Complete Guide to VVS1 Clarity December 23, 2020 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

The Very Very Slightly Included (VVS) clarity rating is split into VVS1 and VVS2. Of the two, we’re going to focus on VVS1 diamonds. 

To begin with, VVS1 diamonds are close to flawless. This means that whatever inclusions there are would be very tricky to find under 10x magnification. Even skilled graders may have a hard time locating the imperfections of a VVS1 diamond, which, for all practical purposes, appears flawless to the naked eye. 

VVS1 diamonds and diamond rings make for great investments for the fact they’re highly sought-after. 

VVS1 Clarity – Basic Characteristics 

K501 Artistic View of VVS1 Clarity Diamond Ring with Sapphires

According to the GIA’s clarity grading, VVS1 diamonds are one grade below IF (Internally Flawless) diamonds. This means they aren’t totally clear, but as mentioned any inclusions would be minuscule. 

To put things in perspective, an average person would find it hard to find VVS1 imperfections when looking at the diamond at anything less than 40x magnification. Of course, you’d need a microscope for this and even then you may need to know what to look for. 

Before inspecting a VVS1 diamond, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned. It’s because even tiny particles of dust may show up as a blemish or imperfection at this level of magnification. Come to think of it, a jeweler might actually allow you to view the diamond on the spot under a microscope. 

However, it’s going to appear flawless if you’re to use a jeweler’s loupe (10x magnification). In fact, the inclusions may remain hidden at certain lighting or angle. 

In addition, certain cuts may be great at concealing the imperfections, especially if they’re near the girdle. 

And it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a bigger VVS1 diamond (say 2 or more carats), it’s still going to be a challenge to find the inclusions. This is because of their nature, size, and location. 

VVS1 Inclusion Properties 

Front View of VVS1 Diamond with no inclusions
The Front View of a VVS1 Clarity Diamond

The inclusions of diamonds can be very different and even completely different in type. The ones that are common in VVS1 diamonds are feather, needle, and pinpoint imperfections. 

Example GIA Certificate of a VVS1 Diamond

Feather Inclusion

This is a tiny fracture or crack, usually deep inside the diamond. Feather inclusions may appear transparent or invisible depending on the viewing angle. But if they’re penetrated by light, you should be able to see the feather-like fracture. 

It’s important to stress that a large feather may lower a diamond’s durability. This is especially if the feather is closer to the surface. Furthermore, some feather inclusions may display odd discoloration, which would decrease the grading. But of course, this is not going to apply to VVS1 stones or they wouldn’t have been VVS1 in the first place. 

Needle Inclusion

Under 40x magnification, needle inclusions show up as long thin imperfections that are usually transparent. Some diamonds may have white needle inclusions. And if they’re visible at 10x magnification, you’re not looking at a VVS1 diamond. 

The same applies to needle imperfections that show up in clusters. These significantly affect the diamond’s clarity and may be visible to the naked eye. 

Pinpoint Inclusion

Pinpoint imperfections are perhaps the most common in VVS1 diamonds. They are tiny specks of black or white crystals trapped within the diamond. They look like a tiny dot and are very hard to spot at under 40x magnification. 

Again, diamonds of lesser grade may have pinpoint inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification. 

VVS1 Inclusions – Number, Location, and Relief 

VVS1 diamonds have two to five inclusions. Before you get alarmed by the upper range of five, know that the type and size of the inclusions are important characteristics. 

And in this regard, VVS1 imperfections have to be tiny and there’s a scale of desirability within the grade. For instance, a VVS1 diamond may have only one larger feather close to the girdle. 

However, if a feather of the same size is at the plateau, the diamond might not qualify for VVS1. Whatever the case, the imperfection shouldn’t be visible to the naked eye. 

On the other hand, there are VVS1 diamonds that have two or three pinpoint inclusions at the plateau. But they’ve got to be so small as to not affect the diamond’s clarity, hence the high grading. 

Similarly, VVS1 diamonds can have one or two needle imperfections at the facets. They’re usually transparent and the facets can hide some of the reflectivity. 

You already know that the cut can make a grader’s job more difficult. But a VVS1 diamond’s cut is not that important when compared to VS1 diamonds, for example. 

As for the relief, it actually shows the level of inclusion and has to be very low with VVS1 diamonds. Because of this, the overall color of the diamond would be as close to the host stone as possible. 

Are All VVS1 Diamonds “Eye-Clean”? 

11914 Asscher Cut Diamond with VVS1 Clarity

The official answer is yes. Not only that, but they will usually appear clean under low magnification. 

All in, you may not have to work too hard to find a VS1 diamond that appears eye-clean. It’s just that VVS1 diamonds are extremely rare and are closer to IF diamonds than VS1 diamonds. Needless to say, they’re going to be priced accordingly. 

At the same time, if you’re shopping for an engagement ring, you may be able to get away with an eye-clean VS1 stone. 

However, if you’re planning to start a diamond collection, VVS1 might be a better choice. Due to the scarcity, these diamonds are likely to go up in value more in the future. Particularly if they come with a bulletproof certificate. 

Whatever you decide, you’ve just got to set priorities and balance out the 4Cs. For instance, it’s okay to settle for a smaller VVS1 diamond (0.50 carats to 0.75 carats). But it may not be as smart to settle for a subpar overall color that makes the inclusions more pronounced. 

And at this level, we’re talking about imperfections that are only visible under high magnification. 

What Are the Prices of VVS1 Diamonds? 

Side Angle of VVS1 Diamond

It’s not hard to guess that VVS1 diamonds are expensive. Viewed as a long-term investment, however, a VVS1 vintage or vintage-style ring can easily become a family heirloom, if you care for that. 

For instance, a 1-carat VVS1 diamond of G color may cost around $7,000. But if you’re hell-bent about no yellowish reflections, you might have to pay double or more. And this is just for the loose stones. 

When shopping for a VVS1 diamond ring, consider the precious metal, the setting, and the embellishments. These usually add a few thousand dollars on top of the diamond, and certain cuts are more expensive regardless of the other 4Cs. 

How to Shop for a VVS1 Diamond 

11914 Bolton Diamond Ring

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume you’re in the market for a VVS1 diamond ring. The first step is to find a reputable jeweler with an impressive presence online and off. 

This means having a great website and a local store for you to view the diamond in person. In addition, the diamond must be accompanied by a certificate attesting to its grading. If you find something online that you like, don’t hesitate to ask for a certificate either, and you’ll find that jewelers are eager to show this if available. 

The style, era, and appearance of the ring can make all the difference. And if you know what you’re doing, you can gauge beforehand if your loved one would be enamored by the piece. 

Examples of VSS1 Diamond from Our Collection

  • 12659 Antique Ring TV
    Norwalk Ring. Circa 1910
    SOLD
  • Bolton Ring Top View
    Bolton Ring
    SOLD
  • Turin Ring TV RD4001
    Turin Ring
    $112,000
  1. Norwalk Ring 

Whichever way you look at it, the Norwalk is a masterpiece. A 1.79-carat GIA-certified diamond takes center stage. This K color gem features Old European cut and VVS1 clarity. 

Moving on, three auxiliary diamonds embellish each shoulder surrounded by fine milgrain. The Norwalk under-gallery is open-work and intricate filigree extends halfway down the shank. 

  1. Bolton Ring 

Also GIA-certified, the Bolton ring sports a 1.01-carat diamond of VVS1 clarity and G color. The diamond is Asscher cut to highlight its brilliance and reflectivity. 

The Bolton’s halo follows the lines of the center stone and features smaller old cut diamonds. There’s also a fleur-de-lis on each shoulder where there are additional gemstones. Open-work filigree adorns the under-gallery, and the ring has a triple-wire shank. 

  1. Turin Ring 

Ready to invest in a VVS1 diamond ring that’s worthy of an upscale collection? Take a look at the Turin. 

First of all, it has a 3.05-carat center stone of G color and VVS1 clarity. And Estate Diamond Jewelry will provide the GIA certificate upon request. Moreover, the two side diamonds weigh 1.20 and 1.15 carats. 

The setting is robust and the auxiliary gemstones embellish most of the shank. 

Final Thoughts

12077-Artistic

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t think twice about buying a VVS1 diamond. Indeed, they are among the rarest and most beautiful stones you can get your hands on. And when you find the right balance of color, cut, and carat, you should find a VVS1 diamond that fits your budget.