The abbreviation ‘VS’ stands for ‘Very Slightly Included’ - it describes the clarity of the diamond. The clarity refers to a variety of microscopic characteristics which are trapped within (inclusion) or on the surface (blemish) of a diamond. The clarity scales starts at Flawless (perfect inside and out) to I3 (heavily included). Clarity is based on the location, size, number, color and relief of the inclusions as well as how they affect the overall appearance and durability of the diamond. A VS clarity grade is in the upper-middle range on the clarity scale - this grade 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.
The VS Clarity grade scale being in the upper middle range as shown in the chart below:
Minute inclusions: VVS
Minor inclusions: VS
Noticeable inclusions: SI
Obvious inclusions and durability issues: I
- I1: Included 1
- I2: Included 2
- I3: Included 3
As seen in the chart above, a VS clarity grade is further divided into VS1 and VS2 clarity grades.
VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1):
The diamond has very minor inclusions that are still difficult to locate under 10x magnification by a trained grader. Most common inclusions in this clarity of diamond are small included crystals or feathers, distinct clouds and group of pinpoints.
A VS11 diamond will always be eye clean (except potentially in a larger emerald or asscher). It's a great value since they will look exactly like the higher clarity grades to the naked eye.
VS2(Very Slightly Included 2):
The diamond has very minor inclusions that are somewhat easy for a diamond professional 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. 95% of VS2 diamonds are eye clean - the exception being one with a dark crystal near the center in a larger stone.