All diamonds are graded and valued based on a set of factors known as the 4 C’s. The 4 C’s are cut, clarity, color, and carat. The cut is the factor that gives a diamond its fire and brilliance. Color refers to the lack of color present in a diamond. Carat is the weight of a diamond — often price will increase as carat size increases. And clarity is determined based on the number of inclusions or blemishes in a diamond. Ranging from flawless to included, clarity is an important factor to consider, no matter what diamond shape you choose. VVS diamonds, in particular, are considered to be some of the best clarity ratings a diamond can receive, but what exactly does it mean?
What is Diamond Clarity?
When a diamond is formed, under tremendous pressure and heat, both for mined and lab-created diamonds, tiny crystals can sometimes become trapped inside the stone. These tiny crystals can develop irregularities in a diamond’s atomic structure. Most diamonds have “flaws”, as a flawless diamond is quite rare. However, these “flaws” come in many different forms, some known as blemishes, some as inclusions. Blemishes occur on the surface of a diamond, while inclusions are within the stone. The larger, or more noticeable a blemish or inclusion is, the more it will impact how light is reflected through a diamond which can affect its overall sparkle and fire.
This is why clarity is so important when it comes to picking a diamond because you want your diamond to dazzle and shine! The more noticeable a diamond’s inclusions are, the lower the clarity grade, and the less sparkle your diamond will have.
Diamond Clarity Scale
The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, created a grading system for all diamonds, that would measure degrees of clarity. All diamonds no matter if they are lab-created or mined, use this scale. The different clarity options available are (from best to worst clarity):
|Flawless (FL)||No inclusions or blemishes visible to the trained eye under 10X magnification.|
|Internally Flawless (IF)||No inclusions visible to the trained eye under 10X magnification.|
|Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)||These have inclusion(s) so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to observe under 10X magnification. The difference between VVS1 and VVS2 is a matter of a very fine degree.|
|Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)||Minor inclusions may be observed with effort under 10X magnification by a trained grader.|
|Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)||Inclusions are noticeable under 10X magnification.|
|Included (I1, I2 and I3)||Inclusions are readily observable under 10X magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.|
Clean Origin currently only offers diamonds above an SI2 rating.
What is a VVS Diamond?
VVS diamonds are very very slightly included diamonds, that are undetectable to the naked eye, and only visible under a 10x magnification. Diamonds that have a VVS1 or VVS2 grading have excellent clarity.
Difference Between VVS1 and VVS2
VVS diamonds are broken into two subcategories, VVS1 and VVS2. The difference between these two are invisible to the naked eye, and only refers to where the inclusions are and their size. VVS1 is technically better than VVS2, but with both, imperfections are hard to spot. VVS1 diamonds have inclusions that are on the pavilion, or “bottom half” of a diamond, which is very hard to notice. VVS2 diamonds have inclusions that are on the crown or “top half” of a diamond, but still very difficult to see.
VVS1 diamonds tend to be more expensive than VVS2 diamonds, but to the untrained eye, there is only the most minute difference between the two. Below you’ll find the prices of two round cut diamonds, with the same color and carat size, but one with a VVS1 and the other VVS2 clarity rating:
As you can see, the VVS1 diamond is slightly more expensive than the VVS2.
Pros of VVS Diamond:
The biggest pro to choosing a VVS quality diamond is that these are almost flawless diamonds, without the price tag of a flawless stone. Not to mention that flawless diamonds are incredibly rare, so even if a flawless stone fits your budget, it will be harder to find. With a VVS quality diamond, you get all the perks of a flawless diamond, without the higher price tag.
Cons of a VVS Diamond:
While VVS diamonds are much more affordable than flawless diamonds, they are still more expensive than the other lower grades. Remember, a lower clarity diamond does not mean that the diamond isn’t beautiful. In fact, diamonds graded SI2 or better generally appear “eye clean”, meaning that without a jewelers loupe of 10x magnification, imperfections aren’t easily seen.
More often than not, the visible difference between a VS diamond and a VVS diamond is minor. As with color, carat, and cut, the highest grade or size is not always necessary in order to have a beautiful diamond.
How to Find the Right Diamond
In the end, it’s all up to you! But remember, clarity is not the only factor to consider before buying a diamond. Remember to review the 4Cs to ensure you’re getting the best possible stone, for you! If you need help deciding between diamonds or want to know what options are best for your budget, contact our diamond specialists!