Should I Buy a VVS2 Clarity Diamond?
One of the four Cs by which a diamond’s quality is measured is clarity. The best of the best are the FL, or flawless diamonds, which have no detectable flaws. Next comes IF, or internally flawless diamonds. There are no detectable flaws or inclusions within the diamond, but there may be some surface flaws. They’re so small, though, you can’t even see them under 10x magnification.
Next come the VVS (very very slightly included) diamonds, of which there are two levels: VVS1 and VVS2. You still can’t see inclusions at the VVS1 level. But at the VVS2 level, some inclusions and flaws may start to appear.
Remember, though, this is all at 10x magnification. These are still eye-clean diamonds, meaning you most likely won’t see any imperfections with the naked eye, even if you turn the diamond in the light.
But, of course, your diamond won’t be magnified under normal circumstances. So is it worth spending the extra money on a VVS2 or higher clarity diamond?
Let’s take a look at exactly what a VVS2 diamond is and whether or not you should consider buying one.
What Does VVS Clarity Mean?
To measure a diamond’s clarity, experts look at flaws and inclusions both on the surface and within the diamond. A flawless diamond will have no flaws or inclusions when it’s magnified at 10x. The following diagram should help you visualize what we’re talking about.
Flaws include chips and cracks, while inclusions include crystals and other particles that were trapped inside the diamond when it was formed.
That’s not to say, though, that an FL clarity diamond doesn’t have any flaws. It just means you would have to look under much greater magnification to see them.
A VVS diamond, as we mentioned, is very very slightly included. With magnification and a trained eye, you can see flaws and inclusions. They are so small, however, that to the naked eye, they can’t be seen in most diamonds.
VVS1 vs VVS2
VVS1 and VVS2 both have excellent clarity, and you won’t really be able to tell the difference when you look at the two. In a VVS1 diamond, the inclusions are so tiny you can’t even see them at 10x magnification. In a VVS2 the inclusions are still very tiny, but you can begin to see them at that magnification.
Since there is very little difference between VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds, you can include the lower grade in your search and save some money in the process.
Below, on the left, is a VVS1 clarity diamond. The one on the right is graded a VVS2. They’re both one-carat rounds with an H color grade. But the VVS2 costs about $600 less than the VVS1.
VVS2 vs VS Diamonds
If you can see only the slightest amount of inclusions in a VVS2, you can see just a few more in a VS clarity diamond. A VS diamond is considered very slightly included. Like VVS clarity, VS clarity is broken into two levels: VS1 and VS2.
Again, without a jeweler’s loupe, you are probably not going to see any inclusions. This is especially true of one-carat rounds, a standard shape and weight for engagement rings.
Here is a one-carat VS1 round diamond. It’s still an eye-clean diamond and costs $5050.
We recommend diamonds with between a VS2 and SI1 clarity grade. Both of these diamonds will still look eye-clean in most cases.
Below are a VS2 diamond (right) and an SI1, or slightly included, diamond (left). The VS2 diamond costs $4710, while the SI1 diamond costs $4290. Note that you can really begin to see flaws in the SI1 diamond when it’s magnified. Still, it’s a good choice if you want a one-carat diamond but have a tighter budget.
When Should I Consider a VVS2 Clarity Diamond?
As we mentioned above, we generally recommend a diamond with a clarity grade between VS2 and SI1. They are less expensive than the VVS diamonds but are still eye clean.
But there are situations where including VVS2 diamonds in your search is a good idea. If you’re considering a diamond bigger than one carat or certain fancy cuts, flaws and inclusions might be more apparent, so a higher-clarity diamond might be a good idea.
Large diamonds will have more apparent flaws and inclusions. This is particularly true under the table, the large facet at the top of the diamond.
At five carats, for example, a VS2 diamond may have visible inclusions, depending on the shape. The diamond on the left is a one-carat VS2 diamond. The one on the right is a five-carat VS2. As you can see, the flaws are more apparent in the five-carat diamond.
Most fancy shapes do hide inclusions pretty well, especially those with a brilliant or modified brilliant cut. So you can still find a good, eye-clean diamond in the VS2-SI1 range.
There are a few exceptions, though. In the emerald cut, the long rectangular facets make inclusions more visible.
In the oval cut diamond, the larger table can make inclusions more visible, as well.
When it comes to buying a diamond, cut is probably the most important of the four Cs. A good cut will bring out a fire and brilliance that can make up for (and even hide) flaws and coloration.