I love the VS2 clarity grades when it comes to purchasing diamonds. Why? Put simply, VS2 diamonds are a safe purchase in terms of clarity and offer you good value for money.
It’s like the Goldilocks zone where inclusions don’t get seen and they don’t come with a hefty price tag like their IF or VVS counterparts.
Don’t get me wrong here; I am not saying that you can’t get beautiful eye clean stones in the SI1 or SI2 clarity grades. Choosing a VS2 diamond is like taking a shortcut for a peace of mind since it would automatically weed out the majority of non-eyeclean stones.
It is a clarity rating where minor inclusions are somewhat easy to be detected by a trained personnel under 10X magnification. Without using any magnification aids, you shouldn’t be able to see any flaws or inclusions with your naked eye.
Quite a number of factors go into deciding which clarity grade a diamond falls into. In essence, it boils down to how easily the inclusions can be spotted. Generally speaking, the inclusions found in VS2 stones are generally bigger or in larger quantities than those found in VS1 diamonds.
The location of the flaw also plays a role in the grading process. For example, a cloud inclusion found at dead-center is much more noticeable than one that is closer to the edge or buried deep in the body of the diamond.
While VS2 diamonds are usually eye clean, there do exist some outliers especially when it comes to larger sized diamonds. Most of the times, these outliers had barely made it past the SI1 grade and may have inclusions are visible to the naked eye. This is why I always stress the importance of magnified photographs/videos and never buying blind.
Inclusion plot from GIA report shows a concentration of clouds in the same vicinity.
As you can see above, an eye clean diamond isn’t always guaranteed. Having an eye clean diamond is largely dependent on a few factors: color of the inclusions, cut quality (better light performance helps conceal imperfections) as well as the nature of the flaws.
Here’s another questionable example of a princess cut graded with Very Slightly included clarity. This inclusion may be visible to your naked eye depending on the type of lighting conditions you are in and also your eye’s orientation to the diamond.
Princess cut with dark crystal inclusions under table facet
With step cuts, it is always prudent to check the diamond with a loupe before you make any purchase. This asscher cut is an example of a stone that you want to avoid.
Under the table facet, it is wise to avoid having dark crystal inclusions there.
At this point in time, if you are worried about buying a diamond in the VS clarity grade, don’t be. What I had shown you so far are “exceptions” we don’t normally see. The sole purpose of showing these examples is to highlight the need for better awareness and verification of details. The fact is, the majority of VS2 diamonds will look like the examples listed below.
Click these links to view the stones under magnification: radiant cut & princess cut
( Update: the princess cut diamond has been sold and its listing no longer exists. )