There are a lot of different terms and acronyms that come up when you’re looking at diamonds, and some of them can mean significant changes in value.
When it comes to the clarity you might be wondering: are VVS diamonds expensive? In general, VVS diamonds are some of the most expensive on the market, costing around $11,000-$15,000 per carat.
All of this terminology can be confusing. Read ahead to get a run-down of exactly what these three letters mean in the diamond world, and how they can affect how much you end up paying for a stone.
What Does VVS Mean?
When you see these letters referring to a diamond, they are describing a specific clarity categorization that the stone has been given. There are a number of different grades for clarity, and they are on a scale from most to least clear.
In diamond terms, clarity is a measurement of how many inclusions are visible within the structure of the stone itself and how many blemishes are on the surface.
These might be things like small black dots, tiny cracks, cavities, and many other things besides. Inclusions are measured under 10X magnification, and they can be incredibly minute indeed.
VVS is a grade that means Very Very Slight Inclusions. It is one of the highest possible clarities grades a diamond can achieve.
VVS diamonds have inclusions that are so tiny that you probably wouldn’t be able to see them, even using a 10X microscope. Professionals need specialist equipment and expert training to be able to identify them.
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How Much Are VVS Diamonds Worth?
Now that we know exactly what they are, and just how special they can be, let’s take a look at how much you might pay for a VVS diamond compared to other clarity grades that you will find on the market.
|Clarity Grade||1-Carat Price Range|
|VVS1||$12,000 – $15,000|
|VVS2||$11,000 – $13,000|
|VS1||$10,000 – $12,000|
|VS2||$9,000 – £11,000|
|S||$6,000 – $8,000|
Overall, you can expect VVS diamonds to range from around $11,000 to $15,000 per carat.
Of course, it is hard to give exact numbers when it comes to pricing diamonds as there are so many factors that influence how much they are worth.
Clarity is just one of the Four Cs that are assessed – the others being carat, cut, and color – and there are things like origin to take into account as well.
No matter which way you look at it, though, VVS diamonds are certainly a lot more expensive than similar stones that achieve a lower clarity grade.
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Should I Buy A VVS Diamond?
So, should you be forking out the extra money for a VVS diamond? It depends on what you are looking for.
If the appearance of your diamond is the most important thing to you, VVS, VS, and even S grade diamonds can look very similar to the untrained eye.
Almost any kind of inclusion in a VS diamond or above is only visible under magnification, and even using a microscope it would often take an expert to show you what to look for.
What matters to most people is that their diamond is “eye-clean”. Eye-clean diamonds are those that are completely clear to the naked eye, with no discernible flaws or inclusions that could be identified by the average person. VVS, VS, and S diamonds can all be eye-clean.
You can save a whole lot of money by focusing on what you see in front of you rather than what a professional tells you might be hiding under the surface.
If the value of the diamond itself is what you are after, on the other hand, then VVS diamonds are a better investment.
They inherently hold more worth than lower-clarity stones and can be among the most valuable that you will find on the market – depending on their other characteristics.
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What Kinds Of Inclusions Can Diamonds Have?
To understand a little more about what Very Very Slight inclusions might be, we can look at some of the qualities that might be considered “inclusions”.
You might also see these referred to within the industry as “internal characteristics”.
Inclusions in diamonds can be:
- Crystal/mineral: The presence of a crystal or mineral of some kind
- Pinpoints: Tiny spots created by minute diamond crystals
- Needles: Long, thin diamond crystals within the structure
- Clouds: A hazy gathering of pinpoint inclusions
- Knots: Internal diamond crystals that reach the surface
- Graining: Lines of crystal inclusions
- Feathers: Internal cracks that look like feathers
- Intergrowths: Twisted inclusions that form around each other
- Cleavage: Cracks in a straight line
- Etch Channels: Scratches made during the formation
- Bearding: Fine lines caused during cutting
For a diamond to qualify as having a VVS clarity grade, almost none of these inclusions can be found, and those that are can only be seen by trained assessors under extreme magnification.
What Kind Of External Characteristics Can Diamonds Have?
It’s not just minor internal characteristics that are measured when you are talking about a diamond’s clarity. There are also external factors that will influence how clear it is judged to be.
External characteristics in diamonds can be:
- Blemishes: Flaws on the surface that can occur naturally
- Scratches: Fine lines, some of which can be removed through polishing
- Extra facets: Facets that are not part of the intended design, often used to remove blemishes or inclusions on the surface
- Fractures: Breakages that can look like chips
- Pits: Small holes on the surface
- Nicks: Minor chips on the edges or faces
- Naturals: Any area that has been left unpolished or uncut
- Carbons: Small amounts of black carbon
- Chips: Where small pieces have broken off from the surface
As with internal characteristics, a VVS diamond cannot have any external flaws that are easily visible under magnification.
What Are The Different Clarity Categories?
So that we can really see the value of a VVS diamond, we need to know the other clarity grades as well.
While VVS is definitely one of the clearest, it is actually not quite the highest possible categorization that a diamond can achieve.
The diamond clarity grades are:
- F – Flawless: No blemishes or inclusions of any kind
- IF – Internally Flawless: No inclusions of any kind
- VVS – Very, Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are only visible to a trained professional and under extreme magnification
- VS – Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are hard to spot, but visible under 10X magnification
- S – Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10X magnification
- I – Included: Inclusions are obvious under 10X magnification and may be visible without magnification at all.
Although this grading system can make it seem as though VVS diamonds are close to the average grade that can be given, they are very much in the highest tier of quality.
It just goes to show how much intense scrutiny goes into diamond grading, and how tiny the differences between individual stones can be.
Are VVS Diamonds Rare?
So, are VVS diamonds actually that hard to find, or are a lot of diamonds nice and clear throughout?
VVS diamonds are certainly quite rare in comparison to lower clarity grades, but you will still find them at most retailers. It is much less likely that you will find diamonds that are considered Flawless or Internally Flawless, however.
There is one other factor to consider when you’re trying to find a VVS diamond. There are actually two sub-classifications within this clarity level: VVS1 and VVS2.
What Is The Difference Between VVS1 and VVS2?
Although both VVS1 and VVS2 are within the same general grading category, there is a slight difference between these two types of diamonds.
- VVS1: The higher clarity grade. They should be free of all noticeable defects. One or two minor inclusions may be present that are only visible to a professional under 10X magnification.
- VVS2: Slightly lower clarity. There may be a slightly higher number of inclusions or flaws and they may be slightly more noticeable, but they should still be hard for a professional to see under 10X magnification.
The reality is that these two grades are very similar, especially for those who are not highly trained in the world of diamond inclusions.
Despite this, however, the exact VVS sub-grade that a diamond receives will affect how highly it is valued.
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So, are VVS diamonds expensive? They absolutely are. VVS is one of the highest clarity grades that a diamond can be given, making them very valuable and quite rare.
VVS diamonds generally cost between $11,000 and $15,000 per carat.
At the end of the day, though, the difference between a VVS diamond and a VS diamond is completely imperceptible unless you are a professional, so you might want to opt for a diamond that is cheaper but just as beautiful to the naked eye.
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