Jewelers adore VVS diamonds, but does that mean you should feel the same? In this article, we’ll go into detail about everything you need to know about this misunderstood clarity grade.
Some jewelers heavily promote VVS diamonds because of their clarity. However, this clarity level far exceeds what you need to appreciate the diamond’s beauty.
What does VVS mean? It means sweet, sweet perfection. Just a tad short of flawless and internally flawless, VVS grade diamonds are nearly flawless. They are among the highest and most expensive diamond grades.
Of course, their price doesn’t come even close to flawless and internally flawless diamonds. However, VVS grade diamonds look almost the same as flawless diamonds to the naked eye.
What Does VVS Mean?
Let’s get technical for a bit – VVS stands for Very Very Slightly Included. This means that a VVS diamond only has a few microscopic inclusions that are difficult to see – even under 10x magnification. VVS diamonds are just one step below an internally flawless diamond on the clarity scale.
One of the critical 4Cs of diamonds is clarity. The clarity of a diamond is based on the presence of inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds that don’t have any inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification are graded as flawless (FL). Then there are internally flawless (IF) diamonds.
These have only a couple of minor blemishes visible under 10x magnification. Just beneath FL and IF grades, there’s the VVS diamond grade. A diamond is deemed VVS if it has inclusions that are so tiny that they’re difficult to locate and see under 10 x magnification. As you can see, VVS diamonds are basically the same as flawless diamonds but only a bit less expensive.
Depending on their inventory and the diamond’s shape, you can find VVS diamonds in most jewelry stores. Most reputable online jewelry stores have high-quality images of all diamonds in their stock. We recommend buying VVS diamonds from these vendors because you can see an up-close image before buying one. Online vendors are also more affordable than brick-and-mortar jewelry stores because online vendors have much lower overhead costs.
Before you head out and buy a VVS diamond, you should know that the VVS grade has two subcategories – VVS1 and VVS2.
VVS1 diamonds are less included than VVS2 diamonds. VVS1 diamonds also cost more than VVS2 diamonds. They cost more because inclusions on a VVS1 diamond aren’t visible under 10x magnification.
VVS2 diamonds have inclusions that are barely visible under 10x magnification. Still, these inclusions can be found if you’re thorough enough. VVS2 diamonds have inclusions that are commonly more prominent and darker than those in VVS1 diamonds.
For example, a VVS2 diamond can have an inclusion closer to the center of the table. In contrast, a VVS1 diamond can have inclusions closer to the edge. Both diamond grades are near-perfect to the naked eye.
VVS Diamond Clarity
VVS. or Very Very Slightly Included diamonds rank third on the clarity scale – right after internally flawless and flawless diamonds. VVS diamond grade is divided into two subcategories: VVS1 and VVS2.
VVS diamonds have such slight blemishes that even a professional jeweler with a 10x loupe will have a hard time spotting them. This means that all VVS diamonds are eye-clean. In other words, you will have a hard time spotting any imperfections when looking at the diamond without magnification.
Because inclusions and blemishes are so hard to spot with a naked eye, it’s best you go for VVS2 diamonds. Why? Because the price difference between a VVS1 and VVS2 diamond of the same size can be in the hundreds of dollars.
For example, you can find a 0.7-carat VVS2 diamond for around $1700, while a 0.7-carat VVS1 diamond will cost you about $2000. So, unless you’re planning on admiring the diamond under a 10x jeweler’s loup, there’s no point in getting a VVS1 diamond.
What Are VVS1 Diamonds?
VVS1 diamonds are one rank above VVS2 diamonds on the diamond clarity chart. This grade of diamond is closest to being internally flawless, which is very rare. The blemishes and inclusions in VVS1 diamonds are nearly invisible under 10x magnification. These inclusions are so tiny that jewelers need to use powerful microscopes to spot them.
When a lab professional is determining the grade of a diamond, there are a couple of aspects of inclusion they review. For starters, the grader will watch for the size of the inclusion. If the inclusion is larger and can be seen under 10x magnification, the diamond will be graded lower than the VVS1.
Lab professionals also look for the number of inclusions in the diamond. The more inclusions that are easily visible (not necessarily the number that exists), the lower the grade of the diamond.
Another aspect graders pay close attention to is where the inclusions are located. Inclusions found directly below the diamond’s table are more noticeable than those found in pavilion and crown facets. So, if a diamond has inclusions that are directly beneath the table, the diamond will get a lower grade.
The color of the diamond also plays a massive role in the grading process. The darker the diamond’s color, the lower its grade will be.
VVS1 inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. VVS1 diamonds look practically identical to flawless diamonds to the naked eye. Only when you bring it up to a 10x microscope will you be able to see the blemishes.
What Are VVS2 Diamonds?
As you might’ve already guessed, VVS2 diamonds are those diamonds that are just under the VVS1 grade. Inclusions on a VVS2 diamond are barely visible under 10x magnification. In fact, you need to be a trained professional to be able to see them. Even professionals need ample time to locate imperfections on VVS2 diamonds.
Just like VVS1 grade diamonds, VVS2 diamonds are graded based on their size, number, color, and location of inclusions. The main difference between VVS1 and VVS2 grade diamonds is that VVS2 diamonds have visible inclusions on the crown when looked at under 10x magnification. To a layman, VVS2 diamonds look practically identical to VVS1 diamonds and even flawless diamonds.
Professional diamond graders use gemological microscopes to identify inclusions on a VVS2 diamond. If the grader finds a pattern of a couple of separate VVS1-sized spots, the diamond will be graded VVS2. This is something you can’t do with a jeweler’s loup because it doesn’t have enough magnification.
What To Look For When Buying VVS Diamonds
The most frequent mistake people make when buying diamonds is they buy a diamond with a clarity grade that’s too high to appreciate. People do this to ensure a “good investment.”
However, diamonds are just another retail product, and you shouldn’t regard them as an investment if you’re buying them just because of their resale value.
When it comes to clarity, you won’t get any added value if you buy a higher clarity diamond that looks identical to the naked eye as a lower graded diamond. The only difference between the two is that you’ll pay much more for a higher clarity diamond – thousands more. This is why you should always look for a diamond with a low clarity grade that still looks clean to the naked eye.
When inspecting a VVS diamond, or any other diamond, it’s critical you inspect it with high magnification. This way, you’ll be able to see inclusions and blemishes you wouldn’t normally see.
If you want to avoid having to learn how to appreciate diamonds, you can hire an expert to inspect the diamond for you. It will cost you some money, but they’ll give you an honest opinion on whether the diamond is worth buying or not.
Related Read: Diamond Buying Guide: How to Choose a Diamond?
What’s The Difference Between VVS and VS Clarity?
VVS diamonds are a grade above VS diamonds. There are quite a few differences between these two types of diamonds.
They differ in clarity, size, nature, number, and location of inclusions. VS diamonds have more inclusions and blemishes than VVS diamonds. They’re also larger, darker, and closer to the diamond’s center of the table.
The clarity of the diamond is not solely based on the number of inclusions; it’s also based on the characteristics. Both VS1 and VS2 grade diamonds have a small number of inclusions when viewed under 10x magnifications. What’s more, the imperfections are easier to spot than those in VVS diamonds. Still, the inclusions in the VS diamond are usually pretty hard to spot unless you have a keen eye.
Although VS diamonds usually have a higher number of inclusions, that’s not always the case. Because the clarity grade considers the size, location, color, and the number of inclusions, a VS diamond doesn’t necessarily need to have more imperfections than a VVS diamond. For instance, a VS diamond can have the same number of inclusions as a VVS diamond, but those inclusions can be located right below the diamond’s table.
In most cases, you won’t be able to notice a difference between a VS and a VVS diamond with just your eyes. Both grades have such small inclusions that they’re indistinguishable unless you scrutinize them under 10x magnification.
VVS vs. VS Diamond Rings
Now that you know the difference between VVS and VS grade diamonds let’s see if there’s a difference between rings VVS and VS rings. Although VVS rings have fewer inclusions than VS rings, both look identical when looked at with the naked eye.
A VVS diamond ring is almost always more expensive than a VS diamond ring – under the condition that they have the same cut, color, and carat weight. What’s more, two otherwise identical diamonds can have a price difference of $1000 or more just because of the clarity grade.
While the market is full of stunning VVS diamond engagement rings, paying thousand for a better clarity grade is not money well spent. We recommend you go for a VVS2 or a VS diamond ring because they’re practically identical as VVS diamonds to the naked eye. Look for an eye-clean diamond above all else. The clarity grade should be your least important factor. This way you will save money you can spend on more important aspects of the diamond such as the cut quality.
Why Buy A VVS Diamond?
There are several reasons why you might want to buy a VVS diamond. Here are just a couple:
You’re Too Busy
VVS diamonds are the easiest diamond grade to shop. Why? Because this grade of diamond is always eye-clean. If you’re buying a VVS diamond via an online store, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to spot any inclusions or blemishes under 10x magnification. And even if you do, it will take you quite a while to spot them. This is particularly true for emeralds and asschers.
Buying a VVS diamond also means you won’t have to spend hours sifting through certificates looking for a deal on a lover clarity diamond that has inclusion in just the right place because VVS diamonds look flawless to the naked eye.
You’re Shopping For a Step Cut
If you’re looking for an eye-catching emerald or Asscher, you want to look for a VS2 – VVS1 range of clarity. Inclusions are much easier to spot on step-cut diamonds. And,. of course, the bigger the diamond, the more visible the inclusion will be.
You’re Buying A 3+ Carat Diamond
As we mentioned above, the bigger the rock, the more visible the inclusions. Although a 3-carat VS2 round brilliant can be eye-clean, it also might not be.
If you go for a VVS diamond, you won’t have to review the certificate. And if it’s a round diamond, you’ll be able to see it in person and ensure it’s eye-clean.
You Have An Aversion To Imperfections
Buying a diamond is part cold science and part art. Some people can’t stand the idea of their diamond having inclusions and flaws. That’s perfectly OK. It’s up to you how you’re going to spend your money.
If proposing with a diamond that’s nearly free of internal imperfections will help you sleep at night – more power to you. Going for a nearly flawless diamond is surely going to make a statement.
You’re In A Hurry
VVS diamonds are perfect for shoppers that are in a hurry and don’t want to go over dozens of diamond certificates or talk to a jeweler for guidance.
Sure, you will spend more for a higher clarity grade diamond, but you won’t have to spend hours researching and evaluating diamonds only to go for one that has a big inclusion right beneath the diamond’s table.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy A VVS Diamond
Although you might have the budget for them, buying a VVS diamond isn’t always the best idea. Here are a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t go for a VVS diamond and should choose a lower quality diamond instead.
Because VVS diamonds are nearly flawless, they come at a steep price. If you’re looking for brilliance, you can go for a VS1 or a VS2 diamond instead. Yes, they will have a couple of blemishes, but they’ll be very hard to spot.
Clarity Isn’t Everything
The Cut Is More Critical Than The Clarity Grade
Because the cut is so crucial to a diamond’s ability to return fire, the extra money you’re planning to spend on a VVS diamond could be put to good use for a well-cut diamond. There are plenty of VS2 diamonds that look exceptional and are far cheaper than VVS diamonds.
Think Of The Color
Diamond color is a yellow tint that can be visible across the entire surface of the diamond as opposed to clarity which is often not seen by the naked eye. You will hardly find any inclusions with a naked eye, even in most SI1 grade diamonds. This is why it’s smarter to invest in a diamond that has a higher color grade than a higher clarity grade.
It’s not very smart to compromise carat weight for the sake of clarity. The appearance of a diamond is not as affected by the clarity as it is by its carat weight. For instance, a diamond will look much smaller if it’s 0.8 carats in weight as opposed to a 1-carat diamond.
With all this being said, if you have the budget, go for a VVS diamond. Just make sure it’s well cut and has a minimum G color grade with no fluorescence. Also, look for a diamond that’s at least 1.5 carats in weight.
How Much Are VVS Diamonds?
The 4Cs determine the price of diamonds – but only in a holistic way. This is why some VVS diamonds can be cheap because the color is low, or it’s tiny, or poorly cut. However, if you study and VVS diamond chart and price guide, a well-cut VVS diamond of significant size can be very expensive.
There are different geographic and cultural preferences for these types of diamonds. For instance, Asian cultures put great priority on diamonds of the highest clarity and purity. Most buyers in this region will insist on collection goods.
Collection goods is a term used by jewelers for colorless diamonds in the FL and VVS range. The premium price on these diamonds is considered reasonable, and most people jewelers in Asia adjust the size of the diamond to the buyer’s budget. To most Asians getting a diamond that’s of lower grade than the VVS is out of the question.
Where Can You Buy VVS Diamonds?
Most jewelers these days don’t hold a large stock of diamonds. They prefer accessing diamonds from their suppliers on an as-needed basis.
Jewelers that do stock diamonds tend to go for more commercial color and clarity combinations. This is because diamonds in the VS and SI clarity grades and in colors in the near-colorless range can be very beautiful and less expensive than VVS diamonds. Most merchants prefer “lower quality” diamonds because they’re more affordable to buyers because they’re cheaper. This is especially true for markets where consumers prioritize diamond size over clarity/quality.
Those that want to buy VVS diamonds will find them only in the finest stores or online. Elite jewelry stores will also charge the largest price premium on diamonds. Because of this, shoppers are more inclined to buy VVS diamonds online. Online stores provide more information about the diamond and offer value-added benefits such as trade up-guarantees. Of course, online stores have lower prices because they have lower operating costs.
We recommend you buy VVS diamonds online. Just keep in mind that not all listings are owned or possessed by the online store. What’s more, most online stores never inspect the diamonds they sell and just post the information about the diamond they got from the supplier.
So, there is a slight risk to buying VVS diamonds online. This is why you should only buy from vetted online stores and only diamonds that are in stock. You can easily check a store’s reputation by visiting the Better Business Bureau website or checking out user reviews on Yelp and Google.
There are strong reasons to buy a VVS diamond as there are for not buying one. In most cases, you’re better off buying VS or SI-grade diamonds.
Most SI1 diamonds will look flawless when to the naked eye. The best thing about them is that they cost just a fraction of what a VVS diamond costs. If a diamond has a small inclusion or a blemish, you’ll have a hard time spotting it without specialist equipment.
What’s more, if you go for a lower clarity grade diamond, you can up the carat weight. Just be careful when buying a VS or SI diamond. Make sure they don’t have any inclusions right beneath the diamond table because they can be seen with the naked eye.
Related Read: What Are The Most Popular Diamond Colors And Clarities?