VS1 Diamond Clarity Grade: Understanding Why It’s a Smart Choice

VS1 Diamond Clarity Grade: Understanding Why It’s a Smart Choice

Are you considering purchasing a diamond with VS1 clarity? Look no further!

In this educational Twirl Weddings handbook, I will provide you with all the essential information about diamonds with VS1 clarity and address common inquiries regarding this particular grade, such as:

  • What does VS1 clarity mean, and how does it compare to other clarity grades?
  • What kinds of imperfections can be found in VS1 diamonds, and can they be seen without any magnification?
  • How does the clarity grade of VS1 impact the value of a diamond, and is it a worthwhile investment?
  • What advantages and disadvantages come with choosing a diamond with VS1 clarity, and how can you ensure its quality?

What is a VS1 Clarity Grade?

If a diamond receives a clarity grade of VS1, it indicates that the gemstone is classified as “Very Slightly Included.” Inclusions are natural characteristics that occur during the mineral’s formation process. Both diamonds and colored gemstones can possess these inclusions.

The term “inclusions” encompasses various characteristics present within a diamond after it has been cut and polished. On the other hand, surface blemishes pertain to imperfections occurring on the outer facets of the diamond.

Blemishes occur externally and can potentially affect the durability of a diamond, although not all blemishes pose such a risk. There exist numerous types of blemishes and inclusions. Inclusions manifest within the diamond itself. As long as an inclusion does not originate from the center and extend above the surface, its visual impact on the diamond will be minimal.

In diamonds with VS1 clarity, it is unlikely to discover noticeable flaws that are dark or significantly large.

The GIA Diamond Clarity Grading Scale

The Gemological Institute of America examines diamonds brought to their laboratories using a clarity scale established in the 1940s. This scale was developed alongside the other three criteria for assessing diamond quality: cut quality, color grades, and carat weight.

The clarity scale employed by the GIA comprises various grades. Among these grades, VS1 diamonds represent the higher clarity grade within the VS clarity category.

Is VS1 a Good Quality Diamond?

In general, VS1 is regarded as a high clarity grade. An engagement ring with a VS1 diamond should not have any noticeable inclusions when observed with the naked eye. It is classified as an “eye clean” grade on the clarity scale and is the first grade that achieves this level of clarity.

However, it’s important to note that having a VS1 diamond does not guarantee overall diamond quality. Multiple factors contribute to a diamond’s quality. For larger diamonds, VS1 is typically considered a favorable clarity grade.

In the case of significantly larger carat weights (think of diamonds like the Hope Diamond), the small internal inclusions in a VS1 clarity grade would appear more prominent due to the diamond’s size. Such large diamonds are extremely valuable and often sold at auctions.

When assessing clarity levels, a VS1 clarity diamond is considered a good grade for any diamond shape. A 1 carat VS1 diamond would make an excellent choice for a high-quality engagement ring, regardless of the diamond’s shape.


It’s not necessary to possess a diamond with an extremely high clarity grade, such as internally flawless or flawless. These grades can be quite costly, particularly for larger diamonds. Diamonds with higher clarity grades are more rare and thus more expensive.

If rarity is important to you and price is not an issue, then by all means, opt for the rarer and more valuable grades. However, if you’re looking to save money, lower clarity grades are more affordable and yield the same visible outcome.

Keep in mind that VS1, VS2, VVS1, and VVS2 diamonds all have distinct inclusions when observed under 10x magnification, but they all appear clean to the naked eye. So if they provide the same visual result, why spend more on a VVS1 diamond instead of a VS1 diamond?

You can either save money or allocate that portion of your budget to another diamond feature like carat weight or cut quality.

I delve deeper into this concept in my article where I compare VS1 and VVS2 clarity diamonds.

VS1 Diamonds Shapes 

When it comes to choosing a diamond shape with VS1 clarity, personal preference and style play a significant role rather than favoring one specific shape over others. However, most diamonds available in stores are either step cut or brilliant cut.

Step Cut Asscher Diamond Shape
Brilliant Cut Pear Shaped Diamond

Brilliant cut diamonds are meticulously faceted with numerous small cuts to create brief flashes of light. The common brilliant shapes you’ll find in stores are:

Step cut diamonds, on the other hand, are cut in a stair-like manner, featuring long and narrow facets. This cutting style allows for more pronounced flashes of light. The popular step cut shapes include:

  • Emerald Cuts
  • Asscher Cuts
  • Baguette cut (often used as side stones)

Considering that a VS1 diamond may have slight inclusions visible under magnification, it’s important to note that step cut diamonds tend to accentuate clarity imperfections due to their cutting style. Therefore, it’s not always recommended to opt for lower clarity grades when selecting step cut shapes.

SI Clarity Emerald Cut Diamond

In diamonds with lower clarity grades, it is common to observe dark inclusions that are visible through the flat top surface of the diamond. These dark inclusions don’t necessarily diminish the diamond’s brilliance, but their specific placement is crucial.

The good news is that both VS1 and VS2 diamonds are considered “eye clean,” meaning they don’t have visible inclusions to the naked eye. Therefore, you have the freedom to choose any diamond shape that appeals to you. Instead, it is recommended to prioritize other aspects of the diamond, such as cut quality, diamond certification, and color grades.

However, it’s important to note that different diamond shapes may have their own unique considerations and precautions that need to be taken into account.

Low Quality VS1 Diamonds

While VS1 diamonds are generally regarded as high-quality, there are factors that can affect the quality of a specific VS1 diamond. Here are some things to be mindful of:

Visible inclusions: Although VS1 diamonds are categorized as “very slightly included,” certain diamonds may have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. This can diminish the overall appearance and value of the diamond.

Poor cut: A diamond that is poorly cut can have a negative impact on its brilliance and fire, resulting in less sparkle and lower value.

Poor color: While VS1 diamonds typically exhibit colorlessness or near-colorlessness, those with lower color grades may appear dull or have a yellowish tinge.

Other imperfections: In addition to inclusions, diamonds can possess various other flaws that can reduce their quality. For instance, a diamond with chips or scratches may be considered lower in quality compared to one without such imperfections.

It’s important to note that not all VS1 diamonds are identical. The location of tiny flaws within each VS1 diamond differs.

Even with lab-grown diamonds, scientists do not have complete control over the types of inclusions that occur in each diamond. Although there is some influence over the inclusions in lab-grown diamonds, many mineral inclusions result from other elements and rocks becoming trapped within the diamond’s crystal structure.

The types of inclusions found in lab-grown diamonds are limited due to the controlled environment in which they form. While they still exhibit inclusions, they may not have the same types of inclusions as those found in naturally mined diamonds.

However, even if these lower-quality VS1 diamonds appear clean to the naked eye, they may still possess other imperfections to be aware of:

  • Dark areas within the diamond indicate that light does not reflect back effectively, reducing its brilliance.
  • A diamond with a thick girdle may have an undesirable appearance and affect its overall quality.
  • A lower color grade, although a matter of personal preference, can result in a dull or slightly yellowish appearance. It does not impact the diamond’s durability but can affect its price and value.

It is important to understand that a diamond’s overall quality is determined by multiple factors, including its cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. When purchasing a VS1 diamond, it is crucial to consider all these aspects and collaborate with a reputable jeweler who can assist you in selecting a high-quality stone that aligns with your preferences and budget.

Difference Between VS1 and VS2 Diamonds

VS1 diamonds are considered to have a higher clarity grade compared to VS2 diamonds. However, both grades fall within the VS clarity tier, which means they possess diamonds with eye-clean clarity.

From a professional standpoint, there are slight distinctions between VS1 and VS2 diamonds. In a VS2 diamond, minor inclusions appear larger or more noticeable when viewed under magnification compared to a VS1 diamond.

It’s important to note that not every VS1 diamond has visible inclusions. When observing very slightly included diamonds in 360˚ videos provided by diamond retailers, the magnification is often set at 30x or higher, rather than the standard 10x.

The VS2 diamonds showcased on James Allen’s platform are viewed at 40x magnification. Even though inclusions may appear larger under 40x magnification, they appear significantly smaller to the naked eye.

VS2 Inclusions at 40x
VS2 Inclusions at 40x

It is important not to assume that every VS1 diamond is superior to every VS2 diamond. Diamond clarity is just one aspect of overall diamond quality, price, and value. It is possible for a poorly cut 2-carat VS1 diamond to be a worse choice than a well-cut 1-carat VS2 diamond.

VS1 Diamond Prices

When it comes to analyzing diamond prices, it can be a complex task, much like the entire jewelry and gem industry. Numerous factors contribute to the overall price of a diamond.

Certain factors play a major role and can result in differences of thousands of dollars, while other factors may lead to a price difference of $100-500. It can be challenging to determine which VS1 diamond offers the best value, especially when working with a limited budget.

The price of a VS1 clarity diamond is influenced by factors such as:

  • Cut quality
  • Color grade
  • Carat weight
  • Colored diamonds versus colorless diamonds
  • Diamond shape
  • Fluorescence
  • Grading report
  • Brand
  • Retailer
  • Online versus in-store purchase
  • Custom-made versus pre-set designs
  • Mined diamonds versus lab-grown diamonds

When comparing natural diamonds to lab-grown diamonds of the same VS1 clarity grade, you will notice significant price differences. Lab-grown diamond jewelry is often priced at a 20-40% (or sometimes higher) discount compared to mined diamonds, which are also known as natural diamonds.

There are numerous factors and considerations that impact diamond prices. On average, a 1-carat VS1 clarity diamond can range from around $5,000 to beyond $10,000, depending on the specific diamond grades involved.

Best Places to Buy a VS1 Diamond Engagement Ring

If you’re searching for a diamond with VS clarity, you’ll have a much better chance of finding the perfect one online rather than in physical stores.

This is because most diamond jewelry and engagement rings sold in stores are of medium quality. Places like Kay and Zales typically stock engagement rings with SI clarity or I clarity grades, and they may not have loose diamonds readily available for you to examine all at once. They might suggest waiting for their Dana Augustine diamond show to purchase a VS1 clarity diamond.

I Clarity Princess Cut
SI Clarity Emerald Cut

On the other hand, online diamond retailers offer a wide selection of loose diamonds directly on their websites. You can easily compare hundreds to thousands of diamonds from different retailers in the comfort of your own home.

Looking at magnified pictures online is much simpler than trying to examine a diamond through a jeweler’s loupe or microscope.

Frequently Asked Questions About VS1 Clarity Diamonds

Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions regarding VS1 clarity diamonds that we haven’t covered yet.

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds in the VS1 Clarity Grade Real Diamonds?

There is often skepticism surrounding lab-grown diamonds due to misinformation and biased opinions from those promoting mined diamonds. The terminology can also be confusing.

Lab-grown diamonds may be referred to as:

  • Lab-created diamonds
  • Created diamonds
  • Lab-grown diamonds
  • Synthetic diamonds (although discouraged in the trade)
  • Man-made diamonds (different from cubic zirconia or man-made crystals)

Some people mistakenly believe that “synthetic” means “fake” because that’s its meaning in other contexts. However, when it comes to diamonds and gemstones, “synthetic” simply means lab-created. Lab-grown diamonds possess the same fundamental properties as naturally mined diamonds.

There are numerous reasons to consider buying lab-grown diamonds, despite misconceptions about them. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if a lab-grown diamond is the right choice for your engagement ring.

Which Grading Reports are Recommended for VS1 Clarity Diamonds?

For VS1 clarity diamonds, it is advisable to obtain grading reports from reputable and trusted laboratories in the industry. The following grading authorities are recommended for diamonds of all clarity grades:

When it comes to diamond certifications, there are more options available for lab-grown diamonds. The GIA is widely regarded as the top authority, and many people prefer to purchase GIA-certified diamonds. These certifications are often more common and easier to find compared to AGS diamond certifications.

Do VS1 diamonds appear cloudy?

No, VS1 diamonds are not supposed to appear cloudy. However, they may contain cloud inclusions when viewed under magnification. Cloud inclusions can occur in a diamond due to the presence of gases, crystals, or minerals trapped within the stone.

In diamonds with lower clarity grades like I clarity, a cloud inclusion may be visible to the naked eye. However, in a VS1 clarity diamond, you will not be able to see a cloud inclusion without the aid of magnification.

Final Thoughts – VS1 Diamond Clarity Grade

If you’re in search of high-quality and stunning diamonds, VS1 diamonds are a great option. They offer exceptional clarity at a more affordable price compared to higher clarity grade diamonds of similar cut, color, and carat weight. With a VS1 diamond, you can enjoy a balance of value and beauty.

Whether you’re considering an engagement ring, earrings, or any other jewelry piece, choosing a VS1 diamond is a wise investment that will remain timeless.

Leave a Reply