you need from the certificate.
Remember however that when judging the overall appearance of the diamond, it’s important to view 360-degree videos of the diamond. Some factors such as the bowtie effect will not be included in the diamond certificate.
Price differences between VVS and VS diamonds
Assuming two diamonds, one with a clarify rating of VS and another of VVS, the price difference could be as much as a few thousand dollars. However, both of the stones will appear flawless to the naked eye.
Most people wonder whether it’s practical to buy a diamond that is priced higher but looks similar to the naked eye to one that is priced cheaper.
Sometimes diamond sellers will convince buyers to buy the one with a higher clarity rating. However, when buying your diamond, always consider your budget.
Consider the cut when you are choosing between a VVS diamond and a VS diamond. This has the most impact on the brilliance and fire of the stone. A VVS diamond may be flawless but if it doesn’t have the right cut, it will appear dull and lifeless.
Jewelry that is best suited for VVS diamonds
The most skilled jewelers will know how to hide the diamond’s imperfections using the setting. However, not all settings will hide the imperfections of the diamond. Some will expose the blemishes and inclusions more than others.
When it comes to the engagement ring, for example, you want the inclusions to be as less visible as possible. The VVS diamond, in this case, will be an ideal choice.
However, when it comes to necklaces or earrings, a large portion of the diamond is hidden by the setting. A diamond lowers on the clarity grade but still eye-clean is a great choice. Of course, people will spend more time looking at your ring than they would with your earring.
VVS diamonds are simply a better choice when dealing with jewelry design that requires most of the stone to be exposed and to be able to display its fire and brilliance.
The rarity of a diamond and its value
All the diamond rough stones obtained from the crust will have imperfections. These will negatively affect the sparkle of a diamond. Consider that up to 70% of the diamond rough stone will contain so many imperfections that it will not be used for jewelry.
Of the remaining 30%, most of these will have inclusions that will be visible to the naked eye. When the diamond’s inclusions cannot be seen when held at a distance of 6 inches from the eye, the diamond is considered eye-clean.
Keep in mind that some inclusions can be hidden with the right diamond setting.
VVS diamonds are the best diamond choice next to the Flawless and Internally flawless diamonds. While their cost is much lower, they can also be quite pricey due to their demand and rarity. VVS diamonds are for the buyer that isn’t quite willing to pay hefty prices for a stone in the higher clarity grade but still wants an eye-clean diamond.
Buyers who are restricted by their budgets can still get a VS eye clean diamond that will cost a lot less, but it’s important to remember that the resale value will also below. This is what makes the VVS diamond such an ideal choice.