What Does VVS Clarity Mean?

Diamonds are graded by accredited gem laboratories and gemologists. These gemologists identify the cut, color, carat and clarity of the diamond, also known as the 4 C’s of diamonds. Cut is the sparkle that results from the proportions and shaping of the diamond facets – light performance. Color is the tint of yellow or brown color that reduces whiteness and light reflection. Carat is the weight of the diamond. Finally, clarity is the appearance of natural inclusions found in the diamond, developed during the growth process.

The clarity scale consists of several grades that range from no inclusions visible to obvious and noticeable inclusions visible at 10x magnification. Gemologists grade diamonds with a loupe and a microscope in order to accurately identify the color, size, location and amount of inclusions. VVS diamonds are extremely rare because it's almost a flawless diamond. The top range represents VVS - IF. In that scale, you’ll find VVS graded diamonds which contains microscopic impurities. VVS stands for very, very slightly included.

What is a VVS Diamond

VVS means the diamond has tiny imperfections in the diamond that are very difficult to identify even with 10x magnification and almost impossible to see without magnification. VVS is a range that includes VVS1 (very, very slightly included 1 and very, very slightly included 2). VVS1 means smaller inclusions in number, size and location than VVS2. The size of the inclusions tends to be tiny and microscopic, the location tend to be off center in VVS1 and closer under the table facet in VVS2. The number of VVS2 inclusions can vary. It can be a single inclusion or several at a time. With VVS1, it is usually 1, maybe 2 at most.

Common VVS1 diamond inclusions are pinpoint and natural. Common VVS2 inclusions are pinpoint (more than 1), natural, indented natural, and feather. Because VVS diamonds are only below flawless (FL) and internally flawless diamonds (IF), they command a significant premium as they are very rare. Less than 3%-4% of all the world’s gem quality diamonds are in this range.

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

How is a VVS Diamond Graded

When looking at a diamond, it is very important to buy one that has an authentic certificate from a laboratory like GIA. Never take a jeweler's word that the diamond is a certian clarity grade unless they can show you the authentic certificate. This is a safe way to ensure that you are getting what you pay for. Each diamond is unique but there is a standardized way in which diamonds are graded. Large and small labs use the grading system established by GIA in order to standardize diamond valuation. Diamond clarity is graded under microscopes with darkfield illumination so that the grader can easily find the inclusions. Tweezers are used to hold the diamond from girdle to girdle and magnification is adjusted so that the grader can view the diamond. The grader also uses the standard loupe and 10x magnification to ensure that the inclusions are viewed under different lenses and accurately recorded. Inclusions are graded based on size, number, position on the diamond, whether the inclusion is external or internal within the diamond, and the color of the inclusions. All of these factors affect the grade of the diamond in the order mentioned. Even if a diamond has several inclusions, if they are not eye-visible a diamond may still be graded as VVS. Always be sure to look at the plot of the diamond to ensure you understand the charecteristics of the diamond. All laboratories are also easily able to determine if clarity has been altered with laser drilling or treatments to the diamond. All reputable retailers disclose this information when selling diamonds. Four Mine does not carry any altered or fake diamonds.

Buying VVS Diamonds

VVS diamonds are very desirable because no visible clarity characteristics are present. To the eye, diamond sparkle is not impeded and light performance is very high. There are no structural implications that would cause breakage in the diamond. The pricing is well below flawless or internally flawless diamonds as well, offering a slightly lesser premium. It’s as close to perfection in a diamond as you’ll come without getting a flawless diamond. The value of VVS diamonds appreciates over time. Actually, the sheer value of VVS clarity diamonds has appreciated higher than IF and FL diamonds over the last 5-10 years. This is because their demand has increased due to affordability and practical value.

You can buy VVS diamonds from many jewelers; however, the selection may be limited. With Four Mine’s diamond search, you’ll find the largest inventory for diamonds with such high clarity. It’s important to purchase only GIA certified VVS diamonds to ensure the clarity is indeed what is intended. You can identify the grade on the GIA report. If the diamond weighs above 1.00ct, you’ll also find the grading plot that maps the location, size and type of imperfection. When it’s so difficult to identify inclusions, you shouldn’t just take someone’s word for it. Start by viewing Four Mine’s diamond search and pair the clarity with the other diamond 4 C’s to identify if VVS is the right clarity range for you.

The next range down is VS or very slightly included. These diamond clarity grades tend to have imperfections that are also only visible under 10x magnification, but are larger than VVS clarity characteristics. Of course, the value or price changes by up to 10%, sometime more depending on the carat, color and cut.

Where to Buy a VVS Diamond

VVS diamonds are a very common and popular range of diamonds. Any diamond seller that sells certified diamonds will have VVS diamonds. This clarity range is popular for all types of jewelry like earrings and necklaces, but especially for engagement rings. If clarity is important to you, be sure to purchase from a retailer that can provide the authentic certification for your diamond. Within certifications, GIA is the most widely accepted and respected. Clarity grades can vary based on the lab that grades the diamond. It is always better to err on the side of caution and purchase GIA certified diamonds so as to get the most value for your budget. GIA certified diamonds also have better resale value and are graded more consistently. VVS diamonds are available with all online and offline retailers. However, there can be a significant savins in purchasing VVS diamonds online, as well as the opportunity to compare a larger number of diamonds quickly and easily.

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