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VVS vs. VS1 Diamonds: A Detailed Comparison

on Jun 12, 2024

Diamonds come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and clarities. When it comes to selecting the right diamond tailored to your preferences and budget, understanding the clarity grading system is crucial.


Out of 6 main clarity grades ranging from Flawless (FL) to Included (I), VVS and VS1 are two highly desired options that offer a perfect balance between diamond clarity and affordability.


But what are the differences between VVS vs. VS1?


Well, these clarity grades appear quite similar to the naked eye, with both of them having no visible inclusions unless observed under 10x magnification.


However, factors such as visual appearance, quality, price, value, and personal preferences should be considered to make an informed decision when buying one.


Whether it’s for a sparkly engagement ring or an elegant diamond chain, choosing between VVS and VS1 diamonds is not an easy job. To help you select the clarity grade that suits your preferences and budget, this detailed comparison guide will explore the defining characteristics, visual features, price ranges, and benefits of VVS and VS1 diamond clarity grades.

Understanding Diamond Clarity

For anyone who contemplates buying diamonds or is simply curious about how these gemstones differ from each other, 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

As the chemical composition of diamonds is identical, they can’t be graded based on their purity. Therefore, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has developed the GIA diamond grading system , which serves as a universal method for evaluating the quality of diamonds.


While the American Gem Society (AGS) uses its own  AGS 0-10 grading scale , the one created by GIA is still considered the universal standard.


According to GIA, the 4 Cs of diamonds denote the 4 key characteristics of these precious gemstones, each C corresponding to a specific feature of a diamond. These include color, cut, carat, and clarity.


While all 4 characteristics are important, clarity plays a crucial role in the overall appearance and value of a diamond. Generally speaking, higher-clarity diamonds offer better light performance and appear sparklier than those with a lower clarity grade.

Also Read: VVS vs. SI Diamonds

Clarity Grading Scale

Understanding the GIA clarity grading system is key to determining where VVS and VS1 diamonds rate on the scale.


On the clarity scale, there are 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 the clarity grading system, VVS and VS diamonds are right in the middle. While VVS is considered one of the highest clarity grades, VS diamonds offer medium clarity but excellent light performance.


As VS1 comes right after VVS2, there are minor differences between the clarity levels.

Definition and Characteristics

Without defining and exploring the primary characteristics of VVS and VS1 diamonds, it’s impossible to compare them to each other.


Here are the meanings of VVS and VS1 clarity grades along with their characteristic features.

What Is VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included)?

vvs clarity

VVS is a diamond clarity grade that stands for Very, Very Slightly Included. As the term suggests, the inclusions in VVS diamonds are extremely minor and completely invisible to the naked eye.


VVS diamonds are further classified into two subcategories: VVS1 and VVS2. While VVS1 clarity grade is characterized by slightly fewer and less visible inclusions, VVS2-grade diamonds also represent exceptional clarity and minuscule imperfections.


Technically, the natural imperfections in VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds are invisible and extremely hard to observe even under 10x magnification.


The common types of inclusions and blemishes that may appear in VVS diamonds include crystals, clouds, feathers, pinpoints, and graining.

What Is VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)?

vs1 clarity

VS1 stands for Very Slightly Included 1 clarity grade, indicating minor inclusions and blemishes that are difficult to see but still visible under 10x magnification. However, these imperfections are completely invisible to the bare eye.


There’s another clarity grade in the VS grade category, abbreviated as VS2. Unlike VS1, the inclusions in VS2 diamonds are sometimes visible without magnification.


Still, both VS1 and VS2 usually offer an eye-clean appearance, meaning that the natural flaws in these diamonds don’t have a significant impact on their brilliance.

Visual Differences

vvs vs vs1 visual differences

When comparing VVS vs. VS1 diamonds, they fit right next to each other on the clarity scale, so their visual features are almost identical.


If you observe VVS and VS1 diamonds with the naked eye, you won’t be able to tell them apart as they both offer high clarity levels with minimal imperfections.


However, skilled graders can easily distinguish VVS diamonds from those with a VS1 clarity grade by inspecting the gemstones under 10x magnification.


Let’s take a closer look at how VVS and VS1 diamonds look close up and whether these visual differences affect their light performance.

Magnification Comparison

The visual differences between VVS and VS1 diamonds become apparent when examined under magnification.


Inclusions and blemishes in VVS diamonds (both VVS1 and VVS2) are so minute that they are very difficult to see, even under 10x magnification.


Although VS1 diamonds are also eye-clean, the inclusions are slightly larger and more noticeable under 10x magnification.

Still, both clarity grades appear almost identical to the naked eye.

Impact on Brilliance

As there are only minor differences between these two clarity grades, tiny inclusions and blemishes don’t have a significant impact on the light performance of VVS and VS1 diamonds.


This is because the natural imperfections in both VVS and VS1 diamonds are so minor that light easily passes through the stone, resulting in exceptional sparkle and brilliance.


That being said, VVS and VS1 clarity grades generally appear very similar in terms of brilliance. You won’t be able to tell them apart unless you examine them under magnification.

Price Differences

Despite the fact that VVS and VS1 diamonds look quite similar to each other, their price ranges still largely depend on the clarity grade.

Cost Comparison

Generally speaking, the higher the clarity grade, the higher the price. Therefore, VVS diamonds tend to be more expensive than VS1 diamonds.


This is because higher-clarity diamonds are more rare and desirable among consumers, which in turn increases the market value of VVS diamonds.


Besides, VVS clarity grade gemstones offer safer investment opportunities, which also affects the price.


Keep in mind that a diamond’s price is determined by its 4 Cs, including carat, color, cut, and clarity. Therefore, Z-color VVS diamonds with a low carat weight and poor cut can be cheaper than D-color VS1 diamonds with a high carat weight and excellent cut.

You'll Also Enjoy: VS vs. VVS Diamonds

Budgeting Tips

While clarity is a crucial characteristic of diamonds, you may not always want to prioritize clarity over other factors, especially when shopping on a budget.


For example, the price of a diamond chain depends on the carat weight, color, and cut type of the diamonds as well as the quality of the materials incorporated into the design. If you compromise on the carat weight, you can opt for VVS-grade diamonds that add a sparkly and luxurious touch to the necklace.


On the other hand, if you prefer larger diamonds but also have a tight budget, consider prioritizing high carat weight over clarity and opt for VS1 diamonds as an affordable alternative.


In an ideal case scenario, you can select a lower-clarity diamond with inclusions close to the edges or below the girdle. In this way, you can cover the imperfections by the setting while paying a fraction of the price.

Buying Considerations

vvs vs vs1 buying considerations

At the end of the day, choosing between VVS vs. VS1 diamonds is up to your preferences, intended use, and budget. However, no matter which diamond clarity you select, ensuring you’re paying for a genuine diamond is crucial.


Here are some buying tips to protect yourself from scammers and make the most of your precious gemstones.

Certification and Authenticity

Before you even pay for a diamond, ensure you’re buying from a reputable and trustworthy seller. Always go for diamonds that come with proper certifications and grading reports issued by well-established gemstone laboratories, such as GIA and AGS.


Checking the authenticity of the certification also provides assurance of the diamond’s quality and value. Grading reports from recognized gemological labs often include holograms, security screens, or microprint lines, enabling you to distinguish an authentic certificate from a fake one.


In addition, don’t forget to check the visual features of the diamond and ensure it corresponds to the grading results. Some diamonds even have laser inscriptions on the girdle, indicating the grading report number.


Reading the clarity section of a grading report is quite simple. You should just check the grading results and see the clarity grade abbreviation.

Personal Preferences

While some diamonds are more desirable than others, you should choose the diamond grade that best aligns with your desired balance of appearance, quality, and price.


If you value size over clarity, there’s no need to spend more on a high-clarity diamond. Instead, you can opt for a slightly lower clarity and higher carat weight.

Intended Use

Besides, you should also consider the intended use of the diamonds. This is because VVS and VS1 clarity grade diamonds are usually suitable for different types of jewelry.


For instance, VVS diamonds are commonly incorporated into engagement rings , pendants, and tennis chains, all thanks to their near-flawless appearance and luxurious sparkle.


Contrarily, VS1 diamonds have a lower clarity grade and are more suitable for jewelry pieces with smaller diamonds, such as diamond Cuban link chains . In lower carat weight diamonds, inclusions and blemishes are less visible, while the light performance is still quite impressive.

Your Budget

When shopping for a loose diamond or diamond jewelry, your budget is an important factor to keep in mind.


Diamonds are available in different sizes, shapes, grades, and price categories. Therefore, you can easily find the one that aligns with your budget as long as you know how to balance the 4 Cs.


While VVS diamonds command higher prices due to their superior clarity, VS1 diamonds offer a lower price point while still having excellent clarity.

Real World Examples

As the differences between VVS and VS1 diamonds (especially in terms of appearance) are often negligible, exploring the real-world examples will help you choose the right clarity grade for you.

Example Comparisons

Due to the differences in clarity, rarity, and value, VVS and VS1 diamonds are often chosen for specific types of jewelry.


For example, you can find high-clarity VVS diamonds incorporated into Icecartel’’s exclusive diamond chain collection . In this way, the chains appear exceptionally sparkly while having a higher resale value and investment potential.


VS1 diamonds, on the other hand, are often selected for more basic jewelry pieces that are crafted as budget-friendly alternatives to high-clarity diamond accessories.

Customer Reviews and Experiences

Customer reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insights into the decision between VVS and VS1 diamonds. By reading reviews, you can gain a better idea of how satisfied the customers are about the quality and clarity grade of VVS vs. VS1 diamonds from a particular retailer.


To make things easier for you, we’ve read numerous customer reviews, and here’s what they think about VVS and VS1 diamonds.


The majority of reviews mentioned that VS1 diamonds look almost identical to VVS diamonds, meaning that you can opt for a cheaper option without compromising on the aesthetic value.


Some reviews also mentioned that the perceived clarity of VVS diamonds had met their expectations. They believe that the quality of these diamonds justifies their price.


Overall, the customers who have purchased VVS and VS1 diamonds are satisfied with the exceptional clarity, dazzling brilliance, and luxurious appearance of these precious gemstones.

Benefits of Each Clarity Grades

Both VVS and VS1 diamond clarity grades offer unique benefits that you should consider before choosing one.

Benefits of VVS Diamonds

The primary benefits of VVS diamonds are:


  • Superior Clarity: VVS diamonds are characterized by one of the highest clarity grades, after FL and IF diamonds. Their inclusions and blemishes are nearly invisible, even under 10x magnification.

  • Exceptional Brilliance: Due to minimal inclusions, VVS diamonds allow light to pass through the gemstone freely, making it look incredibly sparkly.

  • Rarity: The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the more rare it is. As VVS diamonds have minor imperfections, they are highly praised for their rarity.

  • High Resale Value: Thanks to the clarity, rarity, reputation, and market demand for high-quality VVS diamonds, they have a higher resale value.

  • Investment Potential: All things considered, VVS diamonds have the potential to retain or appreciate in value over time, making them somewhat safe investments.

Benefits of VS1 Diamonds

The benefits of VS1 diamonds include:


  • Excellent Clarity: Although the clarity grade is lower when compared to VVS diamonds, VS1 diamonds still offer a high clarity level, with inclusions being invisible to the naked eye and somewhat difficult to detect under 10x magnification.

  • Good Light Performance: Due to minor inclusions and blemishes, VS1 diamonds are characterized by solid light performance, giving the gemstones a remarkably sparkly look.

  • Balance between Quality and Price: VS1 diamonds offer excellent clarity without the premium price tag, meaning that there’s a good balance between quality and value.

  • Versatility: VS1 diamonds are quite versatile, making them suitable for all types of jewelry.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a high-clarity diamond at a reasonable price, consider choosing between VVS vs. VS1 clarity diamonds.


When comparing VVS and VS1 diamonds, there are no significant differences that one can observe with the naked eye. They both feature minor inclusions and blemishes that are completely invisible to the naked eye.


However, VVS and VS1 clarity grades can easily be distinguished by skilled graders when examined under 10x magnification. While the inclusions in VVS diamonds are still extremely difficult to see, natural imperfections in VS1 diamonds are slightly more visible under magnification.


In terms of light performance and brilliance, there are no significant differences between VVS and VS1 diamonds. In fact, the minimal differences, if any, are often imperceptible to the unaided eye.


When it comes to pricing, VVS diamonds are more expensive, whereas VS1 diamonds offer a more budget-friendly alternative. Still, carat weight, cut type, and color will also influence the price of VVS and VS1 diamonds.


As each clarity grade comes with its own unique benefits and drawbacks, the choice between VVS vs. VS1 diamonds depends on your personal preferences. Besides, you should consider the intended use of the diamond to select the clarity grade accordingly.


Whether you opt for a VVS diamond or choose a VS1 clarity grade instead, ensure the gemstone is 100% authentic by checking the grading report from a reputable gemological laboratory.

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 t

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