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VVS vs. SI Diamonds: A Complete Comparison

on Jun 12, 2024

Diamonds are renowned for their unmatched brilliance and sophisticated allure. However, some diamonds look sparklier and more luxurious than others. This is because diamonds come in various qualities, graded based on the 4Cs of diamonds: carat, cut, color, and clarity.


While each of these characteristics is essential for determining the value of a diamond, clarity grade has a significant impact on the visual aspects of the gemstone.


To choose between VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included) and SI (Slightly Included) diamonds, it’s crucial to consider the differences in terms of characteristics, inclusion visibility, and pricing.


When comparing VVS vs. SI diamonds, we should mention that they are several clarity grades apart on the clarity scale, and the differences are quite noticeable.


So, how do you choose between VVS and SI diamonds?


The answer is pretty straightforward: by understanding the visual differences, price considerations, and benefits of each clarity grade.


Whether you’re a seasoned diamond enthusiast or a novice buyer, this ultimate comparison guide will help you make an informed decision. Let’s delve into the intricacies of VVS and SI diamonds to find the clarity grade that aligns with your preferences, expectations, and budget.

Understanding Diamond Clarity

Navigating through the realm of diamonds demands a keen understanding of the fundamentals. To explain what VVS and SI diamonds are, we should first explore the diamond grading system and the importance of clarity in the grading process.

The 4Cs of Diamonds

Diamonds are not classified based on their purity or chemical composition. In fact, every diamond is composed of the single element carbon. So, how do gemologists distinguish diamonds from each other?


Well, it’s all about grading diamonds in accordance with the 4 Cs: carat, cut, color, and clarity.


This is a diamond grading system developed by GIA, allowing individuals across the world to evaluate and grade diamonds in a universal language.


When it comes to the visual characteristics of diamonds, clarity is an important factor to consider. This is because clarity can have a significant impact on the overall appearance and value of a diamond.


Determining the clarity grade of a diamond involves evaluating the number, size, nature, position, and visibility of inclusions that are naturally present in these gemstones.

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Clarity Grading Scale

According to GIA , the diamond clarity scale consists of 6 categories, some of which are further divided, giving a total of 11 clarity grades. These include:

  • Flawless (FL) diamonds with no inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification;

  • Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds with no inclusions visible under 10x magnification;

  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) diamonds with minor inclusions that are extremely difficult to see under 10x magnification;

  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) diamonds with slight inclusions that can be observed with effort under 10x magnification;

  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) diamonds with noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification;

  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) diamonds with obvious inclusions that may affect the light performance.


As one can see, VVS diamonds rate quite high on the clarity scale, while the clarity of SI diamonds is significantly lower.

Definition and Characteristics

Before we compare VVS vs. SI diamonds, let’s first define these clarity grades and explore the key characteristics of each.

What Is VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included)?

vvs clarity

So, what is a VVS diamond?


VVS clarity grade refers to Very, Very Slightly Included diamonds. The inclusions and blemishes are so minor that the diamonds appear near-flawless to the naked eye.


VVS diamonds are further classified into two quality grades: VVS1 and VVS2. The main difference between VVS1 and VVS2 clarities is that even skilled graders find it extremely difficult to detect the inclusions in VVS1 diamonds, whereas the imperfections in VVS2 diamonds are slightly less difficult to observe under 10x magnification.

What Is SI (Slightly Included)?

si clarity

But what are SI diamonds?


SI clarity grade stands for Slightly Included diamonds that comprise noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification.


In theory, you shouldn’t be able to see any inclusions in SI diamonds with the unaided eye. However, if someone with good vision looks closely, they will probably see more prominent inclusions in the center of the SI diamonds.


SI clarity grade includes two subcategories: SI1 and SI2 clarities. While SI1 diamonds have a slightly higher clarity level, the inclusions in SI2 diamonds are more noticeable, even without magnification.

Visual Differences

vvs vs si visual differences

As VVS and SI diamonds are characterized by higher and lower clarity grades, respectively, the visual differences are quite noticeable with or without magnification.

Magnification Comparison

VVS diamonds are renowned for their near-flawless appearance, whether viewed under the naked eye or at 10x magnification. In fact, even highly experienced gemologists have trouble identifying the inclusions and blemishes in VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds.


The likelihood of seeing inclusions with the unaided eye is relatively high in the case of SI diamonds, especially in those with SI2 clarity. Besides, these inclusions are easily noticeable under 10x magnification as well.


Therefore, SI diamonds have a significantly lower value in terms of visual appearance when compared to high-clarity VVS diamonds.

Impact on Brilliance

The inclusions and blemishes in VVS diamonds are so minor that they don’t have any impact on the light performance. VVS diamonds are incredibly sparkly and brilliant.


Technically, SI diamonds also provide decent light performance, as the inclusions aren’t expected to interrupt the passage of light through the stone. In practice, however, the inclusions in SI2 diamonds may affect transparency and brilliance in some rare cases.

Price Differences

There is typically a significant price difference between VVS and SI diamonds. Therefore, understanding how to prioritize clarity over other characteristics or vice versa is key to making a reasonable choice.

Cost Comparison

In terms of pricing, VVS diamonds are at least 20-30% more expensive than SI diamonds.


While VVS diamonds offer a much higher clarity level, they are also more rare and have a higher resale value. Besides, the desirability of VVS diamonds is significantly greater, which also increases the price.


SI diamonds, on the other hand, have a lower value and are more affordable alternatives to high-clarity diamonds. As SI diamonds are rarely used for investment purposes, the resale value is also much lower.

Budgeting Tips

If you’re looking for a diamond on a budget and have trouble choosing between VVS and SI clarity grades, here’s what you need to know.


Although SI diamonds have a lower clarity grade, they are often just as beautiful as VVS diamonds. In fact, not every SI-grade diamond has to have visible inclusions.


In some cases, the inclusions are distributed toward the edges of the gemstone, making them pretty much invisible, especially when the diamond is secured in the setting.


If you still want to have a near-flawless diamond on a budget, consider choosing a VVS diamond with a good or fair cut grade and lower carat weight.

Buying Considerations

vvs vs. si buying considerations

Whether you’re investing in a high-clarity VVS diamond or opting for a more affordable SI-grade alternative, verifying the authenticity of the gemstone is essential.


Besides, the final choice should always be based on your personal preferences, ensuring you prioritize features that align with your taste and budget.

Certification and Authenticity

Many online retailers and even local jewelry stores often sell imitation diamonds with fake certifications and grading reports.


To avoid getting scammed, it’s essential to purchase diamonds from reputable and well-established sellers only.


In addition, asking for certifications issued by unbiased and reliable gemological laboratories, such as GIA and AGS, will add credibility and trust to the transaction.


While you can simply check the clarity rating to read the clarity section of the grading report, knowing how to authenticate these certifications is equally important. Look for holograms on the report or laser inscriptions on the diamond girdle that correspond to the report number.

Personal Preferences and Use

By considering your preferences and intended use of a diamond, you can easily set the budget and get the highest-clarity gemstone that you need.


Besides, the choice between VVS and SI diamonds can be influenced by the type of jewelry.


For instance, it’s recommended to use high-clarity diamonds for engagement rings and necklaces with larger stones, as the inclusions are more visible in high carat weight diamonds.

In jewelry pieces like diamond Cuban link chains , you can opt for lower-clarity diamonds, as the gemstones are so tiny that the inclusions won’t be noticeable.

Affordable Alternatives

If you want to get a high-clarity gemstone with a remarkable sparkle, but can’t afford to invest in a VVS diamond, consider moissanite as a budget-friendly alternative.


Don’t forget to explore the properties of moissanite when compared to diamond before making your final purchase.

Real World Examples

Let’s take a closer look at some actual examples to see how VVS and SI diamonds are chosen for different types of jewelry.

Example Comparisons

If we take two diamonds with the same characteristics but different clarity grades (VVS and SI), we may not be able to notice any visual differences at first glance.


However, if we examine the gemstones close up, the inclusions will be more noticeable in SI diamonds, while we won’t be able to see any natural imperfections in VVS diamonds.


That being said, VVS diamonds are commonly incorporated into exclusive and luxurious jewelry designs. Contrarily, SI diamonds are popular for crafting affordable jewelry that still provides acceptable light performance and sparkle.


For instance, Icecartel’s exquisite diamond jewelry collection features high-clarity VVS diamonds that provide unmatched brilliance and luxurious appeal. At Icecartel, you can also design custom diamond jewelry while using VVS diamonds as an extra touch of sparkle and opulence.


Some diamond jewelry retailers may focus on designing more affordable pieces that include SI diamonds as a budget-friendly alternative to high-clarity diamonds.

Customer Review and Experiences

Customer reviews serve as a helpful resource, enabling potential customers to compare diamond clarity grades like VVS vs. SI.


Hearing customer feedback from those who have purchased similar diamonds can provide insights into the quality, appearance, and authenticity of the gemstone.


Additionally, reviews often share firsthand experiences about the visual features, brilliance, and flaws of the diamonds, allowing you to gain a better idea of what to expect before making a purchase.


After reading multiple customer reviews, we can verify that they help you understand the practical differences between VVS and SI clarity grades during comparative analysis.

Benefits of Each Grade

While VVS diamonds are more valuable and visually appealing than SI diamonds, each clarity grade comes with its benefits that you should consider before choosing one.

Benefits of VVS Diamonds

The primary benefit of a VVS diamond is its exceptional clarity and high refractive index. VVS diamonds appear even more valuable and luxurious, all thanks to their dazzling brilliance.


Besides, VVS diamonds have a high market value due to their rarity, consumer demand, and resale price. That being said, VVS diamonds make great investment sense.

Benefits of SI Diamonds

Although lower in clarity, SI diamonds offer cost-effectiveness while still maintaining acceptable visual quality. Therefore, SI diamonds offer a perfect balance between price and appearance.


Additionally, SI diamonds are quite versatile, making them suitable for all sorts of jewelry, ranging from delicate earrings to bulky chains.

Conclusion

Diamond clarity grades range from Flawless (FL) to Included (I) diamonds. While VVS diamonds are the popular high-clarity options, SI diamonds are often selected as lower-clarity but affordable alternatives.


In terms of visual differences, both VVS and SI diamonds appear eye-clean, with VVS being almost flawless and SI having some minor imperfections.


When it comes to magnification comparison between VVS vs. SI, VVS diamonds remain near-flawless under 10x, whereas the inclusions in SI diamonds are quite noticeable.


Price-wise, VVS diamonds tend to be more expensive than SI diamonds due to their high clarity, overall appearance, rarity, and consumer demand.


Before choosing between these two clarity grades, make sure to consider your personal preferences, intended use, and budget.


As long as you verify the authenticity of the diamond through the grading report from a reputable gemological laboratory, both VVS and SI diamonds will look exceptionally luxurious.

Joosep Seitam

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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