A Buyer’s Guide to VS1 Clarity Diamonds

A VS1 clarity diamond is by far one of the most popular diamond grades with our customers and indeed customers across the globe. Offering a wonderful balance of price point, beauty and variety, a VS1 diamond is a wonderful choice for diamonds of varying carat weights, colors and shapes, creating a stress-free shopping experience and a stunning diamond at the end of it.
However, as is the case with all diamond qualities, finding a beautiful VS1 diamond requires a little knowledge. Nothing can be assumed in the world of diamonds so using a combination of imaging and reports is the key to success.
This article is based on natural diamonds, but this guidance on the VS1 clarity grade largely pertains to laboratory grown diamonds as well. Below is a separate section on lab diamonds.
A CUT ABOVE Hearts and Arrows Diamond

What is a VS1 Diamond?

The GIA defines the VS category (VS1 & 2) as having Inclusions that are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification”.
Clarity Grading Scale
A VS1 is the top grade of the VS clarity bracket, thus would be a grade difficult for a trained grader to see at 10X magnification. This is significant because sometimes a diamond might be on the boundary of two grades – for example a VS2 might be on the cusp of an SI1. Going for a VS1 ensures your diamond is comfortably within the ‘Very Slightly Included’ category which is far less likely to have inclusions that are visible by eye.
If you are new to the world of diamonds, you might wonder why one would not simply go for the top tier grades (Flawless and Internally Flawless). For most buyers, this decision comes down to budget. A completely eye-clean VS1 diamond will appear exactly the same as a flawless diamond, but will cost considerably less - sometimes thousands of dollars less. Some buyers covet the rarity of the top tier diamond clarities and believe they are well worth the extra money – others just want a diamond that sparkles beautifully and are happy to move down a few grades to achieve this within their budget. The decision is entirely yours. A VS1 clarity grade gives you that opportunity.
If you would like to learn more, we have extensive education pages covering diamond clarity and the clarity grading process which can give you a detailed view of this fascinating feature of diamonds.

Choosing a VS1 Clarity Diamond

Given that almost all properly graded VS1 clarity diamonds are eye-clean, you may think you can safely purchase any VS1 diamond and be onto a winner. And this is true if other conditions are met in terms of color, cut quality, and transparency.
Regarding the term, ‘eye-clean’, an eye-clean diamond is one that has no inclusions visible to the naked eye. But a diamond can potentially have microscopic characteristics that diminish transparency. Such diamonds can potentially suffer performance issues as a result of slight haziness. This is much more likely to be an issue with diamonds in the Si and Imperfect ranges, but can potentially affect diamonds in the VS range. But you are in safe hands with Whiteflash, as we analyze all of our diamonds scrupulously for transparency issues, over and above the basic determination of eye-clean:
‘No inclusions visible to the naked eye of a person with 20/20 vision when viewing the diamond in the face-up position at a distance of approximately 10 inches under normal overhead lighting’ (read more about defining eye clean diamonds).
Not all vendors are quite so meticulous, so using high-res diamond imaging and HD Video is highly recommended when shopping for a special diamond.
The diamond shape and carat weight will also make a difference to your clarity grade selections. Diamonds over 2.00ct will show inclusions more readily and thus may require a higher clarity grade – it is still very possible to find a bigger, VS1 diamond that is totally eye-clean but with larger sizes comes the need for greater scrutiny. Similarly, certain shapes are far less forgiving than others. Step cuts such as Emerald and Asscher cuts are designed to showcase clarity; using long, linear facet patterning they do not sparkle like a brilliant cut, rather they give an elegant allure that is truly hypnotic. But their facets tend to act a bit more like windows than mirrors and can more easily reveal the presence of inclusions.
Emerald Cut Diamond
The nature of step cuts with their large table facet and long unbroken step facets, means they are less adept at concealing inclusions. VS1 clarity is a great starting point when shopping for step cuts. While some VS1 clarity diamonds in step cuts, especially in large stones, may sometimes not be technically eye clean, they are often more than acceptable. Our cutting-edge diamond technology and imaging, together with the strict evaluations by our gemological team, will make your search considerably easier and more worry free.
When choosing a VS1 diamond, you avoid many of the pitfalls that come with choosing a lower grade. As our diamonds are in-stock and thoroughly analyzed by our experts, you will know whether or not they are eye-clean and can search for a diamond secure in the knowledge that none of them have inclusions that compromise transparency, durability or beauty.

VS1 Lab Diamonds

One of the biggest things ever to happen in the jewelry business is the recent emergence of laboratory grown diamonds. High quality lab diamonds are now available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and represent a very affordable alternative to natural diamonds for some shoppers. Lab diamonds are real diamonds grown in factories to have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural diamonds. They can potentially have the same dazzling fire and brilliance as natural diamonds if cut with precision. Top colors and clarities are now available making it unnecessary to compromise on quality to get the size of diamond you want in a comfortable budget. A VS1 quality lab diamond is almost a baseline now, with little reason to go lower on the clarity scale
Because lab diamonds are essentially a technology product that can be mass produced, there is no real rarity factor involved in pricing. With natural diamonds it is often necessary for shoppers to opt for VS2 or Si1 diamonds to get a nice stone in their budget. But a VS1 lab grown diamond is only marginally more expensive than one several grades lower. At the same time, a VVS lab diamond is only marginally more expensive than VS1, so many shoppers are happy to get an elite purity in a colorless lab diamond, which would not have been possible in a natural.
Our Precision Lab brand is tailor-made for those who want the very best in a lab grown diamond, with clarities and colors at the very top of the scale - beautifully cut G VS1 and above. With a lab grown diamond VS1 you get a totally eye-clean diamond that requires careful study under 10X magnification to see any inclusions.

VS1 Diamond Prices

Even when looking at one specific grade, there is still a huge variance in price in natural diamonds. Carat weight, cut quality, diamond shape and color will all affect the price of a diamond. For this reason, it is impossible to state an ‘average’ price for VS1 diamonds - there are so many combinations of diamond qualities than can be equally beautiful. For those shopping for lab grown diamonds, pricing is altogether different and much more affordable.
To get a specific sense of pricing, you can easily shop our in-house A CUT ABOVE diamonds with the specs that appeal to a high percentage of our buyers: Round brilliants in the one carat range G-H color and VS1 clarity. While we also offer diamonds in higher gemological grades for purists, diamonds don’t get much more beautiful than these near colorless, VS1 super ideal cut diamonds!
Our advice is always to work within a budget that is comfortable for you. The beauty of buying quality, loose diamonds from an in-stock inventory is that it offers quality, selection, and assurance. Our super popular lifetime tradeup benefit is also a way that you can stay within budget today and get a bigger stone in the future while retaining full value. Many astute shoppers use this strategy to find the diamond of their dreams at a comfortable price.

Should I Buy a VS1 Diamond?

If you are enamoured with brilliant cut diamonds, a VS1 is a wonderful choice for your engagement ring or fine jewelry. As one of the most popular clarity grades, VS1 diamonds in our inventory sell quickly, so if you find a diamond that you love, go for it!
We are here to make your diamond buying experience memorable for all the right reasons so feel free to get in touch with one of our experts using the live chat.

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