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Complete VVS1 Diamond Clarity Buying Guide

What is a VVS1 clarity graded diamond and should you buy one?

By Mike Fried,

VVS1 clarity diamonds are diamonds with imperfections that are so small they’re difficult for an expert to see even under 10x magnification. Diamonds with a VVS1 grade are close to the top of the GIA clarity scale, falling just under the FL/IF grades. While this makes them visually stunning, it doesn’t necessarily make them the best choice for everyone. Lower grade diamonds like VS1, even down to an eye-clean SI diamond, can appear just as flawless to the naked eye but cost significantly less. Unless you’re a diamond connoisseur, choosing a VVS1 diamond might mean you’re paying more for a feature that won’t be noticeable. Are VVS1 clarity diamonds right for you? In this article, we cover everything you need to know about VVS1 diamonds to help answer that question.

1.02ct G VVS1 Princess Cut Diamond from James Allen
1.02ct G VVS1 Princess Cut Diamond

VVS1 diamonds are absolutely stunning from a clarity perspective, but you are paying a premium for that. Take a look at this VVS1 diamond from Blue Nile and compare it to this VS1 diamond. Can you tell the difference between the two? If you can, is that difference worth almost $3,000 more? Those savings become more pronounced if you find VS2 or SI clarity grade diamond that is eye-clean.

Keep in mind that buying a diamond is a zero sum game. If you decide to pay for a VVS1 clarity grade, you may be sacrificing something far more important. Say you have to keep that same 2ct diamond under 20k. You can find one like this from Blue Nile, but this diamond has a far more fatal flaw (never buy a G/H color diamond with strong blue fluorescence).

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

What are VVS1 diamonds?
How much do VVS1 diamonds cost?
Where to buy VVS1 diamonds
Should I buy VVS1 diamonds?
FAQs

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.

What are VVS1 Diamonds?

Clarity grades are determined by the GIA laboratory by “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”.

A VVS1 diamond is a diamond with inclusions so tiny they can’t be seen even under 10x magnification (a standard jeweler’s loupe). That makes VVS1 diamonds eye-clean, so blemishes and inclusions can’t be seen by the naked eye. Only under a powerful microscope can trained professionals spot inclusions in VVS1s.

On the diamond clarity scale, VVS1 diamonds are a grade higher than VVS2 diamonds and a grade lower than internally flawless (IF) diamonds. VVS2 diamonds are more included than VVS1 diamonds and usually cost slightly less. Inclusions in VVS2s are barely visible under a standard jeweler’s loupe and are eye-clean.

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

When a lab professional determines clarity grade, they look at the location, size, number, and nature of the inclusions. For VVS1 diamonds, the inclusions are too small or too faint to be seen at 10x magnification. This VVS1 sample diamond from James Allen shows that VVS1 inclusions aren’t visible at this level of magnification.

Blemishes in the VVS1 Diamond
Inclusions are shown in the VVS1 Diamond which can not be visible under 10X magnification.

While it may seem important to buy a diamond with such small or few blemishes, a VVS1 diamond isn’t the wisest choice. Here’s why: a VVS1 diamond is eye-clean, just like lower graded—and far less expensive—diamonds are. There’s no need to pay more for a characteristic that will go unnoticed. 
We recommend steering away from VVS1 diamonds because you’re paying more than you need to. Depending on the diamond shape, we generally recommend looking VS1-SI1 clarity range. Just be sure that the diamond is eye-clean.

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VVS1 Diamond Price

The VVS1 diamond price ranges from $1,100 for a well-cut 0.50 carat H color diamond like this one from Blue Nile to $21,640 for a 1.93 carat diamond and higher. Like any diamond, the price of a VVS diamond depends on the diamond cut, diamond color, shape and carat weight. The “VVS1” designation just refers to the clarity grade. 

The average price of a round 1 carat VVS1 diamond with an H-I color is $5,500. For example, this 1 carat round cut with VVS1 clarity and H color from Blue Nile costs $5,730, while this 1 carat round VVS1 with I color is priced at $4,810. The average cost of a round 2 carat VVS1 round diamond with an H color is $23,000. As an example, this stunning 2 carat VVS1 diamond from James Allen is priced at $22,840. 

VVS diamonds are more expensive than VS diamonds and significantly more expensive than SI diamonds. We don’t believe it’s worth buying a VVS1 diamond ring because the prices are significantly higher. They give you the same result as lower-graded diamonds: eye-clean diamonds.

You can learn more in our guide to diamond prices.

Where you can find a VVS1 Diamond

VVS1 diamonds are available at most jewelers, depending on inventory and the diamond shape you’re looking for. Reliable online vendors like Blue Nile and James Allen offer high-quality imagery of all diamonds so you can review them up close before purchase. James Allen and Blue Nile are more affordable because their overhead costs are low. They both carry a large selection of high-quality diamonds and engagement rings.

1.85ct H/VVS1 Cushion Cut from Blue Nile with a clarity plot
1.85ct H/VVS1 Cushion Cut with a clarity plot (right)

Examples of VVS1 Diamonds

You can find VVS1 diamonds in all shapes and carat weights. Here are a few examples of VVS1 diamonds that are well-cut.

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These diamonds look identical in a ring.
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So Which is it?
The SI1 clarity at $3,380
or the VS1 color at $4,110
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Should I Buy a VVS1 Diamond?

The most important aspect when considering diamond clarity is finding a diamond that’s eye-clean. While VVS1 diamonds are always eye-clean, you can find eye-clean stones in lower clarity grades for much lower prices. For instance, this VVS1 1.4 carat H color diamond from James Allen costs $10,290, while this VS1 1.4 carat H color costs $9.080. The VVS1 diamond costs $1,210 more than the VS1 diamond. Choosing the VS1 clarity gets you the same result as far as beauty, but costs a whole lot less. You’re better off putting your budget toward the most important diamond feature: cut quality. Cut dictates a diamond’s beauty and brilliance more than any other characteristic.

VVS1 diamonds and how to get a better price

For diamonds under 2 carat, we generally recommend a clarity grade in the range of VS1-SI1 depending on the shape.

When it comes to 2 carat diamonds and greater, an SI1 or VS2 might not be eye-clean. Due to the size, it’s easier to see inclusions in the stone. Still, with these larger carat weights, you can typically find a VS1 – VVS2 diamond that’s eye clean, like this beautiful 3.59 carat VS1 from Blue Nile

FAQs About VVS1 Clarity Diamonds

Is it worth buying VVS diamonds?

In most cases, it’s not worth paying extra for a VVS diamond, when you can get a diamond that appears identical with a lower clarity grade (and thus a lower price). The only time you want to consider buying VVS diamonds is for larger diamonds or certain shapes that show inclusions more clearly.

How rare is a VVS1 diamond?

VVS1 diamonds are very rare, estimated to make up less than 1% of diamonds on the market. These diamonds are only slightly more common than the rarest of all diamond clarity grades, flawless diamonds.

Are VVS1 diamonds expensive?

VVS1 diamonds are expensive, compared to most other clarity grades. Be aware that you’ll pay a significant premium for a VVS1 diamond over a diamond graded in the VS1-SI1 range, yet it will not always provide any difference in quality when viewed by the naked eye.

How much does a VVS1 clarity diamond cost?

A nice one carat round diamond that is VVS1 clarity costs about $6,000. 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.

Conclusion

The most common mistake people make is purchasing a diamond with a clarity grade that’s too high to appreciate—thinking they’re getting a “good investment.” Diamonds are a retail product like any other, and—based on their resale value—shouldn’t be considered an investment.

That’s why it’s best to always look for a diamond with the lowest clarity grade that’s still clean to the naked eye. If you need help reviewing diamonds, contact us and we’ll provide you with a personal recommendation.

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.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
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  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
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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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