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VVS CLARITY VERSUS VS CLARITY

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VVS Versus VS Clarity Diamonds

VVS vs VS?

VVS versus VS is not a battle between the two clarities.

It’s more of a closer look and comparing them. I will give you My verdict at the end of the post though, just so you see where I stand.

And let me take a second to say that VVS and VS are only two of the 6 high end clarity grades on the market. The order of clarity is as follows:

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Clarity grades

  • FL (Flawless)
  • IF (Internally Flawless)
  • VVS1 & VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)
  • VS1 & VS2 (Very Slightly Included)
  • SI1 & SI2 (Slightly Included)
  • I1, I2 & I3 (Imperfect)

The GIA Clarity Chart is below:

GIA Clarity Chart



Now, let’s look at VVS

VVS clarity:

VVS means: Very, Very, Slightly Included.

Take a look at the picture below that shows VVS clarity diamonds.

VVS Clarity Diamonds

Very, Very…

The words Very, Very, always crack me up because they mean the opposite of what you’d think.

For example: If I say “This table is dusty“, it means the table is dusty. But “This table is very dusty”, means it’s super dusty!

But with diamonds, the keywords aren’t “very“, it’s actually “slightly“. And the pair together.

Very slightly means the inclusions are very tiny.

So VVS is Very, Very Slightly Included.

Perfection?

VVS is just about as perfect as you can get. The next two steps higher are Internally Flawless and Flawless. Both of which are hard to locate on the market (although James Allen does carry some wonderful Internally Flawless and Flawless diamonds HERE). So VVS clarity is usually the highest clarity of diamond that you can usually find.

VVS is very rare and very clean.

VVS is made up of two grades: VVS1 and VVS2 (VVS1 being the better).



VVS definition:

The definition for VVS is: Small inclusions inside the diamond that are very difficult to see under 10x magnification.

Under a microscope or a 10x jeweler’s loupe, VVS would look practically perfect. It’s not, but to the untrained eye (and even some experts), VVS would be very impressive and you would have a hard time searching just to locate any flaws or imperfections.

Now let’s take a look at VS…

VS clarity:

VS clarity is one clarity range lower than VVS.

VS means: Very, Slightly Included.

VS is broken down into 2 grades: VS1 and VS2. VS1 is the better of the two.

Take a look at the images of VS clarity diamonds below:

VS Clarity Diamonds

VS definition:

The definition of VS is: Small inclusions inside the stone. Some of these inclusions will be easier to spot under magnification, others will still be difficult. Either way, the inclusions will be small and pretty insignificant.

The inclusions:

Both VVS and VS clarity diamonds have inclusions. These inclusions are generally small pinpoints, lines, feathers, clouds, nicks, naturals, cavities, knots, or abrasions, nothing that you can see with the bare eye.

They are all microscopic.

Inclusions are like freckles, moles and birthmarks on people. Everything born in nature has their own unique characteristics and identifying marks about them.

The differences:

What makes VVS and VS different are a couple of things:

1) The amount and position of inclusions

2) The size of the inclusions

3) The rarity of the stone

4) The price

Let’s take a closer look…

1) The amount and position of inclusions

While it’s true that both a VVS diamond and a VS diamond could have the same amount of inclusions, it’s highly unlikely.

VVS clarity for the most part, will have less flaws (cleaner).

You can tell this when you’re trying to locate them under a microscope. It can take you a while just to even pick out one of of the imperfections. They’re that small. Plus, cleaner diamonds like these tend to distribute the flaws on the outside of the diamond (underneath the facets vs under the table), where they tend to hide more and basically disappear.

2) The size of the inclusions

Usually the biggest difference between the two clarities is going to be the size of the flaws. VS will usually have bigger flaws than a VVS.

I say “usually” because every single diamond is different. There will always be exceptions to the rule. With diamonds, every diamond will gain a difference of opinion.

When you view a VS clarity diamond under a scope, you can usually pick out a couple of the inclusions easily. Right off the bat, you’ll see one here, one there… To me, this is a good thing (I’ll get more into that in a second).

3) The rarity of the stone

It’s much harder to find VVS clarity diamonds on the market. They are quite rare in nature and jewelry stores won’t have an abundance of them (another good reason to shop at James Allen). So comparing VVS clarity diamonds will be easy, you will only have a few to look at.

In nature, finding objects without flaws or imperfections is almost an impossible task. Nature just doesn’t work that way. Usually if you do find a diamond that’s very clean or void of flaws, that diamond will be weak in other areas; like poor color, or a small carat weight.

How rare are they?

VVS diamonds make up only 7% of the market. VS accounts for 14%. Take a look at the clarity chart below and how rare they actually are in nature.

VVS and VS Clarity Rare in Nature

As you can see, finding a VVS or even a VS is rare. Especially when you consider that this clarity chart represents only the few diamonds that are of gem quality, which is just the top 15% of all the diamonds mined in the world today That’s slim pickings. :)

4) The price:

VS will most of the time be cheaper than VVS…

But actually, it’s not so cut and dry. There are so many other things that make up the price of a diamond. Things like: color, cut, carat weight, certification, symmetry, finish, fluorescence… Any one of these could affect price greatly and make a VS more expensive than a VVS. You really have to look and compare every single aspect of a diamond to know which is the better deal.

The verdict:

Is one clarity better to buy than the other?

Not really.

It all depends on how much money you want to spend and how perfect of a stone you truly want.

But, in my opinion…

I would say VS clarity wins hands down.

Here’s why:

I don’t carry around a microscope.

That’s the only way you’ll spot the difference between the 2 clarities:

Microscoping them.

If you put these 2 diamonds side by side on the table, you would never, ever be able to tell the difference between them (assuming the carat weight, cut and color are the same).

You would be able to tell the difference in price though.

As a comparison, take a look at these one carat diamonds below.

Price Comparison

CARAT, CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, POL, SYM, FLUOR PRICE VIEW
1.00, VS1, E, EX, EX, EX, NONE $8,260 VIEW
1.00, VVS1, F, EX, EX, EX, NONE $9,840 VIEW

(Prices good at the time of this post.)

My feelings are this:

Buy VS clarity.

It will face up just like a VVS and be much cheaper.

And if you must spend more…

Spend it on a bigger carat weight, a better color , or the best cut you can buy. Put your money into something that will change the physical appearance. Something you can see… (like these VS2, colorless, ideal cut diamonds here).

And the last reason I like VS better

Identification:

I can scope a VS clarity diamond and see the inclusions. I like that. If I can see the inclusions in my diamond I can memorize them and identify them later.

I can tell if someone were to swap my stone.

A VVS clarity diamond on the other hand, would look almost perfect under a scope. It would be very difficult to find something that stands out. Someone could switch your diamond with a synthetic stone or a cubic zirconia (CZ) and you would never know the difference under magnification. They would look the same. Read more: CZ or diamond?

See some flaws can be a good thing. :)

So buying the best there is, isn’t always the best thing to do.

I say buy VS and get a colorless diamond (Like these wonderful VS diamonds here.)

Cheers! :)

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