Diamonds are by far the biggest choice of jewelry when searching for the perfect gift for a significant other. Also, it happens to be one of the most expensive stones usually used to make beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Clarity (along with color) might be the most characteristic that any diamond store will try to sell you highest level possible of it! By convincing you that you must get the cleanest clarity so it doesn’t show any inclusions!
This is part of the true story, that any diamond should not be showing inclusions, BUT for naked-eye! And that’s a huge difference! Looking at diamond in naked-eye is not at all similar to inspecting it under 20x or even 40x magnification.
You might be able to tell a “minor” difference between both, but do you know how they look like in real life? Because this is 20x magnification with high advanced imaging technology by James Allen, here is their actual look:
Can you tell which is which?
Among a lot of factors in selecting the best diamond for your budget, clarity comes in the most 4 important factors that you will need to look for, and since there is a lot of confusion and sales people “theories in clarity, we will be reviewing the most common clarity grade in this article, the VVS grades.
To start, every letter in clarity grades stands for a word, and when they say “included”, they refer to the inclusions found on the diamond.
So for example, Very Very Slightly Included, or VVS for short – in its two grades- refers to the number & size of the inclusions found on a diamond. VVS is considered one of the highest clarity levels (grades) available, right after IF-FL, as you see in this scale:
Whether you’re looking for engagement rings, wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets, and statement rings, it’s important to know the difference between grades, and what does each grade mean, so you get a diamond with the best clarity for your budget, without paying extra money for something you don’t want or need.
Apart from being sure of what your partner would like, there are other key elements that you must take into consideration.
The thing about diamond jewelry is that there are so many different variations in the market. There are, also, different cuts, which is why you need to carry out a lot of research before purchasing it. Without adequate research and findings, you might end up purchasing the wrong diamond piece without realizing.
We encourage you to have enough reads here in the blog before you make your decision as there is a lot to covered about diamonds, and but the time-being, we will only focus on one thing here:
VVS Clarity: What is it? Is it needed all times? And is it that important?
What is VVS diamond price range?
What is Diamond Clarity?
Clarity is a measure of how “clean” the diamond is, diamonds are natural minerals and as such will often time have certain imperfections, such as small chips, “feathers”, or “clouds” in them, which may or may not affect the perceived beauty of the diamond
The clarity of a diamond is one of the most important things to look out for before purchasing a diamond, because it’s usually perceived as a main factor for diamond brilliance (we said usually, because Cut is known to be the most important factor in diamond brilliance), which is what all diamonds are about!
When there are so many inclusions in a diamond piece, it takes away from the price. It, also, takes away from the sparkle of the jewelry causing it to cost less.
In the diamonds market, a clear diamond cost far more than a diamond with visible inclusions. Thus, if you don’t mind opting for a diamond with inclusions, then it is a perfect fit, but we will see later to which level you can go down with inclusions that will not be visibly seen, and won’t have huge effect on diamond brilliance.
What Are Clarity Grades?
Except Flawless grade, ALL clarity grades have inclusions, but keep in mind that these inclusions in most cases can’t be seen with naked eye (specially for high clarity grades), experts use 10x & 20 magnifications to detect these inclusions.
To make it clearer how these inclusions appear on a diamond, these two images are for this 1 carat VS2 diamond on James Allen:
The left image shows the diamond without any magnification, and you can barely see anything on it, while under 20x magnification, you have spotted that inclusion in the middle right away.
What about seeing the diamond under 40x magnification? This is one of newest features on James Allen, called SuperZoom, here is how that particular diamond looks like:
What’s the point we want to show here?
Inclusions in most cases are very tiny and can’t be seen by naked eye in most SI1, and all +VS2 grades! And that’s why you want to see the diamond under at least 20x zoom to see its inclusions, and in terms of imaging technologies, James Allen is the leader!
Like every other factor relating to diamonds, there are grades for the clarity of diamonds. Now, the clarity grades are ascertained by the Gemological Institute of America, based on the internal and external flaws present in a diamond.
According to the GIA, diamond pieces are graded into 6 different forms of diamond clarity:
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS)
- Very Slightly Included (VS)
- Slightly Included (SI)
- Included (I)
We’ve covered them all in details with real images in our Diamonds Clarity Chart here.
Each of these grades depicting a certain level of flawlessness in the making of a diamond. However, among all of these 6 clarity grades, the most sough-after being the Very, Very slightly Included Grade. This grade is one of the most important and here’s why…
What Are Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS) Diamonds?
The VVS clarity diamonds are the next best type of diamonds after the internally flawless and Flawless diamonds. This clarity of diamonds has minimal inclusions and flaws, which cannot be seen in plain sight. As a matter of fact, it takes a trained eye the use of a 10x loupe to notice these flaws.
For example, this 1.5 VVS2 diamond on Blue Nile has some minimal inclusions as you can see in this GIA report for this diamond (and that’s one of the main reasons we always recommend getting a GIA-reported diamond):
Are you able to see these inclusions under the magnification? That’s why it will take even an expert to detect these (with loupe as well, impossible by naked eye).
The VVS clarity diamonds are expensive and considered one of the best diamonds set in the world because diamond stones that are graded flawless (FL) and internally Flawless (IF) are extremely rare (James Allen, out of 186000 round diamonds, they have 6000 with FL & IF grades, almost 3% only). So in terms of quality, the VVS grade is the best on the market right now.
Diamonds that fall under the VVS diamond clarity grade category are so smooth and sparkle easily, because they have minimal inclusions, which makes them very valuable.
As a matter of fact, it is even almost impossible for anyone to tell the difference between a Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), and a VVS diamond, except for an expert, and using a high-quality loupe only!
The VVS grade of diamonds is further split into two important categories, which is the VVS1 and VVS2. These two grades have minimal differences between them and usually almost look the same.
What’s the Difference Between VVS1 & VVS2 Diamonds?
The similarities between VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds are well-known, because there isn’t a lot of difference between them. However, there must be a reason why they belong to different categories right?
Well, the difference between the VVS1 and VVS2 is how fast their inclusions can be detected. Bear in mind that both diamond clarity grades are almost flawless and a lot of people (we mean, vast majority) can’t tell the difference.
Here are two diamonds, left one is VVS1, and the other is VVS2, if you look from a clarity PoV, you can never tell any difference:
As a matter of fact, some trained eyes opt for binoculars set to 20X-30X magnification before they are able to spot the inclusions. So, you can imagine how flawless they are.
However, based on the position of the inclusions, you may tell which is VVS1 and VVS2. The VVS1 diamond’s inclusions are usually noticed from the bottom under when viewed under a magnification lens.
While diamonds under the VVS2 category has their inclusions noticed from the face view and usually in the top half of the diamond.
Asides from this, both categories are considered perfect to a layman, plus they are the most expensive diamonds available right now (after IF-FL of course, if found).
What is VVS Diamonds Price Range?
Besides the main 4Cs (which clarity is one of them), a lot of factors sum up the diamond price.
Shape, Polish, Symmetry, Depth & Table percentages, Fluorescence, Certification lab, and so on.
So if we want to give a price for VVS diamonds, we have to narrow down all other factors to make a reasonable price range for a VVS diamond.
To have an estimation for the price of 1 carat of VVS diamond, we will stick to 1 Carat weight, an H Color, and a very good Cut since these grades are the most common.
Doing the same search on Blue Nile gives a little lower options (33 round diamond), that ranges from $5200 to $6250 for 1 carat diamonds as well.
As you’ve already noticed, price varies a lot specially with James Allen since they have wider collection, but that’s because even two diamonds have v.good cut, still the quality cut is a bit different between both, same for clarity & color as well.
So, to have an average for an excellent diamond (excluding odds), we’re talking about $5000 to $5500 per carat for a VVS clarity grade, a bit expensive?
VVS Grades vs. VS Grades Prices Comparison
Too much V & S letters for a title!
In more than 10 years of experience in this industry, we can’t recall that we have adivsed someone to get a VVS diamond, because if you want the best bang for your buck, you should not get to that grade, never. Why? Will see shortly.
We’ve ran the previous search (same characteristics) to see how much you will save if you go to VS grades.
Running it on Blue Nile offered us 55 diamonds, priced between $4700 to $6100, while on James Allen, we had 139 diamonds, ranging between $4200 to $6000.
So, averagely, we’re talking about $300-$400 saving for 1 Carat if you go from VVS to VS grade! You better spend this money on higher Cut instead.
Back to the question: Why we never recommend going to VVS clarity?
Besides saving the money, the whole thing about diamond Clarity is to have a clean diamond, no eye-visible inclusions, and no bad inclusions in the table that will affect brilliance, so why would I need a VVS when I can get this in a VS diamond?
Why People Pick the VVS Clarity Grade?
The clarity of a diamond usually affects different key qualities of a diamond. The VVS diamond is considered the most flawless set of diamonds in the world right now. This is so because the Flawless and Internally Flawless are so rare. The following are reasons why the VVS diamond clarity grade plays a huge role in people’s decision:
A lot of people tend to compare the color and clarity of a diamond in a bid to ascertain which is more important when it comes to the physical appearance. While the color of a diamond affects how beautiful it is, the clarity also, affects how sparkly it will be.
The brilliance of a diamond is one of the major factors taken into consideration when purchasing a piece of jewelry. While the color and clarity of a stone don’t really affect the brilliance of a diamond, it does impact on it positively or negatively. When it comes to the clarity of a stone, it usually adds to its brilliance based on physical appearance.
Diamond pieces with too much inclusions and a dark color usually do not look physically appealing. Thus, it affects the brilliance, however, when a diamond is smooth and is of a whiter shade it does look more physically appealing. VVS diamonds have the best clarity with very minimal inclusions, which means all VVS clarity grades are physically appealing and smooth.
The clarity of a diamond jewelry usually matters more when it is created in a yellowish color because the flaws are a lot more visible then. It is important that you pick out a diamond piece that is clean, visibly when purchasing colored diamonds, because it does affect its brilliance.
Should I Get a VVS Clarity Grade Diamond?
So, you’ve reached this point, and want to know our opinion whether to get a VVS diamond or it’s overrated?
We’ve mentioned that all what you want from a diamond clarity is a clean diamond, eye-clean, and no bad inclusions that might affect sparkle & brilliance.
All this can be accomplished without getting to VVS grade, and don’t be surprized if we tell you that you don’t even need to get a VS grade in most cases! Why?
Because simply you can get an eye-clean diamond, and without bad inclusions in most SI1 grade diamonds! That’s not what your local jeweler wants you to know by the way.
If money is not an issue for you, get a diamond with VVS clarity, if it is, take our advice and go to the least eye-clean grade, you may not believe it, but SI (Slightly Included) is considered in most cases an eye-clean grade.
Yes, SI, VS (1 & 2), VVS (1 & 2) grades are safe to be grouped as eye clean, no one can even tell the difference or guess what grade your diamond is, using their own naked eye.
What about brilliance that’s affected by clarity? The answer is simple, if you have more money to go above SI or VS2, spend it on what matters more, the CUT, why?
If you have more money after getting an ideal cut, spend it or a better color, got more money? Now you can go higher with clarity grade.
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