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What are VS clarity diamonds?

·2 min read

The abbreviation ‘VS’ stands for ‘Very Slightly Included’ - it describes the clarity of the diamond. 'Clarity' refers to a variety of natural microscopic characteristics which are trapped within or on a diamond, called inclusions and blemishes. It is graded from a scale of Flawless to Included, based on factors such as the number, size, relief, nature and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance, beauty and durability of the diamond. Thus, a VS clarity comes in the upper-middle range on the clarity grade scale as this clarity diamond contains minor inclusions that range from difficult to somewhat easy for a trained grader to see under 10x magnification depending on various factors mentioned above.

A chart showing the different clarity grades for a diamond FL - I3

A VS diamond is a great purchase for diamond buyers who are conscious about their budget as it comes just below VVS2 (very very slightly included). It is also a clarity grade with inclusions that are difficult to notice without 10x magnification and does not affect the overall appearance and beauty of a diamond. It’s only in very rare cases that a VS diamond might contain eye visible inclusions.

As seen in the chart above, a VS clarity grade is further divided into VS1 and VS2 clarity grades because it is difficult to locate the inclusions.

VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1):

The diamond has very minor inclusions that are still difficult to locate under 10x magnification even by a trained grader. Most common inclusions in this clarity of a diamond are small included crystals or feathers, distinct clouds and group of pinpoints.

VS1 clarity would be an excellent value for money from a buyer’s perspective because although these diamonds are not flawless, the inclusions in them are very difficult to notice. Thus, they offer similar appearance of a FL or IF clarity diamond but are priced substantially lower.

A VS1 clarity diamond with its corresponding GIA plot diagram

VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2):

the diamond has very minor inclusions that are somewhat easy for diamond professionals to view under 10x magnification.Typical VS2 inclusions are crystals, feathers, needles and clouds which are relatively easier to spot than a VS1. This clarity diamond would still give the appearance of a top clarity diamond when set in jewelry. This is because small inclusions can easily be hidden under a prong if it is located at the edge of the diamond. But a VS2 grade wouldn’t be a great choice for certain shapes. For example, in an emerald cut the inclusions of a VS2 would be more prominent because of its cut.

A VS2 clarity diamond image with its corresponding GIA plot diagram

Hope this brief overview about one of the important clarity grades when it comes to choosing your diamond helps you make a better choice with your jeweller for your next diamond investment.

Meenakshi Sarda
Meenakshi is a Diamond Graduate and jewelry professional from GIA with 15 years of experience in the jewelry industry. She's very passionate about animals and has a deep desire to work towards making lives better for the voiceless!