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VS1 vs. VS2 Diamonds: A Detailed Comparison

on Jun 22, 2024

If you are going diamond shopping, you need to have a deep pocket. Regardless, you may want to look at comparatively reasonable options. Diamond prices vary due to a lot of reasons, and the most significant one is their clarity grade. If you want to buy someone of VVS grade, you better have some big bucks at your disposal. On the contrary, there are some options that are dazzling, yet more affordable.


VS1 and VS2 diamonds are excellent options if you're looking for a high-quality stone at a reasonable price. Although these diamonds aren't entirely flawless, they are still highly valuable. The details of diamond grading, especially clarity, can be a bit confusing. Clarity refers to the natural imperfections that appear as a diamond forms.


The key difference between VS1 and VS2 diamonds is how visible their inclusions, or let’s say, imperfections are. A VS1 diamond has no visible inclusions to the naked eye, and even under 10x magnification, the inclusions are nearly impossible to see. These diamonds represent the top 5 percent of all gem-quality stones.


On the other hand, VS2 diamonds may occasionally have inclusions visible to the naked eye, but this occurs only about 5 percent of the time, primarily in stones larger than 1 carat. Compared to VS1, VS2 diamonds have more natural imperfections that are larger and easier to detect.


Sounds alien to you? No worries, as we are going to explain everything including the diamond clarity jargons to you in this article!


We'll break down and compare these clarity grades to help you find a stunning diamond within your budget.

Understanding Diamond Clarity

Let’s start things off with a brief introduction to diamond clarity jargons, and describe them in layman’s terms.


For anyone interested in buying diamonds or learning about these gemstones, understanding the diamond grading process is essential. Here's how gemologists evaluate the quality of diamonds based on their physical characteristics.

The 4Cs of Diamonds

Since diamonds share the same chemical composition, they cannot be graded based on purity. Therefore, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed the GIA diamond grading system, a universal method for evaluating diamond quality.


While the American Gem Society (AGS) uses its own AGS 0-10 grading scale, the GIA system remains the global standard. According to the GIA, the 4Cs of diamonds represent the key characteristics of these gemstones: color, cut, carat, and clarity.


All 4 characteristics are important, but clarity plays a crucial role in a diamond's appearance and value. Generally, higher-clarity diamonds offer better light performance and appear more brilliant than those with lower clarity grades.

Clarity Grading Scale

Understanding the GIA clarity grading system is key to determining where VVS and VS1 diamonds fall on the scale. The clarity scale includes 6 primary and 11 secondary grades, ranging from Flawless (FL) to Included (I).


  • Flawless (FL)

  • Internally Flawless (IF)

  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2)

  • Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2)

  • Slightly Included (SI1, SI2)

  • Included (I1, I2, I3)


Based on this system, VS diamonds are in the middle range. These diamonds offer medium clarity with excellent light performance. 

Definition and Characteristics

Understanding the primary characteristics of VS1 and VS2 diamonds is essential for comparing them accurately. Here are the definitions and features of these clarity grades:

What Is VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)?

vs1 diamond clarity

VS1, or Very Slightly Included 1, is a clarity grade that indicates very minor inclusions and blemishes that are difficult to see even under 10x magnification. These imperfections are completely invisible to the naked eye, making VS1 diamonds appear clean and brilliant.


Compared to VS2 diamonds, VS1 diamonds have fewer and smaller inclusions, which means they offer a higher clarity grade and generally better light performance. Both VS1 and VS2 diamonds provide an eye-clean appearance, but VS1 diamonds have fewer visible inclusions when examined closely.


In summary, while VS2 diamonds offer good clarity and are often eye-clean, they have more visible inclusions under magnification compared to VS1 diamonds. Both grades provide excellent value, but VS1 diamonds are typically considered higher quality due to their fewer and less noticeable inclusions.

What Is VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)?

vs2 diamond clarity

VS2 stands for Very Slightly Included 2 clarity grade, indicating minor inclusions and blemishes that are often visible under 10x magnification and sometimes visible to the naked eye, especially in larger stones. These imperfections are more pronounced than those in higher clarity grades but typically do not significantly impact the diamond's overall appearance and brilliance.


Common types of inclusions in VS2 diamonds include crystals, clouds, feathers, pinpoints, and graining. While these inclusions can be seen under magnification, VS2 diamonds usually maintain an eye-clean appearance, meaning the flaws are not noticeable without magnification in most cases.

Visual Differences

vs1 vs vs2 visual differences

When comparing VS1 and VS2 diamonds, they are positioned close to each other on the clarity scale, so their visual characteristics are nearly indistinguishable to the naked eye. Both offer high clarity levels with minimal imperfections.


However, skilled graders can differentiate VS1 diamonds from those with a VS2 clarity grade by examining the gemstones under 10x magnification.

Also Read: VVS vs. SI Diamonds

Magnifying Comparison

The visual differences between VS1 and VS2 diamonds become apparent when examined under magnification. Inclusions and blemishes in VS1 diamonds are minor and difficult to see even under 10x magnification. Although VS2 diamonds are generally eye-clean, their inclusions are slightly larger and more noticeable under 10x magnification. Despite this, both clarity grades look almost identical to the naked eye.

Impact on Brilliance

The minor differences between these two clarity grades mean that the small inclusions and blemishes do not significantly impact the light performance of VS1 and VS2 diamonds. The natural imperfections in both VS1 and VS2 diamonds are so minor that light easily passes through the stone, resulting in exceptional sparkle and brilliance. Thus, VS1 and VS2 clarity grades generally appear very similar in terms of brilliance. You won’t be able to distinguish them without magnification.

Pricing Comparison

In general, the higher the clarity grade, the higher the price. Therefore, VS1 diamonds are usually more expensive than VS2 diamonds. This is because higher-clarity diamonds are rarer and more desirable, increasing their market value. Additionally, VS1 diamonds are often considered a safer investment, contributing to their higher cost.


It's important to remember that a diamond’s price is influenced by the 4 Cs: carat, color, cut, and clarity. Thus, a lower-color VS1 diamond with a high carat weight and excellent cut can be more expensive than a higher-color VS2 diamond with a lower carat weight and poor cut.

Budgeting Tips

While clarity is crucial, it’s not always necessary to prioritize it over other factors, especially when on a budget. For instance, the price of a diamond necklace depends on the carat weight, color, and cut of the diamonds, as well as the quality of the materials used. By compromising on carat weight, you can opt for a VS1 diamond that adds a touch of luxury without breaking the bank.


If you prefer larger diamonds but have a tight budget, consider prioritizing carat weight over clarity and choose VS2 diamonds as a more affordable alternative. You can also select lower-clarity diamonds with inclusions near the edges or below the girdle, which can be hidden by the setting.

Buying Considerations

vs1 vs. vs2 buying considerations

Choosing between VS1 and VS2 diamonds depends on your preferences, intended use, and budget. Regardless of the clarity grade, it's crucial to ensure the diamond's authenticity.

Certification and Authenticity

When purchasing a diamond, buy from a reputable seller and look for proper certifications and grading reports from established laboratories like GIA and AGS. Authentic certificates often include security features like holograms or microprint lines. Verify that the diamond’s visual features match the grading results and look for laser inscriptions on the girdle indicating the grading report number.

You'll Enjoy: VS vs. VVS Diamonds

Personal Preferences

While some diamonds are more desirable than others, choose the grade that best aligns with your desired balance of appearance, quality, and price. If you value size over clarity, you can opt for a slightly lower clarity and higher carat weight.

Intended Use

Consider the intended use of the diamonds. VS1 clarity diamonds are suitable for high-visibility jewelry pieces like engagement rings and pendants due to their high clarity and luxurious sparkle. VS2 diamonds are more appropriate for jewelry with smaller diamonds, such as diamond link chains, where inclusions are less visible.

Your Budget

Your budget plays a key role when shopping for diamonds. Diamonds come in various sizes, shapes, grades, and price ranges, so you can find one that fits your budget if you know how to balance the 4 Cs. VS1 diamonds are more expensive due to their superior clarity, while VS2 diamonds offer a more budget-friendly option with excellent clarity.

Real World Examples

The differences between VS1 and VS2 diamonds, especially in appearance, are often negligible. Exploring real-world examples can help you choose the right clarity grade.

Example Comparisons

VS1 diamonds are often selected for high-visibility, high-clarity jewelry pieces, while VS2 diamonds are chosen for more basic, budget-friendly alternatives. For example, DeBeer, one of the most popular diamond jewelry companies, charge more for their VS1 diamond rings compared to the VS2 versions of the same rings.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews provide valuable insights into the quality and clarity of VS1 and VS2 diamonds. Many customers note that VS1 diamonds look almost identical to higher-clarity diamonds, making them a cost-effective choice. Others appreciate the value and quality of VS2 diamonds, which often exceed their expectations.

Benefits of Each Clarity Grade

Benefits of VS1 Diamonds

  • Superior Clarity: VS1 diamonds have very minor inclusions that are difficult to detect even under 10x magnification. This high level of clarity ensures that the diamond appears clean and free of imperfections to the naked eye, enhancing its visual appeal.
  • Exceptional Brilliance: Because VS1 diamonds have minimal inclusions, they allow light to pass through the stone with little obstruction. This results in excellent light performance, giving the diamond a brilliant sparkle and shine.
  • Rarity: Diamonds with fewer inclusions are rarer, making VS1 diamonds more scarce and therefore more desirable. This rarity can contribute to the overall value and appeal of the diamond.
  • High Resale Value: Due to their superior clarity and rarity, VS1 diamonds tend to retain their value well over time. This makes them a solid choice for those considering the resale value of their diamond in the future.
  • Investment Potential: VS1 diamonds not only hold their value but also have the potential to appreciate over time. Their high clarity and desirability make them a good investment for those looking to potentially sell their diamond at a higher price in the future.

Benefits of VS2 Diamonds

  • Excellent Clarity: VS2 diamonds have inclusions that are slightly more visible under 10x magnification compared to VS1 diamonds, but they are usually still eye-clean. This means that to the naked eye, these inclusions are generally not noticeable, maintaining a visually appealing appearance.
  • Good Light Performance: Despite having more inclusions than VS1 diamonds, VS2 diamonds still allow for good light performance. The minor inclusions do not significantly impede the passage of light, resulting in a diamond that sparkles and shines beautifully.
  • Balance between Quality and Price: VS2 diamonds offer a high level of clarity at a lower price point than VS1 diamonds. This makes them an attractive option for those who want a quality diamond without the premium cost associated with higher clarity grades.
  • Versatility: The clarity grade of VS2 diamonds makes them suitable for a wide range of jewelry types. Whether set in rings, earrings, necklaces, or bracelets, VS2 diamonds provide excellent aesthetic value without compromising on visual quality.

Icecartel's Diamond Jewelry

If you are looking forward to buying fine diamond jewelry, then Icecartel is your best friend. As we have diamond jewelry made from different clarity grades, and even synthetic diamonds, we have options for you no matter what your budget is.


At Icecartel, we believe that everyone deserves to sparkle. Our affordable diamond jewelry collection offers a stunning range of chains, pendants, rings, bracelets, and more for both men and women. Explore our selection and find the perfect piece to elevate your style without breaking the bank.

Chains

Our diamond chains are designed to make a statement. Whether you prefer a classic cuban link or a trendy tennis chain, our pieces are crafted with precision and adorned with brilliant diamonds. Available in various lengths and styles, our chains are perfect for layering or wearing solo for a bold look.

Pendants

Add a touch of elegance to your outfit with our exquisite diamond pendants . From simple subtle designs to complex custom pendants, our jewelry pieces are crafted to perfection. Each pendant is designed to capture light and sparkle from every angle, making it an ideal gift for yourself or a loved one.

Rings

Make every occasion special with our collection of diamond rings . Whether you're looking for an engagement ring, a wedding band, or a statement piece, Icecartel has something for everyone. Our rings feature high-quality diamonds set in a variety of metals, ensuring durability and brilliance.

Bracelets

Our diamond bracelets are the perfect accessory to complement any outfit. From classic tennis bracelets to contemporary designs, our collection offers a wide range of styles to suit every taste. Each bracelet is meticulously crafted to ensure it shines brilliantly on your wrist.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a high-clarity diamond at a reasonable price, consider VS1 or VS2 clarity grades. Both offer minor inclusions invisible to the naked eye and excellent light performance. Skilled graders can distinguish them under magnification, but their differences are minimal. VS1 diamonds are more expensive, while VS2 diamonds provide a budget-friendly alternative without compromising quality.


Your choice depends on personal preferences, intended use, and budget. Ensure the diamond is genuine by checking for certification from a reputable gemological lab.

Joosep Seitam

Joosep was born in Tallinn, Estonia - a small country in northern Europe. He is an entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of Icecartel. Joosep has been in the jewelry industry since 2019, the year when he started the brand from scratch. During these years, Joosep has learned everything there is about the jewelry industry and he's here to share it all!

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