Struggling to choose between VS1 and VS2 clarity grades?
In this informative Twirl Weddings guide, we will compare the two clarity grades (VS1 and VS2) and provide answers to important questions you may have:
- Is a VS1 diamond free from visible flaws?
- Are VS2 diamonds suitable for a 1-carat diamond ring?
- Do VS1 diamonds always come at a higher price?
Differences Between VS1 and VS2 Diamonds
- When it comes to rarity, VS1 diamonds are harder to find, while VS2 diamonds are more common.
- In terms of price, VS1 diamonds are generally pricier, whereas VS2 diamonds with similar quality are
- often more affordable.
- Regarding the location of inclusions, VS1 diamonds tend to have them closer to the outer edges, whereas VS2 diamonds are more likely to have inclusions toward the center.
- VS1 diamonds should not have any dark inclusions, whereas VS2 diamonds may have one or two dark inclusions.
What are VS Diamonds?
A diamond with VS clarity means it has been rated as “Very Slightly Included.” This clarity level includes two grades: VS1 and VS2 diamonds.
Both VS1 and VS2 diamonds have some imperfections called inclusions and blemishes, which can be seen under a special magnifying glass that makes things look ten times larger. The clarity grade of a diamond depends on the size, location, type, relief, and number of inclusions and blemishes it has.
When a diamond is rated as VS, it means its imperfections cannot be seen with the naked eye, but they become visible under the special magnifying glass. We call diamonds without visible imperfections to the naked eye “eye-clean,” and the VS clarity is the first level where diamonds are considered eye-clean.
Visual Differences – VS1 vs VS2 Diamond
Now, when we look at a VS1 and VS2 diamond, it’s difficult to tell them apart visually. Even experts might have a hard time distinguishing them. The average person wouldn’t be able to tell the difference by just looking at them side by side. Under the magnifying glass, the difference is still not very obvious, but you might notice that the inclusions in a VS2 diamond could appear darker and larger compared to a VS1 diamond.
The clarity assessment of diamonds is a challenging task, even for experienced graders. There are no machines or fixed mathematical standards to analyze diamond clarity. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a set of reference diamonds to compare incoming diamonds and assign them their clarity grades.
So, the key visual difference between a VS1 and a VS2 diamond lies in the prominence of inclusions. While both fall under the Very Slightly Included category, VS2 diamonds are more likely to have darker and bigger inclusions than VS1 diamonds.
When viewed closely, using a special magnifying glass, you won’t notice any significant inclusions in a VS1 diamond.
VS Diamond Inclusions Examples
To give you an idea of what you might observe when browsing, here are some images of VS diamonds taken at 40x magnification from our friends at James Allen.
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-9.42.06-PM.png Caption: VS2 Diamond Clarity, I Color, Very Good Cut IGI Graded Diamond
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-9.44.42-PM.png Caption:VS2 Diamond Clarity, I Color, Excellent Cut GIA Graded Diamond
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-9.48.21-PM.png Caption: VS1 Clarity, Modified Cushion, GIA Graded Diamond, D Color, No obvious Inclusions at 40x magnification
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-9.52.13-PM.png Caption: VS1 Clarity, Modified Cushion, GIA Graded Diamond, G Color, very tiny pinpoint at 40x magnification
Value and Resale – VS1 vs VS2
Many people believe that expensive diamonds must be valuable, but most physical jewelry stores carry lower-grade diamonds, not the high-quality ones you can find online.
Stores like Kays or Zales would consider a center diamond with VS1 or VS2 clarity as amazing. However, they mostly stock diamonds with SI or I clarity. On the other hand, online retailers offer a wide selection of VS1 and VS2 diamonds.
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-9.30.54-PM.png Caption: VS2 Inclusions at 40x Magnification
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-9.35.58-PM.png Caption: Same VS2 Diamond at around 10x Magnification
Having a VS1 or VS2 diamond doesn’t guarantee a high resale value, especially for colorless diamonds unless they are large and flawless. So, my advice is not to focus on the monetary or resale value of your VS diamonds, regardless of the grade you choose.
Technically, a VS1 diamond is considered rarer and more valuable than a VS2 diamond because it ranks higher on the clarity scale. However, this comparison holds true only when all other diamond grades are comparable. For example, a 3-carat VS2 diamond with E color will be more valuable than a 1-carat VS1 diamond with G color. Cutting diamonds with VS clarity from larger stones is more challenging than cutting average-sized 1-carat diamonds.
It’s also important to consider lab-grown diamonds. Although they have VS1 clarity, their value is not as high as mined diamonds with VS2 clarity. Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds in every sense but don’t hold the same value as naturally mined ones. Lab-grown diamonds can be produced in a relatively short time and in large quantities. In contrast, diamonds formed naturally in the ground take billions of years to develop and require significant investment in mining and production.
Due to price fluctuations, jewelers often don’t offer upgrade plans for lab-grown diamonds. However, some lab-grown diamond retailers are starting to provide their own trade-up options.
Price Difference – VS1 Diamond vs VS2 Diamond
The price difference between a VS1 diamond and a VS2 diamond that have the same quality is quite small. Typically, these diamonds will only have a price increase of about 5% to 15%.
However, this price difference can change when comparing VS1 and VS2 diamonds with different grades. The pricing of diamonds is influenced by various factors such as the shape of the diamond, whether it is certified or uncertified, the grading lab that certified it, the brand, the retailer, whether it is a lab-grown or mined diamond, the cut style, whether it is colorless or fancy colored, the proportions, fluorescence, and any treatments it has undergone.
Interestingly, it is not uncommon to find VS2 diamonds that are more expensive than VS1 diamonds. It’s important to make a fair comparison by considering the specific details of the diamonds, not just the 4Cs (carat weight, cut, color, and clarity). Factors like symmetry, polish, length to width ratio, and other details are not part of the 4Cs but are important when determining the price of diamonds.
For example, a 1 carat VS1 diamond can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $12,000 depending on its grade, while a 1 carat VS2 diamond on average ranges from $3,000 to $8,000.
However, when we talk about 1 carat lab-grown diamonds, the average costs change significantly. It is harder to estimate the exact price of a lab-grown diamond because they are generally priced at a 20% to 40% lower range compared to mined diamonds with the same grades. In fact, some of our favorite retailers even offer them at a discount of up to 60%.
Real Prices and Examples of VS Clarity Diamonds Online
I have selected actual diamond prices from online sources to provide you with an understanding of the potential cost of VS1 and VS2 diamonds. It’s important to pay attention to the variation in prices between natural diamonds and lab-grown VS diamonds.
- VS1 and VS2 Mined Diamonds from Blue Nile
image; Screenshot of the page (check next image below) Caption: S1 Mined Diamond, Ideal, 1 Carat, D Color $9260 from Blue Nile
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-10.09.38-PM.png Caption: VS2 Mined Diamond, Oval, 1 Carat, D Color $5,132 from Blue Nile
- VS1 and VS2 Lab Grown Diamonds from Blue Nile
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-10.04.14-PM.png Caption: VS1 Lab Grown Diamond, Oval, 1 Carat, D Color $1819 from Blue Nile
image: https://learningjewelry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Screen-Shot-2023-05-13-at-10.01.53-PM.png Caption: VS2 Lab Grown Diamond, Oval, 1 Carat, D Color $1,666 from Blue Nile
VS1 Diamonds or VS2 Diamonds – Which One is Better?
I understand that you’re seeking guidance to make a decision between VS1 and VS2 diamonds, but I haven’t shown a clear preference so far.
Well, Juli, let me break it down for you. Deciding between VS1 and VS2 diamonds is not straightforward, just like many things in the diamond industry. However, I’ll explain it in a simple way, so pay attention.
If you’re considering a 1-2 carat diamond with a brilliant cut style, my suggestion would be to go for a VS2 diamond. However, if you’re opting for an emerald cut or Asscher shape diamond, you might lean towards a VS1 diamond.
Now, if you’re purchasing a 2-carat diamond, regardless of the shape, I would recommend choosing a VS1 diamond.
Keep in mind that when shopping online, it’s crucial to thoroughly analyze videos and high-definition images of the diamond. Ensure that the retailer you choose has a favorable return policy in case you’re not satisfied with what you see.
VS1 and VS2 diamonds fall into the category of average clarity grade. This is excellent for an engagement ring since there are no visible flaws to the naked eye. Inclusions are only noticeable under magnification of 10x or higher, which doesn’t make much difference when viewed with the naked eye.
I hope I’ve helped you understand the subtle distinctions between VS1 and VS2 diamonds. If you’re interested in learning about reliable places to buy VS diamonds online, you can check out the best places to buy VS clarity diamonds).