Jewelry Blog

What are VVS Diamonds?

Platinum Ring With VVS Clarity Cushion Cut Diamond On Wood Surface

VVS diamonds are visually flawless to the naked eye but have microscopic imperfections. You might hear someone refer to a VVS diamond as “eye-clean,” meaning you can’t see any blemishes or inclusions with the naked eye. VVS diamonds are only a step away from being internally flawless on the clarity grading scale. It’s rare to find diamonds with few or no clarity issues, and VVS diamonds are in this category.

What Is a VVS Diamond?

Platinum Ring With VVS Clarity Cushion Cut Diamond On Wood Surface

VVS stands for Very, Very Slightly Included. The abbreviation lets you know a diamond’s clarity on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) clarity scale. This scale grades a diamond’s visual appearance and its blemishes or flaws. A diamond with a VVS grade has tiny inclusions that are hard to see even under 10x magnification.

If you have your eye on these diamonds, remember that VVS diamonds should always be bought from reputable jewelers that offer GIA certificates. When purchasing a VVS ring online, also ensure the retailer shows high-quality images of the diamond.

What Types of Inclusions Are in VVS Diamonds?

VVS2 Diamond With Zoomed In Portion To Show Inclusions

VVS diamonds display tiny inclusions like needles, pinpoints, clouds, internal graining, and minuscule surface-reaching inclusions like feather or chip cavities. These inclusions will only be seen under powerful magnification and not visible to the human eye.

How Is a VVS Diamond Graded?

jeweler using a loupe and and four-pronged claw tweezers to examine diamond

Diamond experts use several criteria to evaluate diamonds. To determine a diamond’s clarity and grade, an expert utilizes specialized microscopes to spot any inclusions affecting a stone’s overall clarity. The grader uses tweezers to hold the stone from girdle to girdle and adjusts the magnification to view the diamond. For accuracy, the grader also uses 10x magnification and the standard loupe, which ensures that all inclusions are viewed under different lenses and accurately recorded.

All inclusions on GIA grading reports have been seen using this extreme magnification. Inclusions are graded using several factors, which include the number, size, and position. Graders also see if the inclusion is internal or external within the stone and also the inclusion color. All of these influence a diamond grade in the order referenced above.

Regardless of whether a diamond has plenty of inclusions if they aren’t visible to the naked eye, then it might still get a VVS grading. These labs can also easily discern if a diamond’s clarity has been affected by treatments to the stone or laser drilling. Reputable retailers disclose this information to potential buyers. It’s a red flag if they don’t have it readily available.

Comparison: VVS1 vs. VVS2

top-down view of VVS1 and VVS2 clarity diamonds side by side

There are two levels of VVS diamonds: VVS1 and VVS2. Although these diamonds look identical, there are subtle differences. VVS1 diamonds have fewer inclusions in size, location, and number than VVS2 diamonds.

Where inclusions are positioned is important as it can bump a diamond out of the VVS1 grade. Inclusions on the side of a diamond are sometimes hidden by prongs. So, when a diamond is placed in an engagement ring setting, it may look like the flaw isn’t there, but if the inclusion is in the center of a diamond, it can’t be hidden.

Generally, VVS1 diamonds have microscopic inclusions on the bottom half or pavilion of the diamond, closer to the edge. These inclusions are invisible under magnification. VVS1 diamonds are almost perfect in all ways and cost more than VVS2 diamonds.

In contrast, VVS2 diamonds are pristine but contain inclusions that are difficult to find. However, they usually are nearer the diamond’s center and surface or table. The inclusions are darker or more prominent than in VVS1 diamonds.

Both diamonds are eye-clean, but the cut, color, shape, quality, and carat weight further influence their price. If both diamonds have similar attributes, but one has VVS1 clarity and the other, VV2, the VVS1 diamond will likely cost 10% more than the VVS2.

For example, suppose you looked at a 1-carat VVS1 and VVS2 diamond side by side. Visually, both look fairly flawless to the naked eye. They both have the same color grade: H. However, upon closer inspection (with 10x magnification), you’ll start to see the differences.

Tiny though they are, a VVS2 diamond will have inclusions that you can see under magnification. And it’s those inclusions that drop the price down by around $600. Since most people don’t walk around examining diamonds under that much magnification, VVS2 diamonds are a good choice if you want to save a little money.

Is VVS a Better Option Than VS?

top-down view of VS1 and VVS2 clarity diamonds side by side

Both VVS and VS diamonds are fantastic, but a VVS one has a higher quality and is a better option – if your budget allows it. However, if you’re willing to sacrifice a little clarity, you may be able to get a VS diamond that’s a little bigger and has a better cut or color for a lower price.

Here are the main differences between VS and VVS Diamonds:

  • VVS diamonds are ranked higher on the clarity scale, so their clarity quality exceeds that of VS diamonds. And the cleaner the VVS diamond, the more brilliant.
  • VVS diamonds are rare, which makes them more expensive and valuable than VS diamonds.
  • VS diamonds contain more prominent inclusions, but these are still tiny.
  • VS diamonds are much cheaper than VVS due to their lower clarity and are more common.
  • Regardless of being eye-clean, VVS diamonds are superior to VS diamonds.

What Colors Match VVS?

diamond color scale ranging from D to I grade with diamond images

If a VVS diamond exceeds or matches a carat in size, it can be paired with colors D, E, F, G, H, or I.

Price of VVS Diamonds

customer and jeweler in jewelry showroom negotiating the price of a ring

A great thing about VVS diamonds is that you’ll pay much less than for flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) stones, but you’ll own a diamond that closely resembles them. Additionally, a VVS diamond’s value appreciates over time, and VVS diamond value has recently appreciated much higher than IF or FL.

The pricing of a VVS diamond depends on whether it’s a VVS1 or VVS2 diamond and how the stone has been graded according to the other 3Cs.

For example, you can expect a 1.93-carat VVS diamond to range from $1,100 to $21,600 for a 0.50-carat diamond in H color or higher. As mentioned before, the actual price depends on the diamond’s color, cut, and carat weight (in addition to clarity).

On average, the price for a round VVS1, 1-carat stone in H color is around $5,500, and the price for a 1-carat round VVS1 in I color is around $4,800. If you look at bigger stones, a 2-carat VVS round diamond in H color could cost about $23,000.

As a general rule, VVS diamonds cost much more than VS diamonds and are significantly more than SI diamonds.

Is a VVS Diamond a Good Idea for an Engagement Ring?

Three-stone diamond ring sitting on brown rocks with VVS1 center diamond

Yes, a VVS diamond is a good idea for an engagement ring. VVS diamonds have fewer inclusions on their surfaces and are much more inexpensive than IF or FL clarity. They also display less fluorescence effects from anomalies.

A diamond’s fluorescence is just a way of describing how UV rays react with minerals inside the diamond. Whether that glow or fluorescence is good or bad depends on the diamond’s additional features. Traditionally, experts would warn buyers to stay away from too much fluorescence. However, nowadays, it’s not necessarily as bad.

If you buy your VVS diamond from a certified, reputable seller and you’re not set on a flawless ring, it’s a great choice.

Also, remember that it’s difficult for the untrained eye, even under magnification, to find inclusions in VS diamonds. So, the differences between VS and VVS diamonds aren’t as profound as they may seem. The only noticeable difference is the cost, which could be a difference of thousands of dollars. Price-wise, if you’re looking to save for a honeymoon instead of splurging on a ring, VS diamonds are the way to go.

Are VVS Diamonds Considered Flawless?

Diamond clarity chart clarity grades ranging from SI1 to F

VVS diamonds aren’t flawless, but they’re super close. Flawless and VVS diamonds score high on the Gemological Institute of America’s clarity scale but have significant differences if viewed in a standard setting.

Flawless diamonds don’t have visible inclusions when magnified 10x. On the other hand, VVS diamonds have blemishes that can be spotted by a jeweler’s loupe, although naked to the human eye.

Top 7 Tips for Buying a VVS Diamond

jeweler in showroom with two display boxes of rings helping a customer

1. Know the VVSs

VVS diamonds come in two subcategories, as explained above, VVS1 and VVS2. They’re both great, but VVS1 has an extra edge. Ensure you’ve looked into both options for the perfect ring to save you money.

2. Decide What to Prioritize

The difference in a diamond’s clarity increases prices by up to 20%. You can choose a higher clarity, color, or cut grade and compromise other aspects to save a little. Decide whether you want to prioritize a diamond’s size over its clarity or prefer a smaller stone with higher clarity.

For example, the Asscher and Emerald are inexpensive due to being step-cut. Cushion cuts give better brilliance than step cuts and are a good choice if you prioritize brilliance but at a lower cost. Buying a cushion-cut diamond will save you up to 40% of the cost of buying a round brilliant-cut stone.

3. Pick Your Diamond’s Origin

Thanks to technological advancements, lab-grown diamonds are a cost-effective option for mined diamonds. And you can purchase a higher clarity diamond for less.

4. Set Your Budget

It’s so easy to get carried away by all the dazzle when shopping for diamond rings, but if you have a set budget in mind, it helps narrow down your search.

5. Buy From a Reputable Jeweler

You must only purchase your ring from a reputable jeweler that offers certification. The jeweler you choose must be trained and open to answering questions and explaining how you can select your diamond in simple, clear language. A good tip is to find a jeweler who’s received a credential from a well-recognized and internationally accredited program like the Applied Jewelry Professional (AJP) or GIA Graduate Gemologist (GG).

An educated jeweler should explain the 4Cs of your diamond’s quality and demonstrate any differences between similar stones. They will show you the different diamonds that fall in your budget.

6. Consider the 4Cs

Do your research on the 4Cs of diamonds: cut, carat weight, clarity, and color. These all play a role in a diamond’s quality and price. Slight color differences may affect a diamond’s value dramatically. Two stones with the same cut, weight, and clarity can differ in cost due to color alone, and just a tiny bit of color makes a huge difference in value.

7. Choose the Ideal Setting

A diamond ring’s setting influences its overall price and look. For example, a solitaire setting is less expensive than a halo setting or a setting with diamonds along the band.

Talk to a Diamond Expert

jeweler in Estate Diamond Jewelry showroom helping a happy customer

Choosing the right diamond can be challenging, even if you do your due diligence. Rather than going it alone, let our experts help you select the perfect diamond. Whether you want to go for a VVS diamond ring or are willing to look at other options, we’re here to help.

Contact us for professional assistance and get the ball rolling to find the perfect piece that will complement your significant other.

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About Benjamin Khordipour

Benjamin Khordipour is one of the jewelry researchers and gemologists at Estate Diamond Jewelry. He received his official gemological degrees from both the GIA and GUBELIN. He also regularly contributes to Business Insider, Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, and Brides Magazine. Benjamin was born in New York and joined Estate Diamond Jewelry in 2014. He is passionate about vintage jewelry and diamonds. This blog was built on his strong belief that jewelers have a responsibility to properly educate their customers. In 2019, Benjamin co-authored the book The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. His favorite vintage jewelry era is the Art Deco Era and his favorite type of stone is the Kashmir Sapphire. He also collects rare antique pins.