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A Complete Guide to VS2 Diamond Clarity

Understand what VS2 clarity means and whether its the right clarity grade for you

By Mike Fried,

VS2 clarity grade falls in the middle of the diamond clarity scale and is a smart choice for those seeking a balance between cost and quality. VS2 clarity diamonds have only minor inclusions, which are invisible to the naked eye but are somewhat easily detected by a trained professional under 10X magnification. A 1-carat VS2 diamond’s price can start at approximately $4,000, with variations based on cut, color, and carat weight.

Individual diamond characteristics can vary, so close examination is advised before purchasing. Below we discuss what to look for in a VS2 diamond and how to get the best value.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

What is VS2 clarity?
Should I buy a VS2 clarity diamond?
How much does a VS2 diamond cost?
2 carat and larger VS2 diamonds
Best shapes for VS2 diamonds
Is it possible to find a VS2 diamond that is not eye-clean?
What is the difference between VS1 and VS2 diamonds?
Where is the best place to buy a VS2 clarity diamond?

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What is VS2 Clarity?

VS2 clarity means Very Slightly Included. Inclusions in VS2 diamonds, are usually small and will not be seen with the naked eye. Unlike VVS clarity diamonds, the inclusions will be readily visible with a 10X loupe. A VS2 grade comes in around the middle of the overall grading scale for diamond clarity, but realistically indicates a high-quality diamond that is very close to looking flawless when viewed in normal conditions.

In order to understand what a VS2 diamond is, it’s important to know the basics of the diamond clarity chart. As the GIA laboratory puts it, “Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone”.

Almost all diamonds have some imperfections, as a result of the process by which they are formed. Diamonds are born from the combination of heat and pressure 80-120 miles deep in the Earth’s mantle and formed over billions of years. This inevitably leads to surface blemishes or internal inclusions, and it’s extremely rare for a diamond to emerge in perfect condition.

The GIA’s Diamond Clarity Grading Scale

Very Very Small Inclusions 2 (VVS2)

Very Very Slightly Included (2nd Degree) – Diamond clarity inclusions rated VVS2 are sometimes just barely visible under 10x magnification (standard jeweler’s loupe). When they are visible, they are quite difficult to find and can often take quite a while to locate.

Here's an example of an VVS2 diamond

VS2 diamond is the lower grade of VS clarity. VS2 inclusions are almost always easily noticed under 10x magnification (a standard jeweler’s loupe). In some cases, the inclusion is in a difficult-to-spot location. Most often, though, the inclusion is large enough to be spotted quickly under magnification. VS2 inclusions are rarely noticeable to the naked eye, especially in diamonds less than 2 carat.

VS2 may be on the high end of the clarity spectrum, but that does not mean you can buy one site unseen. Take a look at this VS2 diamond from Blue Nile. It seems like a phenomenal deal. After all, it is $500 cheaper than this diamond with the exact same specs. But if you look at the image, you will see that the first diamond has a garish inclusion in the center of the table while the second diamond looks clear and is obviously worth spending the extra cash on.

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Should I buy a VS2 Clarity Diamond?

While, in many cases, a VS2 clarity grade represents a clear diamond with few noticeable inclusions, it’s not recommended to focus on grades alone when judging a diamond for its clarity. We believe your goal should be to find an eye-clean diamond for the best price possible (of course factoring in other features, such as cut quality and carat weight).

“Eye-clean” means the diamond doesn’t have any inclusions or blemishes that are noticeable to the naked eye. Depending on the size and location of their inclusions, one VS2 diamond may appear eye-clean, while the inclusions on another may be a lot easier to notice.

Take these two diamonds for example. This SI1 clarity diamond has the inclusion is feint and gray and won’t be noticeable to the naked eye. I would rather have that diamond over this VS2 clarity diamond with a harsh black inclusion in the center. Not only will it look nicer (despite having a lower clarity grade), it is 10% cheaper.

How Much Does a VS2 Clarity Diamond Cost?

A 1 carat VS2 clarity natural diamond will cost between $2,500 and $5,500 depending on the shape and other qualities. The price of a VS2 diamond depends on many factors, such as the carat weight, cut quality, color grade, and the shape of the diamond. We estimate that a well-cut H color diamond (our recommendations), a round 1 carat VS2 clarity diamond will cost about $4,000.

Pro Tip: It’s quite common for people to make the mistake of buying a diamond with a clarity grade too high to appreciate. Once it passes the threshold for being eye-clean, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between diamonds of higher or lower clarity grades. Assuming all else is the same, an eye-clean VS2 diamond will look identical to a flawless graded diamond. Despite appearing almost exactly alike, there’s a big difference in price.

VS2 Clarity Diamonds That Are 2 Carats Or Larger

Inclusions can be more visible to the naked eye in diamonds of a higher carat weight. The bigger the diamond, the more surface area there is to spot any imperfections.

While VS1 or VS2 is usually more than enough for diamonds up to 2 carats, the same grade may not be enough for high-carat diamonds. For example, with this 3.01 diamond with a VS1 clarity from James Allen, there is a dark inclusion on the diamond’s table that is easy to notice.

Another example, this 3.57 carat VS2 diamond also from James Allen features blemishes on the surface that can be seen without magnification.

When you’re looking at diamonds above 2 carat, such as the examples above, be open to looking at higher clarity grades too. And even though there is always a chance for a VS2 diamond to be eye-clean, you may need to move up to a VS1 or VVS2 clarity.

You still want to focus on picking out a diamond that’s eye-clean, regardless of the grade. It may be possible to find an eye-clean VS2 diamond even in that size.

Best Shapes For VS2 Diamonds

Some diamond shapes are better or worse than others at showing imperfections. This is important to know, as a VS2 clarity grade may be fine for one shape, but too low for another.

Step cuts, such as emerald cuts and asscher cuts (and baguette diamonds) are more likely to show any inclusions. These diamond shapes feature long, straight, parallel facets, and any marks show up quite clearly.

In comparison, brilliant cut diamonds, such as round, cushion, radiant, oval and pear shaped diamonds, generally hide inclusions well.

In general, you’ll be able to find an eye-clean brilliant cut diamond in the area of VS2, or sometimes even lower. However, for a step cut, such as an asscher or emerald diamond, you’ll often need to look higher, like VVS2 clarity.

Examples Of Undesirable VS2 Diamonds

inclusion plot for vs2 emerald cut

This inclusion plot from the GIA report shows a concentration of crystals in the same space.

The image above shows that VS2 clarity doesn’t always guarantee you’ll get an eye-clean diamond. Certain factors can affect whether or not it appears clear to the naked eye, including diamond cut (imperfections are hidden easier with better light performance), the color of any inclusions, and the shape or nature of the flaws.

As discussed earlier, the shape and size of the diamond also play a large part. While we can easily spot the imperfection in the emerald diamond above, it’s possible the same flaw could be hidden in a round brilliant or a smaller emerald.

inclusion plot for vs2 princess cut diamond

Princess cut with dark inclusions under the table facet.

Difference Between VS2 and VS1

Diamond Clarity Chart

The difference between a VS1 and VS2 diamond is extremely slight. It’s difficult for even a diamond expert to tell one from the other, let alone a regular person in normal viewing conditions.

The definition of a VS1 vs VS2 diamond gives some differences. VS2 clarity means that, under 10x magnification, inclusions are almost always easily noticeable. A VS1 grade, on the other hand, means that inclusions are only somewhat noticeable.

In essence, the difference is that inclusions in VS2 diamonds are slightly easier to detect using magnification tools. In both cases, however, the inclusions are slight and difficult to see with the naked eye.

With larger stones, like 3 carat, 4 carat and 5 carat diamonds, you can get some outliers wherein there are noticeable imperfections, visible to the naked eye, for both VS1 and VS2 diamonds.

VS2 clarity diamond grade

Because the difference between VS1 and VS2 is slight, we recommend looking for eye-clean VS2 diamonds with a carat weight of 2 or below. You won’t sacrifice any of the beauty, but you’ll save some of your budget for other important factors like cut quality. For a higher carat stone, you may want to consider a VS1 diamond or even a VVS2 diamond to ensure you get one that’s eye-clean.

Where to Buy a VS2 Diamond

It’s essential to look closely at any diamond in order to evaluate its clarity, instead of going by the grading report alone. The report can tell you the nature of any inclusions, but the only way to know for sure if a diamond is eye-clean is to inspect it for yourself.

You’ll need to review high-quality images to see if there are any imperfections. We recommend buying diamonds online from James Allen and Blue Nile, who are currently the only vendors we recommend that offer imagery and inspection tools good enough to properly review diamond clarity.

With their advanced technology, you may be able to find a stunning SI2 diamond that saves you almost 20% or 30% over a mediocre VS2. For more info check out our full list of best online jewelers.

FAQs About VS2 Clarity Diamonds

In this section, we’ll answer some of the most common questions regarding VS2 clarity diamonds.

What is a VS2 diamond?

A VS2 diamond is a diamond graded “Very Slightly Included 2” on the diamond clarity grading scale. This grade is one step lower than VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1), and one higher than SI1 (Slightly Included 1).

Is VS2 a good diamond?

Usually, a VS2 clarity grade represents a high-quality diamond (in terms of the number or scale of inclusions present). Your aim when purchasing a diamond should be to find a stone that is eye-clean, meaning it doesn’t have any imperfections visible to the naked eye, and many VS2 diamonds pass as eye-clean.

Which is better, VS2 or SI1?

VS2 is one step higher than SI1 on the diamond clarity grade, making these diamonds “better” in terms of their clarity. However, SI1 diamonds in some cases make a better purchase, if you’re able to find a diamond at this grade that appears eye-clean.

How much is a VS2 diamond worth?

You can expect a 1 carat VS2 diamond to cost roughly $3000-$7000. However, be aware that many other factors affect the price of a diamond, such as carat weight, color and cut quality.

How much does a VS2 clarity diamond cost?

A nice one carat round diamond that is VS2 clarity costs about $4,800. The price can vary a bit based on which shape you select, what color grade you go with, and whether it’s well-cut or not.

Bottom Line Recommendation:

We recommend looking for a diamond with a VS1 to SI2 clarity grade. A beautiful VS2 or VS1 diamond will look identical to a flawless graded diamond, assuming all other grades and features are equal (yet will cost significantly less). 

If you’re looking at larger diamonds, any blemishes, and inclusions become easier to spot and may be visible to the naked eye. For diamonds greater than 2 carat, you may need to bump up to VS1 clarity or VVS grade for an eye-clean diamond. Whatever the clarity grade, it’s important to review each diamond closely to ensure that it doesn’t contain any blemishes or inclusions that you can see under normal viewing conditions.

For help evaluating diamonds for their clarity as well as assessing other important features, contact our diamond experts.

Here are more specific clarity topics to browse:

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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