VS Clarity Diamonds

Inspecting and grading diamonds is a critical part of the evaluation and pricing process. Gemologists will thoroughly examine a diamond’s cut, color, carat and clarity, which is known as the 4 C’s of diamonds. Cut is the way light hits and reflects from the diamond to create sparkle. Color is the yellowish tint naturally occurring in the diamond that distracts sparkle. Carat is the weight, not size, of the diamond. Finally, Clarity is the face up view of imperfections and their visibility that occur naturally during the diamond’s growth.

The clarity scale ranges widely from obvious and noticeable imperfections or inclusions to no inclusions present, even under 10x magnification. VS diamonds, or very slightly included diamonds, have small imperfects only visible with magnification and not to the naked eye. VS is one of the most popular ranges for diamond purchases. VS2 and SI1 are the most popular two grades of diamonds, representing over 40% of all diamond purchases.

What is a VS Diamond

VS means the diamond has small inclusions that are difficult to identify with 10x magnification and almost impossible to see without any magnification, such as a loupe or a microscope. VS has a range that consists of VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included 1 and very slightly included 2). VS1 means smaller inclusions in number, size and location than VS2. The size of the inclusions tends to be small in nature, the location can be anywhere (center under the table or on the sides near the diamond girdle. The number of VS2 and VS1 inclusions can vary. It can be a single inclusion or several at a time. Typically, you can expect that there will be 1 grade setting inclusion rather than many smaller ones.

The most common VS1 inclusions are crystal (white or black), feather, indented natural, knot, needle. Common VS2 inclusions are crystal (white or black), feather, indented natural, knot, needle and cloud. Because VS diamonds are only below VVS2 (Very, very slightly included2), they have a premium but are also a good value for the budget conscious buyer. Less than 20% of all of the world’s gem quality diamonds are in this range. VS diamonds can be 10% - 20% less expensive than a VVS diamond. This makes them desirable and very much in demand. See the clarity scale below for real 10x zoomed diamond clarity examples.

10x zoom magnified diamond example, typical for diamond clarity grading
10x zoom
10x zoom with I1 clarity inclusions
I1
10x zoom with SI2 clarity inclusions
SI2
10x zoom with SI1 clarity inclusions
SI1
10x zoom with VS2 clarity inclusions
VS2
10x zoom with VS1 clarity inclusions
VS1
10x zoom with VVS2 clarity inclusions
VVS2
10x zoom with VVS1 clarity inclusions
VVS1
10x zoom with IF clarity inclusions
IF
10x zoom with FL clarity inclusions
FL

Buying VS Diamonds

VS diamonds are very popular because no eye visible clarity characteristics are generally present, except in rare occasions. To the naked eye, diamond sparkle is not impeded and light performance is high. This means the diamond will sparkle unimpeded by large inclusions that distract the eye. There are no structural problems that would cause chips or cracks in the diamond when set in jewelry, even if the inclusions are closer to the girdle. The pricing is well below VVS diamonds as well, offering a great value. While it’s not perfect, it’s certainly very respectable and valuable to have a VS clarity diamond. The value of VS diamonds appreciates over time. This is mainly due to their rarity and increase in diamond demand. Preference has generally shifted to quality over time, meaning consumers prefer quality over plain carat weight. If you’re having trouble budgeting the 4 C’s, consider dropping clarity comfortably into the VS2 or VS1 range.

You can purchase VS diamonds from online and offline jewelers; however, the types of VS diamonds may differ for each jeweler. With Four Mine’s diamond search, you’ll find the largest inventory for diamonds with VS1 and VS2 clarity at the right price. It’s important to purchase only GIA certified VS diamonds to ensure the clarity is in line with your expectations. You can identify the grade on the GIA report. Clarity grading is subjective so you can never be too sure. If the diamond weighs above 1.00ct, you’ll also find the grading plot that maps the location, size and type of imperfection. Start by viewing Four Mine’s diamond search and pair the clarity with the other diamond 4 C’s to identify if VS is the right clarity range for you given your price range and budget. Like everything else, clarity is something you should balance and determine how important it is for you.

The next range below VS is SI or slightly included, meaning the diamond may have noticeable inclusions. These diamonds tend to have imperfections that are visible under 10x magnification, and often without 10x magnification.

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