What is the Difference between VVS and VS?
If you’re shopping for a diamond engagement ring online, chances are you have come across a few words or phrases you’re not sure about. The diamond industry is massive with a lot of insider knowledge worth learning about to help you find the perfect ring for the best price. But what do you need to know?
Since ‘VVS’ and ‘VS’ stones are very popular choices when it comes to engagement rings, finding out what these terms mean and the differences between them is a good place to start.
Before they can be sold, diamonds must be reviewed and rated by organisations such as the International Gemological Institute and the European Gemological Laboratory. This is when the terms ‘VVS’ and ‘VS’, which are associated with a diamond’s quality and worth, come into play.
These precious stones are categorised using the ‘four Cs’, which are: colour, carat, cut, and clarity. Each of these affects the diamond’s final price. However, the VVS and VS terms fall into the ‘clarity’ classification, which refers to the amount and noticeability of flaws, blemishes and inclusions on and within a diamond.
What does VVS and VS stand for?
VVS and VS stand for ‘Very Very Slight’ and ‘Very Slight’ inclusions (or flaws/blemishes). They’re used on a scale to determine a diamond’s clarity and ultimately, its worth and price. Interested in learning more? There are some excellent, in-depth guides to VVS diamonds, such as: https://www.whiteflash.com/about-diamonds/diamond-education/vvs-diamonds-1600.htm.
VVS and VS on the scale
As mentioned, VVS and VS are sections of the diamond clarity scale, which looks like this:
- FL & IF: Internally Flawless (no flaws and very rare).
- VVS1 and VVS2: Very Very Slight/Small inclusions (almost no visible imperfections).
- VS1 and VS2: Very Slight/Small inclusions (flaws can be seen with a 10x loupe).
- SI1 & SI2: Slight/Small Inclusions or Slightly Included (flaws noticeable with a magnifier).
- I1, 12 & I3: Included or Imperfect (flaws noticeable to the naked eye).
Due to their high ranking on the clarity scale, these stones are popular with engagement ring hunters that want a beautiful ring without a high price tag. But what are the main differences?
VVS diamonds come with tiny flaws that can be extremely difficult (VVS1) or very difficult (VVS2) to detect even at 10x magnification. These imperfections might include tiny surface blemishes like indentations or chips, internal ‘clouds’, or pinpoints — all of which are hard to notice.
Similar to VVS stones, VS diamonds have inclusions that are either difficult (VS1) or easier (VS2) to see with 10x magnification. Also like the above, these flaws can include clouds and surface blemishes, as well as knots and crystals.
Which should you choose?
Essentially, although still invisible to the naked eye, VS stones’ imperfections are more apparent than their VVS counterparts.
In order to choose, you need to question whether having a slightly less included stone is worth the extra expense. If it’s not noticeable when you’re showing it off to friends and family, why pay more? On the other hand, you might enjoy the idea of your diamond ring being closer to ‘flawless’.
To help you decide, it’s worth incorporating the other aspects of the stone, such as the cut, colour and carat. Is your partner in love with a marquise ring? Are you more concerned with it being as clear as possible? Is its size more important in your opinion? These are all worth considering along with whether the stone is VVS or VS if you want to get the ideal ring to pop the question.