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Diamond Clarity — Why VS1 Diamonds are Better than Flawless

Is a VS1 diamond a better choice for your ring than a VS2? Learn more about diamond clarity and shop VS1 diamonds and engagement rings.

VS1 diamonds are like the cardigan of clarity grades—warm, comforting, and risk-free. There’s plenty to love there, but if you’re still wondering what all the hype is about, you’re not alone. See, VS1 clarity diamonds are “very slightly included” and almost always eye-clean, even with superhuman vision. You’re never going to have to worry about one showing up at your door with a giant black inclusion in the middle of the table and ruining your proposal plans. And they totally smash those 40x magnified videos you see online, just getting all sparkly with their bad selves. 

But is a VS1 diamond a better choice for your ring than a VS2 diamond? Well. We think not. Here’s why.

VS Clarity Oval Diamond

What is a VS1 Diamond?

Simply defined, on the diamond clarity scale, VS clarity grades are “very slightly included”, with inclusions visible with effort under 10x magnification, but still characterized as minor. Whoa, jargon alert. We see your head spinning already. Really, this means that even a trained gemologist has to put effort into finding VS inclusions when using magnification. Some of the common inclusion types you’ll find in VS stones include very small feathers, clouds, white pinpoints, or indented naturals.

What is a VS2 Diamond?

Frankly, my dear, it’s the same thing as a VS1 diamond, with inclusions that are either slightly higher in number or visibility. This might mean a cloud under the table instead of off to the edge. Or perhaps a dark pinpoint instead of a white one. These minor differences can knock a diamond down a grade, but it’s like the difference between a B+ and a B-. They’re both still B’s, boo. And you won’t see the difference without magnification.

Apples to apples

Can you see the difference for yourself? We sure can’t.

Round G VS2 Diamond
Round G VS1 Diamond

What Does that Mean for my Wallet?

While VS1 diamonds don’t have the major price bump of a VVS, they’re still more per carat than a VS2, with no visible difference. So why put your money where you can’t see it? Color grade differences will be far more noticeable to the average human than the difference between VS1 and VS2, or even SI1 for that matter. Unless you’re the type who just won’t settle for anything but flawless, we’d recommend going a little lower on clarity and spending more on the cut, color, and carat weight of your rock.

Brilliance on the Brain

Speaking of getting more for your money, if you’re buying a brilliant cut diamond, there’s zero need to go higher than a VS1 diamond. Especially if you get a high cut grade, which is made to sparkle like whoa, disguising any inclusions that might be hanging out inside your stone. Unless, of course, the idea of inclusions just bothers you, which is totally okay too. 

VS1 Cushion Cut Diamond —
can you see the inclusions?
VVS2 Cushion Cut Diamond —
see a difference?

Step up your Diamond Clarity Game

When clarity does matter a bit more? If you’re planning to purchase a step-cut diamond such as an Asscher or emerald cut. This is because their big, flat facets tend to show off their clarity (and any inclusions) more than a brilliant cut diamond would. That said, you can go as low as a VS2 and still find step-cut diamonds that are eye-clean. When you’re shopping around, pay attention to the type, color, and location of the diamond’s inclusions (check the certificate!) and really, if you can peep them with your own two eyes, all the better. 

Eye Clean VS2 Emerald
Cut Diamond
Not Eye Clean SI1 Emerald
Cut Diamond

Going up?

If you’re all about that luxe life and shopping diamonds that are 2 carats or more, we still think VS is a safe space to play, just keep in mind that the bigger you go, the better…oh wait, we mean the bigger you go, the more visible the inclusions will become and the more important diamond clarity is.

Flex on ‘em

Educating yourself about diamond clarity before dropping dollars is super important. But getting too attached to a specific set of parameters to purchase? That can make your shopping experience more frustrating than fulfilling. It’s great to know what you’re comfortable with—and what’s a deal breaker—but the diamond market is dynamic and being too particular can limit your options and eliminate some otherwise great stone choices. So be flexible. You’ll be a lot more likely to find something stunning that satisfies your needs.

So, Which Diamond Clarity is Better? VS1 or VS2?

After years staring through the jeweler’s loupe, we gotta say: While VS2 is a slight nudge higher on our list for value’s sake, together they make a perfect middle-of-the-road place to start your diamond search. Know that you can always tweak the diamond characteristics up or down as you get a better sense for pricing and availability, but you can’t go wrong either way!

Not Sure if an VS1 Clarity Diamond is Right for You?

Check out our guide to clarity for a head-to-head matchup of the most frequently requested clarity grades, or get in touch with us for a video or help in selecting one. Diamonds may be the hardest thing on earth, but we can help make buying them easier.

Ready to Find Your VS Diamond?

Check out our diamond search where you can view 360-degree images of more than 10,000 diamonds and compare diamond clarity grades, or book a virtual or offline appointment at our New York salon to view certified lab-grown and natural diamonds in person. 

Not finding what you’re looking for? Email us with what you’re looking for at hello@frankdarling.com. We’ll curate a list of 5-7 exclusive stones that are just right for you.