When shopping for diamonds, there are wide variations in the quality you will encounter. There are six grades of clarity in diamonds, according to the G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America), of which VVS and VS are in the middle of the pack. VVS stands for very very slightly included, and VS stands for very slightly included, with VVS obviously being the higher grade.
Included simply means there are flaws. The very slightly part means a trained jeweler will even have trouble seeing the flaws with magnification. The top two points on the grading scale are F (flawless) and IF (internally flawless); the bottom two are SI (slightly included) and I (included).
The Difference Between VVS and VS
Both the VVS and VS grades have 2 designations within the grade, so there are actually 4 grades within them. VVS1, VVS2, VS1 and VS2.
As the name implies, VVS1 will have the smallest and least visible flaws, and even under magnification they may be difficult to detect even for he trained eye. VVS2 will have more and slightly bigger ones, still invisible to the naked eye.
VS1 will have even more and bigger ones, but still microscopic, and VS2 a hair bigger and more frequent.
With all of these 4 grades you will find that the flaws tend to be near the periphery of the stone, so they are in a place that is not so obvious. When inspected from the top, the imperfections will not be noticed, in other words.
So, Which Grade Should You Buy?
It depends. If the higher grade is important to you for bragging rights, spend more money on VVS1 and feel good. If you want to economize, think about a lower grade. You may find that you and/or your loved one, if you are buying the diamond for them, can’t really tell the difference. Maybe they would prefer a larger diamond at a lower grade. It’s a matter of style, taste and practicality in the final analysis. You’re the one who will be living with this choice for years to come, but now you are making a more informed choice than just walking into a store and walking out with a diamond someone sold you.