VS1 & VS2 Diamond Clarity | What is Difference?

VS1 & VS2 Diamond Clarity | What is Difference?

VS1 & VS2 Diamond Clarity | What is Difference?

Posted by Sharif Khan on 6th Aug 2022

VS1 vs. VS2 Difference

James Allen

VS1 and VS2 Clarity - what are they, and why should shoppers consider them?

If cut is the most critical of the 4Cs (cut, clarity, color, carat), then  clarity is the most misunderstood. Most buyers do not understand several classifications, including that VS clarity generally indicates that the inclusions are not detectable by the naked eye.

Diamonds may have inclusions in the form of solids, liquids, or gas clouds. The color, number, and location of these inclusions can affect the appearance of a diamond. VS classification stands for Very Slight, implying that a stone has minimal inclusions.

The clarity of a diamond impacts both style and its pricing. Hence, buyers must understand the different classifications to choose a quality diamond while saving money.

Understanding the Difference between VS1 and VS2

VS clarity diamonds differ from Slightly Included (SI) and Included (I). The inclusions in the former are more difficult to spot, small, and less detectable even when examined by a professional jeweler.

The nature of the inclusions determines the difference between VS1 and VS2. Generally speaking, the inclusions will be less numerous, smaller, and less noticeable in VS1 than in VS2 clarity diamonds.

Under VS2, the inclusions may be poorly placed and therefore more prominent. For example, a piece with inclusions located close to an edge or cavity may be classified as VS1. But another piece with the imperfection of the same size may be classified as VS2 if it is located to make the inclusion more noticeable.

If you watch diamonds in  James Allen's 40X magnified HD videos, you can tell the difference between VS1 and VS2 diamonds.

The clarity grade for diamond classification is as described below, starting from the highest to the lowest:

  • Flawless(F): No blemishes or inclusions detectable under 10x magnification.
  • Internally flawless (IF): Same as Flawless but with detectable blemishes on the surface.
  • Very Very Slightly (VVS) Included: Has inclusions, but a professional grader will find them hard to spot under 10x magnification. It also includes VVS1 and VVS2, with the former having fewer inclusions.
  • Very Slightly (VS) Included: This diamond grade contains minor inclusions ranging from somewhat challenging to easy to see. VS1 and VS2 categories also come under this classification.
  • Slightly (S) Included: These diamonds have imperfections that may sometimes be visible to the naked eye. Under 10x magnification, the flaws can be described as easy or very easy to see.
  • Included(I): This grade comes with inclusions visible to a grader under 10x magnification. The inclusions will almost always be visible to the naked eye and create imperfections that may impact the longevity of the stone.

GIA Diamond Clarity Scale Chart

Advantages of VS1 and VS2

Given that clarity is the least understood of the 4Cs, it is the factor that can help buyers save money without sacrificing quality.

Most buyers rely too heavily on classifications to get eye-clean diamonds. Unfortunately, it also happens that many retailers base their prices on these classifications. The advantage of VS1 and VS2 stones is that the naked eye cannot see the inclusions. After all, they are barely even detectable under 10x magnification.

Therefore, we do not recommend going for unnecessarily high clarity stones. These stones are more affordable than the VVS or Flawless grade. But VS diamonds will not have any inclusions that the average person can see; even a professional grader will have difficulty spotting them.

Indeed, visual inclusions will affect the appearance and style of your diamond. They may cause the stone to appear cloudy if they are of considerable size. You should also watch out for chips and fractures, which can make it less sparkly.

But diamonds with VS1 or higher classifications have no inclusions to the untrained eye. Most people would find it hard to distinguish between an expertly cut VS2 and other diamonds of higher classifications.

Basic Rules

If you plan to buy any grade of diamond, you will need to consider whether it has inclusions and establish how they could affect its style and appearance. Here are some basic rules in summary:

  • Consider Size: Imperfections on bigger diamonds are more noticeable than on smaller ones. They allow more light and have bigger spaces for noticeable inclusions to form. The ideal choice for stones larger than 2 carats would be a high grade, such as VS1 or higher.
  • Shape of the Stone: More spherical stones tend to shine brighter and thus hide imperfections much better than other cut types. Round stones are also considered safer and are less susceptible to damage due to their spherical shape. Also, avoiding Asscher, Emerald, and Marquise cuts is best when going for clarity.
  • Cut: The cut of the diamond is also an essential factor that you cannot afford to ignore since it determines the amount of light a stone can disperse. A high-quality cut is brighter and can hide inclusions better.
  • Type of inclusion: You can find a wide range of inclusions, such as solids, clouds of gasses, or liquids. They may also vary in appearance. Regardless of this fact, the clarity grade is determined by the size of the imperfections. Location, color, and type are not considered when grading. Therefore, stones of the same grade may have very different inclusions. For example, a white cloud in a stone may be more noticeable than a dark blemish close to the edges.
  • Avoid Included: Included diamonds have noticeable imperfections that affect the quality of the brilliance produced by the stone. Additionally, inclusions in a stone will affect its durability and leave it susceptible to damage. Included diamonds are therefore low in brilliance and have the lowest durability.

If clarity and price are your main considerations, VS2 grade stones are the best option. The naked eye cannot detect their inclusions, making them as brilliant as higher-grade diamonds. Moreover, they are considerably more affordable. You may, however, need VS1 grade diamonds or higher if you want a bigger stone.

Before making any purchase, it is vital to examine the diamond yourself because inclusions are not always as described by retailers. Furthermore, the grading system does not factor in certain aspects of inclusion, such as color and location. Even a Slightly Included stone could have the brilliance and quality you want. Consider examining the stone and learning about these important factors before acquiring a stone.

Follow our  diamond clarity guide for price details and instructions.