Should I Buy a VVS Diamond? 6 Pros & Cons


Summary
Some diamond dealers promote VVS diamonds for their exceptional clarity. However, this level of clarity far exceeds what’s necessary to appreciate a diamond’s beauty.

Nevertheless, when is it a good idea to consider buying a VVS diamond? Read on and learn about the pros and cons of these diamonds.

Reading time: 3 min 31 sec
vvs diamond guide - diamond engagement ring
Can you tell what clarity grade this diamond has? I can’t. “diamond-ring-l,” photo by Tim Seyfi. Licensed under CC By 2.0.

What is a VVS Diamond?

VVS1 and VVS2 are clarity grades for diamonds. Gemological laboratories like GIA assign clarity grades based on factors such as the number, size, color, and placement of inclusions and imperfections in the diamonds. These things affect the free passage of light through a stone. The more noticeable these inclusions and imperfections, the lower the grade.

Flawless (F) and internally flawless (IF) are the highest clarity grades. After these comes very very slightly included (VVS). VVS1 and VVS2 are different levels of this grade. Next, you have very slightly included (VS1, VS2), slightly included (SI1, SI2), and then included (I1, I2).

Diamonds graded VVS1 and VVS2 have excellent clarity.

Pro: VVS Diamonds are Almost Flawless

The imperfections in VVS diamonds are visible only under high magnification. Even a jeweler’s loupe is insufficient for seeing these imperfections.

Con: Lower Clarity Diamonds can Be “Eye-Flawless”

Although VS diamonds have a lower clarity grade, you still can’t see their imperfections with the unaided eye. They’re “eye-flawless.” The imperfections in SI1 stones are also rarely visible to the untrained eye. Even some SI2 diamonds will appear perfect in an engagement ring!

vvs diamond guide - 2.00ct G SI2 engagement ring
Even in this closeup photo, it’s difficult to find the imperfections in the 2.00-ct, G color, SI2 clarity diamond in this side stone engagement ring. © James Allen. Used with permission.

With the 360° videos offered by James Allen and Blue Nile, you can assess clarity imperfections in great detail. This means you can find a great looking diamond even if it has a lower clarity grade. So, you have little reason to purchase a VVS diamond based just on that grade.

Con: VVS Diamond Price

As the clarity grade improves, price increases. While VVS diamonds aren’t as expensive as F or IF, they’re more expensive than those with lower clarity. However, a lower clarity grade doesn’t impact beauty. If you’re buying a VVS diamond, you’re likely paying extra for no noticeable difference!

Compare the prices of these three diamonds with different clarity grades. The 1.02-ct VVS1 diamond costs $1,700 more than the 1.01-ct SI2 diamond! Or, if you go with the 1.10-ct VS1 instead of the VVS1, you’ll get a larger face-up size for $730 less!

Con: VVS Diamonds as an Investment

While VVS diamonds are rare compared to lower clarity grades, they’re still, ultimately, not a good investment. Diamond resale prices are low, and you’re unlikely to sell any white diamond for more than its sticker price. Although certain fancy colors may have investment value, this isn’t due to clarity.

Pro: More Choices for Rare Sizes, Shapes, or Colors

If you’re buying a round brilliant white diamond, there’s not much reason to pay extra for a VVS diamond. In fact, we recommend limiting your search to VS2 and SI1 diamonds. However, if you’re looking for a particularly large diamond, adding higher clarity grades to your search won’t hurt.

Similarly, you’ll often have few stones to choose from when looking for a fancy shape or color. Again, including VVS diamonds in your search will only give you more options.

vvs diamond guide - 3.20ct vvs1 asscher cut
If you’re looking for a large asscher-cut diamond, the one you fall in love with may be a VVS diamond like this 3.20-ct, H color, VVS1 clarity beauty. © James Allen. Used with permission.

Pro: Symbolic or Personal Preference

If there’s some other reason you prefer VVS diamonds (perhaps if your name is Victoria Van Slyke), then there’s no reason to skip over a VVS diamond, other than its price.

Otherwise, it’s best to stick to lower clarity grades and pay for a better cut (or larger carat) diamond.

About the author
Addison Rice
A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison's interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth's geological processes began in her elementary school's environmental club. When she isn't writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.
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