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Let’s Talk Diamond Clarity: What Does VVS Mean?

by Julianna Church
Last updated on August 20, 2023
Bridal Earrings + Lab Diamond Jewelry

One of the most searched diamond questions people ask after they purchase a diamond engagement ring is “why does my diamond have a black spot?”

Time after time, people try to return their engagement rings because of a black spot in their diamond that they swear wasn’t there when they were looking at it in-store.

But the truth is, that tiny black spot has been there much longer. We call these black spots inclusions. Inclusions are found in nearly every diamond in the world, whether they’re natural diamonds or lab created diamonds. Inclusions can be dark, or they can be light-colored.

Diamond Clarity Grades

Your diamond’s clarity grade is a gemologist’s assessment of how noticeable the inclusions are in your diamond. Note that we didn’t say how many, but how prominent. When a grading lab determines the clarity grade of your diamond’s clarity characteristics, they assign it a clarity grade.

The standard clarity grade chart put forth by the Gemological Institute of America consists of 6 tiers:

  • Flawless (F)
  • Internally Flawless (IF)
  • Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)
  • Included (I1, I2, I3)
clarity grade chart

VVS Diamond Clarity Grade

VVS stands for Very, Very Slightly Included. The clarity tier of VVS diamonds is split into two grades: VVS1 and VVS2.

VVS1 diamonds tend to have fewer inclusions visible under 10x magnification than a VVS2 diamond clarity grade. However, to the average person, you probably couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

VVS Diamonds vs Flawless Diamonds

The term “flawless” may be used to describe diamonds that have been given the Internally Flawless (IF) or Flawless (F) diamond quality. VVS diamonds fall right below these diamond grades on the diamond clarity chart. Here’s a quick comparison of the two grades:

  • VVS diamonds are less expensive than flawless diamonds, assuming all other factors are the same.
  • They are less rare than flawless diamonds.
  • VVS diamonds have very, very slight imperfections under 10x magnification, while flawless diamonds don’t.
  • Flawless and internally flawless diamonds are worth more for resale value due to rarity and cost.

VVS Diamond versus VS Diamonds

The VS diamond clarity tier consists of VS1 and Vs2 diamond grades. They fall right below the VVS clarity grades on the clarity scale. While it’s more difficult to tell VVS diamonds from flawless and internally flawless diamonds, you might notice the difference between VVS diamonds and VS diamonds– at least, under magnification.

  • Both VVS and VS diamonds appear eye clean, or free of natural inclusions to the naked eye.
  • Under 10x magnification, you may notice minor inclusions in a VS diamond. You’re more likely to notice them in a VS2 diamond rather than VS1.
  • But if you were to compare a VVS diamond engagement ring and a VS diamond engagement ring side by side, it’s unlikely you’ll determine which is which without magnification.

Are VVS Diamonds Expensive?

There are many factors that go into diamond quality and diamond prices. The same goes for VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds. A VVS diamond usually costs more than VS diamonds or SI clarity diamonds. But they can cost less than a VS diamond, too. For example, a 2 carat VVS2 diamond with a J color is going more affordable than a 2 carat VVS2 diamond with a G color grade. But if the cut quality is different, the pricing may be different as well. Diamond quality and price is all about balance. You don’t need the highest diamond grades in order to have a stunning diamond. Flawless diamonds are much more expensive than VVS diamonds, but the visual appearance is hardly distinguishable.

So, why would you pay more money for a flawless diamond if you can see any inclusions in a VVS diamond? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with buying an expensive diamond, but many people are looking to save some money when purchasing engagement rings. And if you’re one of those looking to get more bang for your buck, I’ve got even better news.

four diamond rings

Our inventory of VVS diamonds is going at a discount because all our diamond engagement rings and jewelry are crafted with gorgeous, ethical lab created diamonds. Lab created diamonds are real diamonds that are created in a lab environment and come at a 20-40% lower price than mined diamonds of the same grade. Lab created diamonds don’t have the same resale value as mined diamonds, but if you’re not looking to sell your diamond engagement ring down the road, what does it matter anyway? And even if you decide you don’t totally love your ethical lab created diamond engagement ring, we have a killer return policy that most jewelers would never offer their customers.

When you buy your engagement rings and wedding bands at Clean Origin, you’re given a 100-day return policy just to ensure you love your VVS diamond ring as much as we do.

Should You Buy VVS Diamonds?

When you get right down to it, only you can decide if buying VVS diamonds is the right call for you. Is buying a VVS1 diamond or a VVS2 diamond a waste of money?

Absolutely not.

But if you don’t necessarily have the budget for a VVS2 diamond, there’s no need to break the bank just to have the higher clarity grade. VS diamonds are more than suitable and often indistinguishable from VVS diamonds, even if they’re technically a lower clarity grade. Remember that diamond clarity is a visual observance. If your diamond inclusions aren’t near the surface or edges of your diamond’s table, they won’t impact durability. Most people just desire an eye-clean diamond because dark inclusions can detract from the beauty and brilliance of the stone.

If you can’t see them, chances are nobody else will either.

model wearing diamond earrings

But if you just have to have a VVS diamond (we don’t blame you), you can balance your other diamond characteristics and grades to choose one that is more affordable. For example, choose lab grown diamonds over mined diamonds. A lab created VVS diamond ranges between 20-40% less expensive than one grown from the dirt. Opt for a VVS diamond with a lower color grade. I don’t recommend compromising on cut quality, especially for round diamonds. But just like clarity grades, color grades are a matter of opinion and preference. Lowering your color grade is just an option. You can also compromise on carat weight, which will decrease your VVS diamond’s cost. A larger diamond with VVS clarity grades will go for much more than a smaller diamond with VVS grades.

Still wondering if you could make a VVS diamond work for you? Check with us first. Our consultants are standing by to help you choose the right VVS diamonds for you and your wallet.