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What Are VVS Diamonds: The 6 Top Reasons To Buy

What Are VVS Diamonds? Should I Buy One?

We all want to be included in things, and we all consider inclusivity to be a good thing. 

Include people of all colors and creeds, right? 

That’s for people! But in the world of fashion jewelry and gems, an inclusion is often not such a good thing.

An inclusion, in jewelry terms, is the inclusion of another type of metal, or another element, in a gem. 

Diamond evaluation
Image by EgolenaHK via Shutterstock

So if a ruby has calcium in it, that’s an inclusion.  That means that the gem itself isn’t completely pure, not 100% what it is. 

The other thing included is usually something lower grade than a diamond or than gold that has an inclusion.

Diamonds—a girl’s best friend—often have inclusions, and are graded as to their level of inclusion.

Obviously, the less inclusions, the higher the grade.

One grade for a diamond is VVS, which means “Very Very Slight”, referring to inclusions.

What are VVS Diamonds?

OK. Here we go. The Gemological Institute of America is the big boss in this area.

They have a rating scale for the purity of diamonds. Internal features and external features are taken into account to get the diamond rating.

Diamond clarity FL and IF grades inclusions

FL and IF clarity diamonds

A FL (flawless diamond) has no internal or external features visible using a 10X loupe. Additionally, the polishing and the symmetry must be excellent.

These are the most expensive stones.

An IF (internally flawless diamond) shows no internal features (hence the name….) and very small surface features only visible using the 10X loupe.

So these are stones that have no flaws whatsoever. For various gems, this wouldn’t be that big a deal. 

But diamonds do tend to have small flaws: it’s actually extremely rare for diamonds to be flawless. 

Diamond clarity VVS1-1 and VS1-2 grades inclusions

VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds

VVS1– The inclusion that may exist in this grade of diamond is very small and extremely difficult to see under a 10X loupe.  There might be 1 or 2 inclusions, the diamond will look flawless (see above) to a casual look.

VVS2– These diamonds also have very small inclusions that are also difficult to spot under a 10X loupe.  The imperfections may be a bit closer to the center than those in VVS1 diamonds, which is how VVS2 diamonds are to a tiny degree not quite as valuable as VVS1. These diamonds are suitable for princess cut diamond engagement rings though.

VS1/2– Instead of very, very slight, these diamonds have very slight inclusions. One “very,” you see.  Stones in this range is still rare and valuable.

Diamond clarity S1-2 and I1-3 grades inclusions

SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3 clarity diamonds

SI1/2– This means “slightly included.” These diamonds have inclusions that are fairly easy to see at 10X.

I1, I2 and I3 diamonds contain inclusions that can be seen with the unaided eye.

Do VVS Diamonds Look Different From VS Diamonds?

It depends.  There are some differences between all stones, but in general, without a magnifier (10X loupe at least) and without special knowledge, one generally can’t tell the difference VVS and VS diamonds. 

The inclusions in VS, in other words, are so tiny that you can still get what is called an “eye clean” effect from the VS grades.

Diamond grading
Image by EgolenaHK via Shutterstock

Diamond grading

Do VVS Diamonds Sparkle More than VS Diamonds?

There is no difference in sparkle. 

The only way an inclusion can dampen the sparkle of a diamond is if they are very heavy, meaning it’s a low-grade stone that is super cloudy. 

Other than that, what creates the sparkle is the way the diamond is cut.

Princess cut rounded comfort fit solitaire engagement ring

How Can I Be Sure My Diamond is Eyeclean if it’s not VVS?

The first way is to find a video of the diamond, which are often available through the seller’s website. Intriguing, yes?

Would you like to hear more? Well, sometimes the video you’re looking at has the diamond very magnified. 

This means that the inclusion will—obviously—seem worse than it really is. 

The point of using zoom out buttons on your keyboard is to make the video look life size, the way it would actually be on your finger. 

That should be the vantage point from which it should like eye clear.  If it is, great, but if not, keep shopping.

OK, want a different way? No vid? Well, most diamonds will have a certificate.

International Gemological Institute Diamond Certificate
International Gemological Institute Diamond Certificate

The certificate gives a sort of map of inclusions. 

As long as you don’t see major inclusions near the diamond’s table, you should be golden.

Also, you can go to a trusted friend for an opinion.  It doesn’t have to be a jeweler, and maybe shouldn’t be, since you want an opinion that’s similar to people you’ll be seeing at gala events, parties, etc. 

You don’t want someone who’s going to be too picky or too technical.

Are VVS Diamonds Worth It?

The biggest factor here is how you feel about inclusions in your jewelry.  If you are unsettled by the idea of imperfections, you may be drawn to a VVS diamond, price and all.

Furthermore, if the idea of having that rare completely pure diamond really drives you, there’s no substitute.  You can boast to all who will listen about the pedigree of your rarefied jewels.

However, from a more practical standpoint, it’s easy to justify going for a VS or something along those lines. 

Lets have a look at prices for diamonds with a color grading of E.

For small diamonds (around 0.5 carat), there is no significant difference in price from VS2 clarity ($1200) to IF ($1600).

But the larger the diamond gets, the larger the difference. For a 1 carat stone (common size), a VVS2 diamond sits at $6300, $2400 cheaper than a Internally Flawless (IF) stone.

Diamond price for different clarity gradings and different carat weight

However, the value in a VVS stone is finally mostly in the estimation of the owner, or to the knowledge of a jeweler or other expert who knows you have it. 

A VVS diamond doesn’t really look any better to the naked, untrained eye than a VS, so it’s easy to see why a person would opt to just spend less money. Or even buy a diamond substitute

When Should you not buy a VVS diamond?

We will never pressure folks to spend too much money.  As you’ve learned, the only way people can see what’s so pure about a VVS is if they’re really looking. 

Now, we know that when a fashionable woman is sporting a big rock on an engagement ring, everyone will google it. 

That’s where you’ll see inclusions. 

That means a good opportunity for using a slightly lower-grade rock is with a necklace or bracelet. 

You can use this as a replacement for an engagement ring or just wear it as a piece of awesome jewelry.


Purity is a beautiful thing.  And there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a rare diamond. 

It’s pure luxury.  But VVS diamonds do cost an awful lot. 

There’s a big drop-off in price once you get into VS diamonds, and a lot of people take advantage of that. 

They can still get an eye-clean diamond, but not have to pay too much. Why not?

VVS Diamonds FAQ

Q. What Does VVS Mean in Diamonds?

A. Very Very Slight.  It means the imperfections or inclusions in the stone are very, very slight.  It’s another way of calling a diamond flawless; these stones are ultra rare and ultra expensive.

Q. Are VVS Diamonds Real Diamonds?

A. VVS diamonds are real diamonds, and amongst the purest of all. Because they have letters before their name doesn’t mean they’re some sort of imitation, or something that can fill in as a substitute for diamonds. 

It’s quite the opposite.  VVS is a grade of purity, meaning very very slight (imperfections).  It doesn’t mean the stone is some kind of quasi-diamond or an unreal diamond, but it does kind of sound like that. It’s easy to have a false impression of the VVS, but we hope this article has set you straight.

Q. How Much is a 1 Carat VVS Diamond?

A. That’s a tricky question.  Yes, the carat weight helps determine the price of the rock, but the color and cut are also factors.  If you’re looking for a round stone with a VVS rating, you’re probably looking at a price tag of about $5,000.  Princess or radiant cuts might be around $7,000 and fancier ones from $10 to $16K.

Yes, any VVS diamond will cost more than any other purity rating (except F and IF) no matter what the cut or color are.

Q. Which Diamond is Better: VVS1 or VVS2?

A. This is an excellent question.  We can see that VVS1 is the slightly higher quality grade.  The difference is generally that the inclusions in a VVS1 are more off center whereas in VVS2 they are more importantly placed.  So that’s no good.

However, it’s important to understand that the difference in price is very small.  That creates an interesting situation in which paying a bit more is probably a good idea. For a roughly 1% increase in cost, you can have a diamond with less conspicuous inclusions.  Crazy, right?  We recommend the VVS1, but then again, some VS diamonds can be the better option altogether, with great clarity.

Q. How Big a Diamond Can You Get for $10,000

A. I guess you want a big diamond.  We just spent all this time talking about purity and you want a huge ring. OK. Well, at this price, you should be able to get a 0.75 and 1.75 carats.  In diameter it may be between 5 and 8 mm.

Q. What Does VVS Mean in Hip-hop

A. Basically, a lot of rappers wear jewelry made with this grade of diamond.  Most of the jewelry is rings.  VVS diamond chains aren’t uncommon.  There’s a particular jeweler named Ben Baller who creates many of the enormous gold chains worn by rappers, particularly in New York City.  Some hip-hop songs make mention of the letters VVS.

Front-page news: rappers like spending too much money to prove they can.  We recommend the prettiest ring you can find at the best price.

Tags: clarity grade, 10x magnification, vs diamond, diamond clarity, slightly included, clarity grades, naked eye, diamond VVS diamonds