February 13

What Does VS Diamond Mean? | Can a Naked Eye Notice Imperfections?


Author: Alene Geed

On the GIA clarity scale, VS clarity diamonds are either rated as VS1 or VS2 because of their tiny inclusions. However, the presence of inclusions does not guarantee visibility. You typically need a magnification of 10x or higher to see these flaws. So, if you don't have a jeweler's loupe, it's likely that the diamond will look clean to the naked eye.

Key Takeaways

  • VS means very slightly included incursions on diamonds that are difficult to see with the naked eye.
  • The diamond clarity grades determine the purity and the degree of inclusions and blemishes on the diamond.  
  • VVS diamonds have minute incursions that are very difficult to see with a 10x magnification, while VS clarity diamonds have more significant imperfections quickly seen under magnification. 
  • Flawless diamonds appear first on the clarity scale for grading diamonds as they have no blemishes or inclusions and are easily passed as natural diamonds. However, they are costly.

Suppose you are a researcher or a curious buyer wondering what does VS diamond mean? Or what role does clarity grading play in categorizing VS diamonds? This guide has the answers. Scroll down to learn more.

What Does VS Diamonds Mean?

According to the GIA's diamond clarity scale, VS diamonds stands for "very slightly included" incursions on the diamonds.

Almost all diamonds have imperfections due to how the stones form in the earth's mantle. The precious stones are exposed to very high temperatures as they form, leaving them with blemishes and inclusions. 

Fortunately, a VS clarity diamond has slight inclusions that the naked eye cannot trace. Sometimes experienced diamond graders do not notice the imperfections right away, even with the help of magnification. 

a person analyzing the diamond

A VS clarity diamond comes in two categories; vs1 and vs2 clarity grades. 

VS1 Clarity Diamonds

From the clarity perspective, VS1 clarity diamonds are the highest quality diamonds in the VS clarity diamond category that offers you value for your money. They have slight inclusions that can only be seen under bright lighting and magnification. Although not entirely flawless, vs1 clarity diamonds are eye-clean, have a stunning look, and offer an identical appearance to IF AND FL diamonds. 

VS2 Clarity Diamonds

Vs2 clarity diamonds have minor imperfections almost invisible to the naked eye. However, it is relatively easy to spot the blemishes and inclusions when viewed under a bright light and using a 10x magnification. 

VS2 is also the perfect choice for a wedding or engagement ring as they look identical to a flawless diamond, even though its imperfections are easily noticeable.  

Are VS Diamonds Real Diamonds?

Yes. VS diamonds are real diamonds even though they have a lower clarity grade. Fortunately, they have microscopic inclusions that are hard to see with the naked eye. One may require a 10x magnification or a jeweler's loupe to find the imperfections.

To answer the question even better, it is essential first to explain how diamond grading works. All diamonds used in jewelry undergo clarity grading. Clarity grading refers to the visibility of inclusions and blemishes on the stone. 

How Clarity Grading is Determined

A diamond with a poor clarity grading means it has multiple inclusions that directly affect the sparkle, as the inclusions hinder the refraction and return of light. Therefore, the lower the clarity grade, the cloudier the diamond will appear. 

The standard clarity grading uses a 10x magnification to determine the clarity grade. However, the clarity is based on several other factors that, include:

  • Size: The larger the inclusion compared to the diamond's size, the lower the diamond's clarity grade. 
  • Number: The more the number of inclusions when all other factors remain constant, the more effect it will have on the clarity grade.
  • Location: If the inclusion is closer to the center of the table, the more effect it brings to the clarity grade. 
  • Nature: The more effect the inclusion or blemishes have on the diamond, the more significant impact it has on the clarity grade. 
  • Relief: Relief refers to the distinction between the inclusion and the diamond. Therefore, the more the clarity features differ, the more impact it has on the clarity grade.  
diamond clarity charts

While considering the mentioned factors, a grader assigns clarity grades based on the following criteria when viewed under s 10x magnification. 

  • Flawless (FL): No blemishes or inclusions visible. The FL is the top-tier and highest-priced diamond. 
  • Internally flawless (IF): Only insignificant blemishes on the outside are visible, and there are no inclusions. It is as perfect as FL on the inside. 
  • Very very slightly included (VVS1 and VVS2):  VVS diamonds are the first level of clarity to have inclusions. However, a VVS diamond has very tiny inclusions that are extremely very difficult to see even under 10x magnification. 
  • Very slightly included (VS1 and VS2): Minor inclusions that are somewhat larger but range from difficult to easy to see under the 10x magnification, especially for round diamond shapes. 
  • Slightly included (SI1 and SI2): Noticeable inclusions that are easy to see under the naked eye.
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3): Inclusions are easily visible under 10x magnification and noticeable under the naked eye.

Is VS a Good Quality Diamond?

As seen on the clarity grading above, VS clarity diamonds (VS1 and VS2) contain visible inclusions when viewed under a 10x magnification. However, as mentioned earlier, it is harder to see the imperfections on a VS1 as they are small diamonds and hence appear to be eye-clean. 

On the other hand, imperfections on the VS2 are relatively more significant and easy to spot; hence not always eye-clean. So, when choosing between VS1 and VS2, consider the kind of cut you want, as some cuts may make the imperfections more visible.

Which Diamonds Are Better VS or VVS?

Undoubtedly, the quality of both VS and VVS diamonds is phenomenal according to the clarity grading. However, VVS diamonds are of a higher quality and have a higher clarity grade making them extraordinary gems. 

VSS diamonds are also rare to find and more expensive. The minute inclusions, diamond color, carat weight, and cut make them a valuable possession. Basically, a VVS is superior to VS even though both are eye-clean and the inclusions are only visible under magnification.

Is VS or VS1 Better?

As mentioned earlier, a VVS diamond ranks higher than VS on the clarity grading. To dig deeper, VVS comes in two categories—VVS1 and VVS2. The difference between VVS1 and VVS2 is:

  • Where the blemishes are located
  • How many are present
  • How obvious they appear

To be clear, VVS1 is the highest quality of VVS and appears higher on the grading scale than VVS2 and VS clarity diamonds.


Are VS Diamonds Good Diamonds?

Yes, VS diamonds are good eye-clean diamonds with almost invisible imperfections. VS clarity diamonds are classified into two categories—VS1 and VS2, with very hard-to-see inclusions under 10x magnification. They are also more affordable than the FL and the IF. 

What is Diamond Clarity?

Diamond clarity is the purity of the gem. It checks the natural microscopic characteristics trapped within the diamond during its formation. 

These characteristics result in inclusions and blemishes. They are inspected using a 10x magnification. Diamonds with fewer inclusions are considered highly valued.

What Are Inclusions and Blemishes in A Diamond?

Inclusions and blemishes are structural imperfections that affect the diamond's clarity grading. Inclusions are foreign materials formed during diamond formation, while blemishes are flaws that appear on the diamond's surface. 

What is the Best Diamond Clarity? 

The best diamond clarity is the flawless grade, followed by internally flawless and VVS diamond, in that order. The stone has no blemishes and inclusions as they are perfect in their natural form. However, FL diamonds are very rare to find.

About the Author:

Alene Geed

I am a published writer and an experienced jewelry designer. In my designs, I use gold, steel and silver, and adds gemstones to enhance the beauty of my unique, sparkling pieces of jewelry.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch

0 of 350