VS1 vs VVS1 Diamonds: The Differences in Clarity and Value

Curious about how VS1 and VVS1 Clarity Diamonds differ? Look no further!

In this Twirl Weddings guide, we have a detailed comparison of VS1 vs VVS1 Diamonds.

This comparison will address several queries, such as:

  • What sets VS1 and VVS1 apart?
  • Is VVS1 considered superior to VS1?
  • ¬†Are VVS1 diamonds consistently pricier?
  • Is VS1 considered a favorable clarity grade?

What is a VS1 Diamond?

A VS1 diamond is a type of diamond that has been evaluated as “Very Slightly Included.” It falls under the category of Very Slightly Included clarity, which includes two grades: VS1 and VS2. VS1 diamonds are a step up from VS2 diamonds and have superior clarity.

What is a VVS1 Diamond?

A VVS1 diamond is categorized as “Very, Very Slightly Included” in terms of clarity grade. Similar to VS clarity diamonds, the VVS clarity range also includes two grades: VVS1 and VVS2. Unsurprisingly, a VVS1 diamond is considered to have superior clarity when compared to VVS2 diamonds.

Diamond Clarity

If you’re not well-versed in diamond clarity, I highly recommend checking out our comprehensive Diamond Clarity Learning Guide. It provides a detailed analysis of why clarity is important when selecting a diamond.

However, if you’re already knowledgeable or simply looking for a brief overview, here’s what you need to know.

Diamond clarity grades are used to evaluate the presence of imperfections and flaws in a diamond. These imperfections, known as inclusions, come in two categories and have various forms. Some inclusions occur naturally during the diamond’s growth, while others happen during the cutting and polishing process. Most inclusions affect the diamond’s appearance rather than its durability, although there are some that can compromise its strength.

Inclusions refer to internal flaws within the diamond, such as air bubbles, minerals, gases, and other elements that come into contact with the diamond during its formation deep within the earth.

On the other hand, blemishes are surface imperfections. While some blemishes only affect the diamond’s appearance, certain types can leave the diamond more vulnerable if accidentally struck.

Diamond graders assess the presence of inclusions and blemishes based on several factors:

1. Size: The size of the inclusions and blemishes present.
2. Location: Inclusions and blemishes located in the center table facet of the diamond are more noticeable than those on the outer edges or in the pavilion.
3. Color: Most commercially sold diamonds have either white or dark-colored inclusions. Dark-colored inclusions are more noticeable than white ones. It’s also possible for diamonds to have brightly colored inclusions caused by other gem materials, like garnets or emeralds, but these are not commonly found in stores.
4. Nature: There are various types of inclusions and characteristics. Some can affect durability, while others only impact visibility. Some inclusions occur naturally during the growth process, while others arise during cutting and polishing.
5. Relief: The appearance of an inclusion or blemish in relation to the surrounding area, specifically how it appears based on the facet cuts around it.

The GIA Clarity Scale

The clarity grade scale provided by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is widely adopted by the jewelry industry across the globe. It serves as the standard for assessing diamond clarity in most jewelry establishments.

Similarities Between VS1 and VVS1 Diamonds

VS1 and VVS1 clarity diamonds are considered to be eye-clean diamonds, meaning they don’t have visible inclusions when viewed without magnification. When a gem grader looks directly at a diamond without any magnifying tools and doesn’t see any inclusions, it is considered eye-clean.

Several clarity grades are generally regarded as eye-clean diamonds, including VS1, VS2, VVS1, VVS2, IF, and F. However, the differences between these clarity grades become more apparent when examined under magnification. The variations in higher clarity grades can be observed at 30-40x magnification.

It’s important to note that the perception of eye-cleanliness can be subjective. While a diamond expert may classify a VS2 diamond as eye-clean, it’s still possible for a person to detect darker inclusions with the naked eye if they actively look for them. However, the average person typically won’t notice even a dark inclusion if the diamond’s sparkle is impressive. The diamond’s cut quality plays a significant role in its overall appearance, and you can learn more about it in our comprehensive Diamond Cut Explained Learning Guide.

Regarding the presence of inclusions, both VS1 and VVS1 diamonds are unlikely to have dark inclusions. In commercial diamonds, inclusions are typically limited to light-colored or dark-colored varieties. Dark inclusions often result from the presence of other minerals within the diamond, while some inclusions may appear as fluid-filled bubbles rather than colored features.

Under 10x magnification, a VS1 diamond exhibits very slight inclusions, which are usually light-colored. However, with VS2 diamonds, it is possible to see very slight dark inclusions.

Both VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds should not have any dark inclusions at all. In VVS diamonds, the inclusions visible at 10x magnification are very, very light, typically appearing as tiny pinpoints and feathers.

Differences Between VS1 and VVS1 Diamonds

VVS1 diamonds are usually pricier than VS1 diamonds. Many factors contribute to the pricing of diamonds, but for the sake of this example, let’s compare the cost of a 1 carat VS1 diamond with a 1 carat VVS1 diamond of the same quality and shape.

VVS1 diamonds are considered two grades higher in clarity compared to VS1 diamonds. Although both diamonds appear clean to the naked eye, their positions on the clarity scale determine their prices.

On average, the price difference between a VS1 diamond and a VVS1 diamond of the same quality is typically around 10-30% higher.

Now, let’s talk about lab-grown diamonds in the VS1 and VVS1 categories. The cost of lab-grown diamonds differs significantly from natural diamonds when comparing these clarity grades. Natural diamonds are now often referred to as “mined diamonds” to avoid confusion with lab-grown diamonds, which are still commonly known as “synthetic diamonds.”

Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical structure as diamonds mined from the earth, but they lack the same rarity, value, and price.

Usually, lab-grown diamonds are priced at a 20-40% discount compared to mined diamonds of equivalent quality.

Additionally, lab-grown diamonds tend to have less noticeable clarity imperfections because the controlled lab environment minimizes the occurrence of certain types of inclusions. Unlike mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds don’t come into contact with other minerals during their formation.

This means you have a better chance of finding eye-clean diamonds with lower clarity grades when choosing lab-grown diamonds instead of mined diamonds.

In terms of rarity and value, a VVS1 diamond is considered more precious and scarce than a VS1 diamond.

Now let’s shift our focus back to mined diamonds, which are diamonds extracted from the earth.

Many people have doubts about the supposed “rarity” of diamonds. We’ve all seen countless chain jewelry commercials boasting about how rare and special diamonds are, but then we walk into a jewelry store and find diamonds as plentiful as candies in a candy store.

This abundance is particularly evident in a single store like Kay Jewelers, and when you consider other retailers like Jared and Zales, diamonds are seemingly everywhere. They don’t seem so rare after all.

However, this perception arises because most commercially available diamonds are of low quality. As the quality of diamonds increases, so does the price. Furthermore, as carat weight and other diamond grades increase, the price and value rise significantly.

Since VVS diamonds have higher clarity grades than VS diamonds, it is reasonable to assume that a VVS1 diamond of the same quality is rarer and more valuable than a VS1 diamond.

However, if the accompanying diamond grades vary for each diamond, such as color grade and carat weight, the price, value, and rarity can change. For example, a 2 carat VS1 diamond with an E color grade might be rarer and more valuable than a 1 carat VVS1 diamond with an H color grade.

Which One You Should Buy – VS1 vs VVS1 Diamonds

Now that you understand the similarities and differences between buying a VS1 diamond and a VVS1 diamond, let’s address our original question.

Which is the better choice: a VS1 clarity diamond or a VVS1 clarity diamond?

Assuming all other diamond grades are of the same high quality, both options are excellent in terms of clarity. You can’t go wrong with either of them.

However, some people value rarity and resale value. If you’re considering a significant investment in VVS diamonds, you might want to reconsider. Diamonds generally don’t have great resale value unless all the grades are high and the carat weight is significantly higher.

In fact, the only diamonds that truly hold value and are worth investing in are natural fancy colored diamonds, which are often sold at auctions.

But if you want my expert opinion, I would suggest that the VS1 diamond offers the best value. If both VS1 and VVS1 diamonds appear clean to the naked eye, why would you pay more for something that can’t be seen without magnification?

After all, how many people will examine your engagement ring under a 10x magnification? Probably not many. Considering that VVS1 diamonds come with a price increase of around 10-30%, it makes sense to choose the VS1 clarity instead.

But ultimately, the decision between a VS1 and VVS1 diamond should be based on your personal preferences and priorities. Take into account factors such as your budget, the overall quality of the diamond, and your own perception of value. Consider what matters most to you: having a slightly higher clarity grade that may not be visible to the naked eye or saving some money while still enjoying a diamond that appears clean and beautiful. Trust your instincts and choose the diamond that brings you joy and confidence.

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