VS1 and VS2 clarity diamonds are often recommended for those shopping for a diamond on a budget, as they offer a good mix of quality and value. But what exactly is the difference between a VS1 and a VS2 diamond? Should you choose one over the other? Is their clarity good enough for an engagement ring? In this post, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about VS1 and VS2 diamonds. We’ll cover how they stack up against diamonds of other clarity grades and how they compare to each other.
Understanding a Diamond’s Clarity
Before we go into our comparison between VS1 and VS2 diamonds, let’s talk about diamond clarity in general so you can learn how VS1 and VS2 diamonds compare to all other diamonds.
Diamond clarity is one of the Four Cs (the others are cut, color, and carat). Diamond clarity is a diamond quality grading that can tell you how flawless a diamond is. It takes millions of years for a diamond to form in the earth’s crust. During this time, they can be exposed to numerous elements that cause flaws. Diamonds can have flaws on their exterior called blemishes or flaws in their interior called inclusions.
Where a diamond falls on the diamond clarity grade scale can tell you how flawless or flawed it is. The GIA diamond clarity scale is listed below, ordered from best to worst.
IF: Internally Flawless
VVS1: Very Very Slightly Included 1
VVS2: Very Very Slightly Included 2
VS1: Very Slightly Included 1
VS2: Very Slightly Included 2
SI1: Slightly Included 1
SI2: Slightly Included 2
I1: Included 1
I2: Included 2
I3: Included 3
The GIA clarity scale places diamonds on this scale according to how flawless they appear under 10x magnification. Notice that VS1 and VS2 diamonds sit right around the middle of this scale. Above VS1 and VS2, we have FL, IF, VVS1, and VVS2 diamonds. FL grade diamonds have no flaws under 10x magnification. IF diamonds have only blemishes visible under 10x magnification. VVS1 and VVS2 have inclusions that are difficult to see under 10x magnification.
Below VS1 and VS2 clarity diamonds, we have SI1, SI2, I1, I2, and I3 grade diamonds. All of these lower clarity diamonds have minor to obvious inclusions under 10x magnification. The visibility and/or number of these inclusions worsens as you go down the scale.
But what about VS1 and VS2 diamonds, the diamonds in the middle? These diamonds will have minor or small inclusions visible under 10x magnification. However, how visible they are can vary widely between the two grades and between individual diamonds with these same grades.
VS1 vs. VS2 Clarity Diamonds: Quality
So VS1 and VS2 are around the middle of the diamond clarity scale and they both have minor inclusions under 10x magnification. But what makes them different? When compared to VS2 diamonds, VS1 clarity diamonds will have fewer inclusions, smaller inclusions, and their inclusions will be harder to detect. Additionally, VS2 diamonds often have inclusions that are in worse, more visible places. For example, two diamonds may have flaws that are similar in size and number. But if one of those diamond has these flaws in less visible places, like the sides of the diamond, it might get a VS1 grade. While a diamond with these same flaws in a very noticeable place, like right in the center of the diamond or on the top of the diamond, will likely get a VS2 grading
Often, the flaws present in VS clarity diamonds are hard to spot if you’re not a jeweler or gemologist examining it with a jeweler’s loupe. They may look flawless to the naked eye. However, this isn’t always true for diamonds with these clarity gradings. Sometimes, flaws on VS1 and VS2 diamonds can be visible to the naked eye.
When a diamond’s flaws are not visible to the naked eye, it’s called “eye clean.” When one does have visible inclusions or blemishes, it isn’t eye clean. Unfortunately, diamond grading reports do not give any information on whether or not a diamond is eye clean. This is something that has to be examined on a case-by-case (or diamond-by-diamond) basis.
VS1 and VS2 diamonds tend to be eye clean, especially if they fall into the brilliant-cut diamond category. But you do need to consider that some are not. And you should be aware that in step-cut diamond shapes, like emerald cut or asscher cut diamonds, flaws can sometimes be easier to spot with the naked eye. However, it’s easy to tell if a diamond is eye clean just by looking at it. If you shop with us in our Los Angeles showroom, you can inspect diamonds in person to determine whether or not they are eye clean. Or, if you’re shopping for a VS1 or VS2 diamond through our online Diamond Concierge and would like to find an eye clean diamond, simply put your request in the comment field and our experts will assist you.
VS1 vs. VS2 Clarity Diamonds: Diamond Price
Now let’s talk about one of the best things about VS1 and VS2 clarity diamonds: their price. VS2 and VS1 diamonds tend have only minor flaws, yet they’re less expensive than diamonds graded higher on the clarity scale. And they’re much less expensive than flawless diamonds, even though it can be hard to tell the difference between FL and VS diamonds with the naked eye. This is why experts recommend VS1 and VS2 diamonds as a great mix of quality and value. They can be an excellent option for those who want a high quality and beautiful diamond (whether it’s for their engagement ring, a diamond ring, or another piece of diamond jewelry), without breaking the bank.
Should I Choose a VS1 or a VS2 Clarity Diamond?
VS1 and VS2 grade diamonds can both be excellent options for those want a better value for their diamond. Or, for those who want to go down in a bit in clarity in order to fit a higher carat weight diamond in their budget. As we mentioned earlier, the one thing you may want to consider when choosing a VS1 or VS2 clarity diamond is whether or not it’s eye clean. If you’re shopping at Bridal Rings, either in store or through our online shop, our experts can help you find a VS1 or VS2 diamond that’s eye clean.