A Guide to VVS Diamonds

Most people know that diamonds usually have “flaws”. A flawless diamond is very rare. These flaws come in many different forms, but most are in a category known as ‘inclusions’. Pure diamond is composed entirely of carbon atoms aligned in a specific lattice arrangement. During growth other elements and minerals (impurities) can be included in the diamond lattice, and if significant enough they can change the color and/or clarity of the diamond and affect its visual appeal and value. Just below internally flawless on the grading scale are VVS diamonds with inclusions so tiny that it takes a microscope to see them.

What is a VVS diamond?

One of the critical “4C’s “of diamonds is Clarity. The clarity grade of the diamond is based upon the presence of inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds that have no inclusions or blemishes visible at 10x are deemed to be Flawless (FL). Internally Flawless (IF) are diamonds with no inclusions visible and only minor blemishes. Just beneath FL/IF is the category known as VVS, or ‘very, very slightly included’ a category defined as diamonds that have inclusions so minute that they are difficult to locate and see when viewed by experienced graders at 10x. The category is broken down into two grades, VVS1 and VVS2. As you can imagine, the clarity of these diamonds is exceptional –in real world viewing VVS diamonds are essentially equivalent to flawless diamonds.
VVS1 Diamond Plot from AGS
2ct VVS1 Diamond Inclusion Plot
VVS1 Diamond Magnified
2ct VVS1 Diamond Magnified Photographs

How much are VVS diamonds?

Diamond prices are determined by the 4cs in holistic way. That is, a VVS diamonds price (or a FL diamond for that matter) can be low if the color is low, or if it is very small, or poorly cut. However, as studying any VVS diamond chart and price guide will reveal, well cut VVS diamonds of significant size with good color are extremely valuable.
There are geographic and cultural preferences for VVS diamonds that are important in the world market. Asian cultures, for example, put a priority on diamonds of the highest purity. Many buyers will always insist on ‘collection goods’, the trade term for colorless diamonds (DEF) in the FL-VVS clarity range. The premium price paid for these diamonds is considered reasonable, and smaller budgets are simply matched to smaller size diamonds. But top quality is not open to compromise for these buyers.

Where can you buy VVS diamonds?

Most jewelers today do not stock many diamonds, preferring to access diamonds from their suppliers on an as-needed basis. Those that do stock diamonds tend to favor the more commercial color and clarity combinations. Diamonds in the VS or Si clarities and colors in the near-colorless range can be very beautiful and are more affordable. Most merchants prefer them for stock as they require less capital, and they are affordable to more buyers because of their lower price points. This is especially true in markets where consumers prioritize size over quality.
Discriminating shoppers looking for VVS diamonds will find them only in the finest stores or online. The more elite stores will also charge the largest price premium, so savvy shoppers are starting to learn that some online sellers are a much better option, often providing much more information and added value benefits such as trade-up guarantees, in addition to better pricing. Shopping online is a smart strategy, but it also needs to be understood that not all online listings are owned or possessed by the merchants offering them. In fact, most merchants have never even inspected the diamonds for sale and simply post information about them as provided by their supplier. So, there is an element of risk associated with buying ‘virtual inventory’. Shoppers looking for top quality, fully vetted, and deliverable diamonds should therefore focus on in-stock diamonds.

VVS Diamonds and Cut Quality

One thing that educated diamond shoppers learn is that cut quality is the key to diamond light performance – fire and brilliance. Most shoppers willing to pay the premium for top color and clarity, are really looking for the rarest and most beautiful diamonds available. Paying a premium and not getting a spectacular diamond because it has light performance deficits really defeats the purpose.
A diamond that is colorless (DEF), microscopically clean (IF/VVS), and is fully optimized for light performance, is the ultimate prize. The best way to ensure that the diamond’s cut is at the top of the scale is to insist on a lab report from American Gem Society Laboratories, the foremost authority on diamond cut quality and light performance. Those wishing to own the ‘best of the best’ are encouraged to consider A CUT ABOVE® Collection Series diamonds. They are elite, super ideal cut diamonds at the very top of the scale (DEF IF/VVS). Simply put, diamonds do not get any more beautiful than these!

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