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The clarity of a diamond is graded on a spectrum from flawless (FL) to I3 (included). Each grade represents a more extensive presence of inclusions, which are blemishes in a diamond.
VS1 (very slightly included) and VVS1 (very, very slightly included) clarity diamonds both have inclusions, but the types of inclusions and the way they impact the diamond are different.
The difference between a VS1 and VVS1 clarity diamond is that a VS1 diamond has a higher number of inclusions that affect the diamond’s brilliance, appearance and durability. While the two may look identical without magnification, a VVS1 diamond is cleaner and has fewer blemishes.
Let’s compare VS1 versus VVS1 diamonds in detail, including what you should know about each, how they’re different, similarities, and how to know which you should buy.
What is a VS1 Diamond?
A VS1 clarity diamond has inclusions barely visible under a jewelers loupe that uses 10x magnification. If you scan the diamond with magnification, you won’t immediately notice the flaws.
But after a few scans back and forth, you may find small pinpoints, a white twinning wisp, and a transparent feather along the edge.
But a VS1 clarity grade isn’t referring to the presence of any specific inclusion.
There could be one type that has several occurrences, or four or five different types of inclusions with one instance each.
For example, this 0.90-carat round cut diamond from Blue Nile earned a VS1 grade from the GIA.
Its report notes a single feather and a pinpoint.
Conversely, this 0.95-carat diamond received the same clarity grade but has the following inclusions:
The gemologist determined that even though the 0.95 carat diamond had a higher number of inclusions, they affected each diamond in a similar way in terms of appearance and performance.
On the lower end of the scale at VS2, there are more inclusions present, and on the higher end at VVS2, they’re less impactful.
What is a VVS1 Diamond?
A VVS1 diamond has inclusions that are difficult to see at 10x magnification. Even a trained gemologist will have to scan a diamond multiple times to find a hint of a flaw.
When these inclusions are spotted, they generally have no impact on the diamond. It could be a single pinpoint near the girdle or a few small feathers scattered across the table.
As an example, this 1.00-carat round cut diamond from Brilliant Earth earned a VVS1 grade. The GIA report notes only a pinpoint, and it’s difficult to view on the inclusion plot.
Others, such as this VVS1 diamond, have feathers, pinpoints, and cavities.
Even though there is a different number of inclusions in those diamonds, the gemologists determined they have an equal impact.
On the GIA scale, VVS1 sits below internally flawless (IF).
An IF diamond has no inclusions visible at 10x magnification, but the same cannot be said about VVS1.
It’s one grade above VVS2. Even though VVS2 diamonds have a more extensive presence of inclusions compared to VVS1, if you placed them next to each other, the naked eye couldn’t tell them apart.
Even those who grade the diamonds would have to study them closely to discover the differences.
What are the Differences Between VS1 and VVS1 Diamonds?
VS1 and VVS1 diamonds may look identical to the naked eye, but there are several key differences you should know if you’re considering one for your ring.
We’ll discuss three differences in detail below.
1. VS1 Diamonds Have More Inclusions
At the top of the clarity scale, flawless diamonds have no inclusions visible at 10x magnification, while ones graded “included” have obvious flaws that don’t require magnification to appear.
Both VS1 and VVS1 fall on the upper end of the clarity scale but neither reaches perfection.
VS1 diamonds often have a higher number of inclusions compared to ones with a VVS1 grade. This refers to both the total number of flaws and the various types.
For example, a VS1 diamond could have the following inclusions:
- Twinning wisp
- Etch channel
As a comparison, a VVS1 diamond may only have a twinning wisp and an etch channel.
But the number of inclusions isn’t the only factor taken into account when deciding its clarity grade. It also isn’t referring to an exact number.
You may find exceptions where a VS1 diamond has a singular, impactful inclusion, and a VVS1 diamond has multiple types.
This is a rare occurrence that likely speaks to the extent those inclusions affect its overall appearance and light performance.
2. VVS1 Inclusions are Less Impactful
Even if VVS1 and VS1 clarity diamonds have the same number and type of inclusions, VVS1 inclusions are less impactful on the diamond’s durability, brilliance, and appearance.
In terms of durability, inclusions have the potential to cause a diamond to chip.
Blemishes represent a weaker point in the diamond, especially if it’s near an area that’s already fragile, such as an extremely thin girdle.
If it’s dropped or hit in this area, it’s more likely to break, which is why buyers often cover these vulnerable areas with a quality setting.
You shouldn’t be concerned about the durability of a VS1 diamond, but the inclusions do weaken the diamond more compared to a VVS1 diamond.
Inclusions also diminish a diamond’s brilliance because they prevent light from properly entering and exiting facets.
When light hits an inclusion, it has the potential to distort the way it travels through the diamond.
That light won’t return to the viewer in the same way as when it travels freely.
A black spot in a VS1 diamond may lessen its brilliance, but the quality that most impacts this trait isn’t clarity. Instead, brilliance is most determined by the cut of a diamond.
If you’re focused on brilliance, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to VS1 versus VVS1 diamond clarity but instead on finding a diamond with a very good or excellent cut, like this lab-created diamond from Clean Origin.
Inclusions also affect the appearance of a diamond because they’re sometimes visible to the naked eye. You may notice internal graining, a dark crystal, or a cloud that makes the diamond look hazy.
On both VS1 and VVS1 clarity diamonds, this isn’t an issue because the inclusions are often too small to see with the naked eye.
3. VVS1 Diamonds are More Expensive
All else being equal, you’ll pay more for a VVS1 diamond compared to a VS1 diamond because its inclusions have less of an impact.
The price of a diamond increases with each grade higher along the clarity scale, and that’s true of other qualities such as color, carat weight, and cut.
So an SI1 diamond is less expensive than VS1, and VS1 costs less than IF.
The best way to understand how VVS1 diamonds are more expensive than VS1 clarity is to compare ones that have similar qualities in all other areas.
We compared diamonds from James Allen with the following qualities:
- Carat weight: 1.00
- Cut: Very good
- Color: F
For diamonds with those qualities and a VS1 clarity grade, the average price is $5,258, with a range of $4,430-$5,960.
For ones with a VVS1 grade, the average price is $6,874. The lowest price is $5,270, and the highest is $8,410.
That’s a 31 percent increase in price for VVS1 versus VS1.
You can put the savings a VS1 diamond offers toward its setting or a higher carat weight, or you could improve its cut or color.
Are There any Similarities?
The two similarities between VVS1 and VS1 diamonds are their eye-cleanliness and use in engagement rings.
These similarities go hand in hand because most buyers want an eye-clean diamond for their engagement ring.
The flaws in most VVS1 and VS1 diamonds aren’t large or dark enough to be seen without magnification. If you placed them next to each other, you often can’t tell the difference.
This starts to change as the diamond approaches two carats. A larger diamond has more visible inclusions because of its wide surface area.
But you don’t need to start your diamond search at VS1 to find one that’s eye-clean.
Instead, we recommend starting with SI1 diamonds if it’s less than 1.5 carats because it can look identical to a flawless diamond with the naked eye. For example, this one-carat round cut earned an SI1 grade, but inclusions aren’t visible with magnification.
It’s far less expensive, and the savings can go toward other qualities.
Is a VS1 or VVS1 Diamond Right For You?
Comparing VS1 versus VVS1 diamonds involves understanding how the inclusions affect its overall appeal.
In this comparison, you’ll be hard pressed to find noticeable differences, but as you dive into the details, you’ll see why one commands a premium over the other.
Here are some guidelines to help decide which is right for you.
You should choose a VS1 diamond if:
- You want a diamond that’s eye-clean, but you’re willing to pay more compared to others that don’t have visible inclusions, like SI1 or VS2
- The diamond is more than 1.5 carats, and you want to ensure inclusions aren’t visible
- You plan to protect its potentially weak areas with a quality setting
You should consider a VVS1 diamond if:
- It’s important to you that it has very few inclusions
- You’re willing to pay a premium compared to other eye-clean diamonds, even if they look the same without magnification
- You’re choosing a diamond larger than two carats and don’t want any visible inclusions
Explore a variety of diamonds at in-person retailers or through high-quality images.
By pairing VVS1 and VS1 diamonds with a number of settings, you’ll land on the right combination for your ring.
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