It’s easy to surrender to the best 4Cs when you have no idea what you’re getting into. Sure, going with the highest grade is a safe bet! So, it’s understandable if you don’t want to gamble your savings and your lady’s approval with what seems like a time-consuming, technical choice.
But since you’re here, you should know that diamonds aren’t just about the spectacular glitter, there’s actual science to it. And if you simply read on, you may get the biggest bang for your buck!
In this post, I’m going to show you a trade secret that I think everyone should know. Because like you, I was also clueless before I learned that I could play around the 4Cs (except diamond cut!) to maximize my budget.
Unless you’re a purist, an investor, or have a big fund, VS1 can be a great alternative to FL, IF, VVS1, and VVS2 gems. Let me show you how!
VS1 Clarity Grade – Emulating Flawless Diamonds’ Brilliance!
Known as Very Slightly Included, VS1 is one of the most affordable diamonds with no visible inclusions. This clarity grade bears tiny flaws that can only be detected by a trained gemologist under 10X magnification. Without a loupe, you wouldn’t be able to spot any flaws!
Common types of inclusions that are found in VS1 are minute feathers, indented naturals, white pinpoints, and clouds.
The VS1 clarity grade may not be “flawless”, but it mirrors the clarity of a flawless diamond. Meaning, you’re guaranteed that you won’t see any inclusions with your naked eye.
Overall, this rating is a superb choice for those who prioritize clarity among the 4Cs.
Your gem will look clean and the title itself is usually a bragging right!
VS1 Diamonds versus VVS Diamonds
You must wonder why VS1 is the alternative to FL and not VVS diamonds. Well, it all boils down to price! They’re basically the same in normal viewing, so why not pick the grade that will cost considerably less?
The difference between the two categories can only be made using magnification, but VVS diamonds’ inclusions are even harder to see! With VS1, if the gems are graded by GIA or AGS, you can be sure that they’ll always be eye clean. You won’t see black carbon spots; only tiny white inclusions when using a loupe.
Paying for higher grades is like paying for a feature that no one – not even you – can view. Unless all your friends carry a loupe with them, VS1 will be spotless!
Take a look at how much a VS1 diamond costs compared to VVS2:
These two gems are both cut in super ideal proportions. As you can see, there’s no visible flaws. And these images are magnified 20x, more than the usual 10x in a loupe, to really show you how “flawless” the diamonds are.
Also, if you’ll click the photos, you may zoom out the image to 2x and watch the diamond do a 360° spin for you to confirm the absence of visible inclusions. Then again, would you pay $1,380 more for a microscopic benefit?
Here are VS1 and VVS2’s grading reports:
It’s another proof that the two diamonds are basically the same in terms of invisible features.
So, it might be better to choose VS1 for clarity and spend more on the best cut, since it’s the main factor in achieving the ultimate sparkle! Or better yet, go another grade lower and save more!
VS2 Clarity Grade – The Sweet Spot
VS2 diamonds’ inclusions are easily seen with a 10x loupe than VS1s’. However, they are still practically invisible to bare eyes. So, if the golden rule is to pick an eye clean diamond, then we can go lower in clarity as possible. In fact, there are also eye clean SI1 and SI2 diamonds, although with VS2, you may rest your mind on the thought that they’ll always be eye clean.
Check out these remarkable VS2 diamonds that at first glance you could easily confuse with higher clarity grades:
The VS2 on the left has the same parameters as the VS1 and VVS2 above, but looks fairly clean. While the one on the right not only matches their 3Cs, but also bears a Heart and Arrows pattern which means it has perfect optical symmetry. Despite all these, both diamonds still cost less than the first examples and offer good value for money!
Now, whether you choose VS1 or VS2 is solely up to you. When you’re finally ready to make your purchase, take these shopping tips in mind:
Smart Diamond Shopping
First off, make sure that your chosen diamond comes with a gemological certificate, preferably from GIA and AGS. If you’re buying from a brick and mortar store, ask to see your gem with a loupe.
If you’re shopping online, skip vendors that don’t show actual photos of their diamonds because a legit website should exhibit the exact imagery or video of their gems.
Seeing your diamond up close will let you evaluate the inclusions and decide for yourself. Among the top online diamond shops today, I find James Allen the most user-friendly because of their diamond display technology. They show diamond pictures up to 40x zoom and 360-degree videos in HD!
I also like their advanced filter tool where I can easily find diamonds in my desired 4Cs and compare them afterwards. It makes online shopping more convenient, yet still professional.
And that’s what’s paramount in today’s techy ways!
Trust your own eyes when looking for inclusions. It may take a few more diamond guides and magnified photos, but you’ll surely get there! I mean, you’re already at the end of this post, so rest assured, the next time you search for a diamond, you won’t be as puzzled as before.
If you have any questions about the VS1 clarity grade, drop a comment below or contact me here!