VS2 Clarity Diamond Buying Guide

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VS2 Clarity Diamonds are "Very Slightly Included" to the 2nd degree. The inclusions within VS-2 clarity diamonds look very slight under 10x magnification.

As such, an AGS or GIA-graded VS2 clarity diamond should face-up eye-clean. Although that may be true, people tend to be thrown off by how easy it is to see inclusions in the clarity photograph.

10x magnification is the industry standard for clarity grading, but this photo shows the diamond at 35X. Under those circumstances, it will be easier for you to identify the clarity characteristics.

If you look closely, you'll see that we're holding the actual diamond up in front of the monitor to provide perspective. In this case, this 1-carat Brian Gavin Signature round diamond has an average diameter of 6.5 mm.

1-carat round diamond by Brian Gavin shown actual size and 35X magnification.

1-carat, Brian Gavin Signature Round Diamond.

That is the same size as the pink eraser on a standard #2 yellow pencil. In that case, you can hold a pencil up to the screen to gain perspective. However, many factors influence how big the diamond looks on your monitor.

Is VS2 Diamond Clarity Good for an Engagement Ring?

HPDiamonds Crafted by Infinity H&A Super Ideal Cut.

High Performance Diamonds Pavé Ring.

AGS and GIA-graded VS2 clarity diamonds are the sweet spots if you're trying to balance quality and value. They contain very slight inclusions that are readily and immediately visible under 10x magnification or higher.

In our experience, diamonds that are VS-2 clarity look eye-clean in the face-up position. However, it might be possible to detect small clarity characteristics from the side profile.

Consequently, it is also possible to see inclusions from the side of VS1 clarity diamonds and higher. Conversely, the facets of a diamond reflect light up towards the observer but do not hide inclusions from the side.

Nevertheless, it's the sparkle factor of the diamond that you're going to appreciate. In that case, it pays to focus on the cut quality and precision more than the clarity grade.

Is VS1 Better Than VS2 Diamond Clarity?

Oval Cut Diamond Solitaire by Blue Nile.

Oval Cut Diamond Solitaire by Blue Nile.

VS2 clarity diamonds are very slightly included in the second degree. Whereas VS-1 clarity diamonds are very slightly included in the first degree. Under those circumstances, VS-1 clarity diamonds contain fewer inclusions.

Although that may be true, VS-1 clarity diamonds are not necessarily better than VS-2 clarity diamonds. After all, both categories of VS diamonds are likely to face-up eye-clean in brilliant-cut diamonds.

Consequently, it's easier to see inclusions within specific diamond shapes than it is in others. The sparkle factor of hearts and arrows round diamonds makes it harder to see inclusions. In contrast, it's much easier to see the flaws within step-cut diamonds.

The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale:

Poolside Sparkle with James Allen Engagement Rings.

Poolside Sparkle with James Allen Rings.

Most of the industry relies on the diamond clarity grading scale from the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory. That scale appears below with the complete name and abbreviation for each grade.

The order of presentation is from the highest clarity down to the lowest. Also, note that there are two divisions for each clarity grade, with the numeral one representing the highest clarity.

Conversely, we grade diamonds on the lack of inclusions rather than their presence. The type of clarity characteristics, size, location, extent, and appearance also factor into the equation.

Consequently, the inclusion patterns are as unique as your fingerprint. As such, no two VS2 clarity diamonds will ever be the same. In other words, every diamond is unique, and that makes valuation difficult.

  • Flawless (FL).
  • Internally Flawless (IF).
  • VVS-1 is Very Very Slightly Included to the 1st degree.
  • VVS-2 is Very Very Slightly Included to the 2nd degree.
  • VS-1 is Very Slightly Included to the 1st degree.
  • VS-2 is Very Slightly Included to the 2nd degree.
  • SI-1 is Slightly Included to the 1st degree.
  • SI-2 is Slightly Included to the 2nd degree.
  • I-1 is Included to the 1st degree.
  • I-2 is Included to the 2nd degree.
  • I-3 is Included to the 3rd degree.

Examples of VS-2 Clarity Diamonds:

Brian Gavin Blue Fluorescent Diamond Clarity VS2.

1.258 carat, H-color, VS2 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue.

Here is a photograph of a 1.258 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond. The primary inclusions responsible for the grade are crystals and a cloud of pinpoints under the table facet.

The green outline on the clarity photographs will make it easier for you to identify the crystal's location. Click on the picture or the link above to see the ultra-high resolution video. Then use the left and right keys on your keyboard to forward the video frame by frame.

Under those conditions, you'll be able to see how the inclusions change appearance in response to the lighting. In this case, the inclusions are "very slight" per the nature of the clarity grade.

How to Read the Diamond Plotting Diagram:

Brian Gavin Blue Plotting Diagram and AGS Diamond Quality Document DQD.

Light Performance Report for Brian Gavin Diamond.

Knowing how to interpret the report details will help you pick the best-looking VS2 clarity diamond. The plotting diagram is key to your success because it provides a visual map of the inclusions.

However, it only shows the location of the inclusions from the perspective of one dimension. In other words, you only have a bird's eye view of the upper and lower halves of the diamond.

While that is undoubtedly helpful, the clarity characteristics' depth may factor into visibility. First, the location of the inclusion can affect its overall appearance.

Second, you might not be able to find the inclusion easily in the face-up position. That is why we study the facets from multiple angles when practicing diamond clarity grading.

Conversely, just because an inclusion appears in the upper plotting diagram does not mean you'll be able to see it from that vantage point. In that case, you might not always be able to match up all the inclusions on the plotting diagram with the diamond.

However, you're in luck this time around because it's easy to match this diamond to the report. To make things easier, we highlighted the position in green on the clarity photograph above and the plotting diagram.

How to Pick the Best Looking VS-2 Clarity Diamond:

Black by Brian Gavin AGS Ideal and GIA Excellent Cut Dual-Graded Diamonds.

Black by Brian Gavin Diamonds.

It stands to reason that higher clarity and diamond color grades should guarantee better performance. After all, the diamond should look brighter, and there will be fewer inclusions to block the light.

Conversely, buying a higher quality diamond does not guarantee that it will look any better. That's because diamond clarity and color are only one piece of a multidimensional puzzle.

Consequently, most people cannot tell the difference between different diamond characteristics from across the dinner table. In contrast, the difference in the sparkle factor can be visible from across the room.

Under those circumstances, you should pay particular attention to the proportions and optical precision. The latter is the consistency of facet shape, size, and alignment from the perspective of 360-degrees. You can learn more about those subjects in our One Minute Diamond Buying Guide.

Examples of a Bad VS-2 Clarity Diamonds:

Blue Nile GIA Excellent VS2 Clarity Diamond.

Example of a Bad VS2 Clarity Blue Nile Diamond.

People often ask can you see inclusions in VS2 clarity diamonds while overlooking more critical factors. This GIA Excellent cut diamond from Blue Nile has a cavity on the table facet, for example.

It also exhibits a moderate amount of obstruction under the table facet. In that case, the visibility of the inclusions should be the least of your worries.

First, the cavity poses a potential durability risk and is likely to fill up with dirt and grime. Second, the obstruction makes the table facet look dark, so it's not going to perform well.

The proportions of the diamond also do not meet our selection criteria. In that case, it's not going to perform well. Under those circumstances, does it matter whether the diamond is eye-clean?

Diamond Clarity VS2 Inclusions to Avoid:

VS2 Clarity Princess Cut Ring by Brilliant Earth.

Princess Cut Engagement Ring by Brilliant Earth.

Suffice to say that not all VS-2 clarity diamonds are equal in quality or performance. For that reason, we urge you to take advantage of our free Diamond Concierge Service.

In that case, we'll search for diamonds in the range of quality and price that you are considering. We'll also help you avoid any pitfalls by evaluating the characteristics of any diamonds you may be considering.

Consequently, we are happy to be of service whether you buy online or from a local jeweler. We do not sell diamonds directly and only want to help you pick the best options available.

Of course, you might prefer to search for diamonds on your own. Under those circumstances, here is a list of types of inclusions that we reject automatically:

  • Bruise.
  • Cavity.
  • Chip.
  • Cleavage.
  • Crystal On Surface.
  • Etch Channel.
  • Flux Remnant.
  • Knot.
  • Laser Drill Holes.

How to Judge Light Performance in VS2 Clarity Diamonds:

How to Use ASET to Judge Black by Brian Gavin Diamond Cut Quality and Performance.

Black by Brian Gavin Diamond ASET.

By now, you realize that there is more to buying a VS2 clarity diamond than meets the eye. The inclusions are only one piece of the puzzle, and the diamond grading reports only tell part of the story.

On that note, you should read about the GIA vs. AGS and the differences between those two laboratories. Unfortunately, the GIA does not account for light performance as part of the overall cut grade.

You can tell a lot about a diamond from the ASET map on the AGS Light Performance grading report. Unfortunately, that is a computer-generated rendering that does not enable you to judge light leakage.

The ASET Map on the Report is a Rendering:

Advanced ASET Map for Black by Brian Gavin Diamond.

Advanced ASET for Black by Brian Gavin Diamond.

Under those conditions, it is essential to have actual ASET and H&A Scope images to see the complete picture. Unfortunately, only a handful of vendors provide that kind of detail.

If you compare the ASET map shown here with the ASET Scope image from Brian Gavin above, you'll see the difference. In this case, it's primarily in the distribution of hue and saturation under the table facet.

Consequently, the diamond is not leaking light to any measurable degree. In that event, we'll use the photograph to confirm that the diamond reflects light evenly in the face-up position.

In contrast, the ASET map on the lab report confirms how the diamond reflects light within a structured environment. However, they base the compilation on data obtained at multiple stopping points during the scan. Needless to say that the combined insight that the two images provide enables you to make an informed decision.

The Best Places to Buy VS-2 Clarity Diamonds:

Is VS2 the Best Clarity for an Engagement Ring?

Black by Brian Gavin Diamond Engagement Ring for Corey Gray.

Black by Brian Gavin Diamond Ring for Corey Gray.

The best clarity grade for an engagement ring depends on your personal preferences. First, there is a spectrum of inclusions within each clarity grade. Second, you're the only person who can decide what degree of inclusions is acceptable.

Under those circumstances, the different clarity grades represent more of an intrinsic value. Conversely, one person may be able to see specific clarity characteristics easier than another.

In our experience, it's easier for people to see the difference in sparkle factor and light performance. Consequently, that is why we specialize in the niche of Hearts and Arrows super ideal cut diamonds.

There are several places to buy H&A Diamonds online. However, fifth-generation diamond cutter Brian Gavin is our favorite. In fact, he used to produce diamonds for our private reserve collection.

Brian also holds the patent for maximizing light performance in the modern round brilliant cut diamond. The custom engagement ring Brian Gavin made for my daughter-in-law is shown above.

If you're looking for the best, you should follow our lead and buy a Black by Brian Gavin Diamond. Submit a Diamond Concierge Service request if you want our help searching.

Super Charge Your Diamond Buying Skills:

Follow the Steps in The Nice Ice® Diamond Buying Blueprint™ and Unlock the Secret for Maximizing Sparkle Factor and Light Performance. These are the Tips & Tricks from the back office of Nice Ice Diamonds.