VS1 & VS2 Diamond Clarity | What is Difference?

Sharif Khan
Sharif Khan
Last Updated    EST 
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If we consider the 4Cs (cut, clarity, color, carat), cut is the most crucial. However, clarity is the most technical and often misunderstood C. Many buyers are unfamiliar with diamond acronyms, such as the VS clarity grades. VS stands for Very Slightly Included, which means that the diamond has minimal inclusions and blemishes that are generally not visible to the naked eye.

Diamonds can have inclusions in various forms, including solid, liquid, or gas clouds. Inclusions are other substances trapped inside a diamond, a pure carbon, as it formed billions of years ago beneath the earth's surface due to high pressure. The color, number, and location of inclusions can negatively affect the visual appearance of a diamond.

Because the clarity grade is a significant factor in determining the overall quality of a diamond, understanding this C thoroughly is vital.

VS clarity grades include VS1 and VS2. For comparison purposes, check this beautiful (link) VS1 and VS2 (link) 1 carat diamond. Both are eye clean.

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 type and size of inclusions determine the difference between VS1 and VS2. 

Inclusions are smaller and less noticeable in VS1 than in VS2 clarity diamonds. Under VS2, inclusions will be more prominent and visible. 

For example, inclusions near an edge or cavity may be classified as VS1. However, others may be classified as VS2 if located near the table, making them more noticeable.

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

diamond clarity scale

The grading scale for diamond clarity is as follows:

  • 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 Included (VVS): 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 Included (VS): This diamond grade contains minor inclusions ranging from somewhat challenging to easy to see with a jeweler's loupe. VS1 and VS2 come under this classification.
  • Slightly Included (SI): 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 has 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.

Advantages of VS1 & 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 recommend going for a reasonable amount of clarity stones if you have a limited budget, especially in diamonds under 1.5 carats in weight. These stones are more affordable than the VVS or Flawless grade. However, VS diamonds will not have any inclusions that the average person can see; even a professional grader will have difficulty spotting them.

Indeed, visible inclusions will affect the appearance of your diamond. They may also cause the stone to appear cloudy if it is large. It is best to avoid chips and fractures, which could make a diamond sparkle less.

However, most people would need help distinguishing between an expertly cut VS2 and diamonds of higher clarity grades.

VS1 Diamond

1 Carat H VS1 Diamond (Watch HD Video)

VS2 Diamond

1 Carat H VS2 Diamond (Watch HD Video)

Final Thoughts

While evaluating the clarity grade of a diamond, establish how inclusions might affect its brilliance.

Here are some basic rules follow:

Large Diamonds

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.


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 for clarity.


The cut of the diamond is also an essential factor that you must pay attention to 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 various inclusions, such as solids, clouds of gasses, or liquids. They may also vary in appearance. Regardless, the clarity grade is determined by the size of the imperfections. Location, color, and type should not be ignored, as 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 diamond 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 primary 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 because inclusions are only sometimes 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.

Finally, follow our diamond clarity guide for in-depth details and guidelines. Also, check lab-grown diamonds as an additional choice.