VVS1 Diamond Clarity Rating – The Almost “Perfect” Grade

The term VVS stands for “very very slightly included” and is one of the top grades in the diamond clarity scale. In order for a diamond to be graded as a VVS1, the criteria is that the diamond has minute inclusions which are faintly visible in the face up view or are only detectable from the pavilion view (bottom of diamond).

Typically, these inclusions include clouds, needles, internal graining or pinpoints that are very difficult to be seen under 10X magnification even to a skilled gemologist. So, unless you have a pair of super bionic eyes, there is NO way your naked eyes can pick these inclusions up from a face up view. 

Examples of Very Very Slightly Included 1 (VVS1) Diamonds

Here’s a well cut emerald cut diamond with a VVS1 clarity grade…

vvs1 emerald cut diamond

Inspect the emerald cut with a magnified HD video here…

Check out the video listing of this well cut oval cut diamond too…

very very slightly included one oval cut diamond 1 carat

Inspect the oval cut with a magnified HD video here…

Can you see any inclusions even under a highly magnified view?

I am very sure you can’t.

This is because the diamonds are photographed in the face up view. Even at 40X magnification, an untrained eye probably can’t make out the inclusions by using references from the clarity plot. As a matter of fact, the dust particles on the emerald cut are more visible than the inclusions themselves.

Interested in buying VVS1 diamonds? I highly recommend you check out James Allen. Not only will you get to access a huge selection of diamonds across different budgets, you get to scrutinize details easily with HD videos…

Question: Should You Buy Diamonds in This Clarity Grade?

Well, that really depends on your own preferences. For some people, the VVS1 grade is very desirable as they are near-perfect diamonds. For most people, a VVS1 diamond is often considered overkill for consumer jewelry. As a matter of fact, most diamonds above a VS2 clarity rating won’t have inclusions visible to the naked eye and can look just as good as one in the premium range.

The thing you need to know about buying VVS1 diamonds is that they command very high prices because they are very close to perfection in terms of “purity”. However, that doesn’t always translate to a better looking stone. Ultimately, a diamond’s beauty and optics is largely dependent on cut quality and facet proportions.

Does a VVS1 Rating Make a Diamond More Beautiful or Sparkle Better?

The answer is a big fat NO. I will reemphasize here that a diamond with better clarity does not necessarily equate to better sparkle. Let’s me do a comparison of a VVS1 diamond versus a VS2 diamond to prove my point.

good cut vvs1 round brilliant terrible quality versus vs
vs2 vs vvs1

Feel free to click on the images above to see full details of each diamond.

To the naked eye, both diamonds will be eyeclean and this means you will never see any inclusions with your naked eye. Even though the VVS1 diamond is more expensive compared to the VS2 diamond, the optical performance between these 2 diamonds is a night and day contrast.

In a side by side comparison, the diamond on the right is going to be more appealing because of its better cut quality. The point I want to bring across here is that CUT quality is the primary factor that affects the beauty of a diamond.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against VVS1 diamonds. If you are in the market for one, it’s really up to your personal preference. Just make sure you never compromise Cut at the expense of a “high” clarity rating.

White Flash and Brian Gavin are vendors that offer super ideal cut diamonds at competitive prices. They have good selections of diamonds with top notch light performance and clarity.

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  1. Paul Gian-
    June 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

    With fancy shapes like heart cut diamonds, sometimes it makes sense to go higher up to VVS1 ratings because of limited selections. I’ve detailed this rational in the write up here: https://beyond4cs.com/clarity/what-is-vvs-diamond/

    Here’s an example of a well cut heart shaped diamond that happen to have a VVS1 grade:

    vvs1 heart shaped diamond

    When there are no other alternatives and you cannot afford to wait, it would be OK to pull the trigger on a VVS diamond.

  2. Tony-
    April 16, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Would it be better to get a diamond or larger size and lower color or another one with a smaller size and a higher color?

    I have a 10k budget to work with and am considering a GIA D VVS1 excellent cut diamond.

  3. Paul Gian-
    April 17, 2018 at 6:44 am

    It really depends on personal preferences. I don’t want to instill bias here but if I were to buy a diamond, I would tend to get a larger stone with a lower color rating (e.g. a G color). If you are shopping for a $10,000 engagement ring, this write up here should interest you as well.

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