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A VS1 diamond is one of the most popular grades of diamond available on the market today. Sitting near the very top of the diamond clarity grading scale, they’re enjoyed for their splendid beauty and affordability.
For the uninitiated, the terms ‘VS1’ and ‘diamond clarity grading scale’ may be mysterious. For the curious, we’ve developed a simple guide to VS1 diamonds and why they’re a fantastic choice when considering investing in a diamond.
What Are VS1 Diamonds?
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) defines VS1 diamonds as containing “Inclusions that are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification”. Essentially, this means that ‘inclusions’ (internal blemishes) won’t be able to be seen by the naked eye.
It all comes down to clarity. The GIA divides diamond clarity into six categories and eleven sub-categories:
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS) — VVS is divided into two grades, VVS1 and VVS2
- Very Slightly Included (VS) - VS is also divided into two grades, VS1 and VS2
- Slightly Included (SI) - SI is divided into SI1 and SI2
- Included (I) - Included divides into I1, I2, and I3
What is Diamond Clarity?
We’ve mentioned the word ‘clarity’ a number of times now. Essentially, diamond clarity refers to how ‘pure’ a diamond is, whether it contains the blemishes or ‘inclusions’ that may tarnish its ability to reflect light or be seen as eye-clean.
What the chart above shows is that VS1 have a higher quality of clarity than VS2, VVS1, VVS2, and so on. This means that a VS1 diamond will always be ‘eye-clean’, an important quality for both diamond retailers and buyers.
Now, imperfections within a diamond are ever-present. In truth, they are part of what makes each diamond unique. However, evidently, the fewer inclusions, the higher the cost of the diamond.
Why are VS1 Diamonds Popular?
VS1 diamonds are highly regarded due to their beauty. While they’re not as high-quality as Flawless diamonds, our eyes simply don’t have the ability to pick up on the fine details that would separate a VS1 from and F.
A VS1 diamond also represents savings value because of its virtual similarity to diamonds of a higher grade. Take this 0.703 ct F VS1 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond from Whiteflash’s A CUT ABOVE® range. The diamond is a VS1, eye-clean, and priced at $4,088.
In contrast, this 0.716 ct F VVS1 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond, has a very similar carat weight, cut, and color, but will cost you $587 more. This is how varying clarity grades affect price, and shows you how you could save a lot of money for a diamond that looks exactly the same to the naked eye.
Where To Buy VS1 Diamonds
If you’re looking for a VS1 diamond, you’re in luck. There are countless places online where you can peruse many different VS1 options. So where do you begin?
The second thing you need to understand is that, when it comes to buying diamonds, trust is the most important factor in your considerations. Diamonds represent a significant investment, so you should only purchase from an organization you implicitly trust.
In my opinion, when it comes to buying diamonds, trust is built through verifiable data. This data should be readily available on a diamond retailers site. For example, in their diamond listings, retailers should include:
- Diamond imaging
- HD videos
- Light performance reports
- Diamond grade certification (from either the AGS or GIA)
On top of this, if you can find a retailer who offers consultations and has in-stock diamonds rather than a virtual inventory, so they can have their experts pull diamonds to analyze and verify quality for you, that is all the better.
How to Choose the Right VS1 Diamond
To begin, always choose a diamond that is eye-clean, regardless of the clarity grade. Fortunately, if a VS1 is properly graded, it will naturally fall into the eye-clean category.
You should also only purchase from retailers who include high-resolution diamond imaging and HD videos in their diamond listing. These help you determine whether the quality of the diamond matches the description, and are overall a trustworthy sign for a diamond retailer.
You will also want to consider the carat weight and cut of your diamond. A larger diamond, such as a 2.00ct will bring more attention to inclusions that may not be noticeable in a 1.00ct diamond. Larger diamonds require more deliberate scrutiny on your part.
Additionally, round cut diamonds hide inclusions well, whereas step-cut diamonds with large tables, such as Asscher or Emerald cuts, have facets that act like windows, bringing more attention to any internal flaws.
Our overall recommendations are, when searching for a diamond keep these things in mind:
- Always buy from a trusted retailer with years of verifiable industry experience.
- Always check the certifications of the diamond that you are purchasing.
- Look for high-quality images and videos.
- Peruse all documentation and diagnostics that have been included in the diamond’s description.
VS1 Clarity Diamonds: Diamond Expert’s Thoughts
So, should you purchase a VS1 diamond? Ultimately, the choice is yours.
However, we will say that VS1 diamonds represent a wise investment for those looking for the best, but don’t want to pay incredibly high prices. As we’ve said, eye-clean VS1 diamonds look the same as Flawless diamonds to the naked eye—an advantage savvy diamond buyers should make the most of.