VVS1 is like the Mary Poppins of diamond clarity. As in "practically perfect in every way." And while that might be an excellent quality in a magical nanny, it may be more than you bargained for in a diamond.
VVS1 diamonds can be absolutely gorge, but they can also be absurdly expensive. "But better is better!" they shout from the rooftops! And while that might be true when it comes to things like diamond cut, it's not a hard and fast rule of clarity.
Here's the deal, VVS1 diamonds are exceptional, obvi, but a clarity rating isn't everything. So let us give you the breakdown of what it means, what it costs, and what you can spend your money on instead.
VVS1 means very, very small inclusions. As in, the tiny imperfections in this diamond are so small you can’t even see them with a standard jeweler’s loupe. That’s 10x magnification!
So, in other words. VVS1 diamonds are super eye-clean, so much so that you’ll never see inclusions with the naked eye. It would take a trained professional using a hella powerful microscope to spot a single blemish in these babies.
Being so close to perfect clarity means they come with a price tag to match. While there are still two steps up from here, the clarity scale VVS1 is as high as it makes sense to go. Otherwise, you’re just spending to spend, and we can think of better places to put your money, like carat weight.
Perfection is rare, especially when it comes to diamonds. So finding a Flawless (FL) diamond is kind of like finding a unicorn. Ok, so slightly less rare since they’re not mythical, but you get the point. Experts say finding a flawless diamond is nearly impossible.
Internally flawless diamonds (IF) are a little more common, however. IF diamonds have tiny inclusions and flaws, you guessed it, internally, but the exterior is perfection.
Because it's so rare to find these two grades, they are majorly expensive. But, big surprise, they aren't really worth the extra dinero.
Because it's so very eye-clean, you're much better off going with a VVS1 over a flawless or internally flawless diamond. It's still nearly perfect, but it'll save you the big bucks–yes, it's still v. pricy–and you won't be able to tell the difference anyway.
No one will. Unless your friends keep a high-powered microscope in their purse, then we can't help you.
Check out this side by side. Can you tell which is IF and which is VVS1? They’re both stunning. And while the difference between the two may only be a few hundred dollars in this particular example, those dollars add up, especially when you factor in the rarity.
You’ll have a much harder time finding the IF diamond of your dreams than you will a VVS1.
Ok, real quick, what even is eye-clean?
A diamond with no visual imperfections to the unaided eye, aka no magnification, is considered eye-clean. So a diamond being considered eye-clean has less to do with whether or not a diamond has inclusions and more to do with where they are and if you can see them.
So a diamond that has a VVS1 or higher grade is guaranteed eye-clean. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find an eye-clean diamond with a lower clarity grade that will save you a bunch of money.
VS1 diamonds and sometimes even SL1 diamonds can be eye-clean. It's just a matter of talking to a jeweler and looking for yourself. It's yet another reason why cut is oh so important as it can hide a multitude of inclusions and blemishes, but we digress.
VVS1 diamonds are nearly perfect, and they come with a price tag to match. We get it, they’re rare and stunning, so it makes sense. But there’s a common misconception that you should buy a diamond that is as close to perfect as possible because it will be a good investment.
To put it plainly, diamonds are never a good investment. Buy them because they mean something to you and your partner, because they symbolize your everlasting love, and most importantly because they are shiny. Ok, maybe not most importantly, but it is a big bonus.
The thing is, if you’re looking to save money, clarity is one of those places where you can do it without losing quality. Remember that whole eye-clean thing? Yeah, that. When you consider you can get a diamond that’s just as sparkly and gorge for thousands less, a higer clarity just seems like a weird flex.
But hey, if you've got it, flaunt it. If you don't want to settle for any less than perfection, we've got you covered. And if you would rather spend your money elsewhere, we've got your back there too.
So here's the deal, if you want an eye-clean diamond that still has a high clarity grade, you cannot go wrong with a VVS2. While it has slightly more inclusions than a VVS1, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference even with a jewelry loupe.
If we also consider the magic that is a good cut, you can slide on down to a VS1 and still have a killer eye-clean rock on your hands. Getting something that's close to perfect is expensive. But getting something that looks close to perfect can save you a bundle while giving you pretty much the same result.
Take a look at these princess cuts.
They've got the same cut and color and are nearly the same carat weight. The Difference? One is a VVS1 and has a price tag of $5,636. The other is a VS1 and costs about 2 grand less… It’s also a little bigger.
Which is better? Well, that's really up to you. The point is you can still get a beautiful eye-clean diamond with a VS1, but you'll save so so much money. But hey, if you don't want to save money, that's ok too. We are a business. After all, we're not complaining.
Still want a super high clarity grade without the price tag of perfection? How about a lab-grown diamond?
If you didn't know, lab diamonds are identical to natural diamonds, but they're also more sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethically sourced. Still not convinced?
On average, lab diamonds cost about half as much as the natural alternative, making perfection a lot closer to your price range.
Seriously, peep these two VVS1 diamonds.
They’re both 1.1 carats, both have excellent or ideal cuts. In this case, the only difference is that the lab diamond has a slightly better color grade. Oh, and it costs $10,000 less than the natural diamond.
Whether you choose a lab diamond or a natural one, you're going to go home with the same gorgeous sparkle. If you're looking at the lab tho, you might also go home with a much bigger rock, and we don't see a lot of complaints in that department.
How much bigger? Well, this VVS1 lab-grown diamond is 3.05ct, and it still costs less than the 1.1ct natural diamond pictured above.
As much as we love a flawless diamond–it is a magical thing to behold–there's one factor that remains supreme above all else. Cut.
See, a VVS1 or even a flawless diamond with a bad cut is, well, just bad. The cut has everything to do with brilliance, sparkle, and truly everything that makes us fall in love with diamonds.
A well-cut diamond can hide internal flaws and blemishes, making it shine just as bright as one with no flaws, to begin with. A good cut is everything. And it's not just an improvement in visible clarity; it can even brighten lower color grades.
That's why it's so important to consider cut when you're taking a look at any diamond, no matter the clarity grade. It's also the reason that a VS1 and, in some cases, even an SL1 can shine just as bright as any other stone.
So whether you go with a high clarity like a VVS1 or save a pretty penny with a VS1, take a moment to consider the cut. It makes a world of difference.
Check it out. Diamonds have range. If you still want a VVS1 diamond, then you do, you boo. We'd never try to stop you. But in the event you want to save some money to spend on, say, a bigger diamond – peep the clarity scale.
And if it's absolute (near) perfection with a petite price tag you're after, why not go lab-grown? It'll save you a boatload of bills so you can spend that money where it matters on a big fat diamond.