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The VS1 Diamond: Is It Actually Good?

A VS1 diamond is a respectably graded stone that has no apparent clarity flaws when viewed with the naked eye.

More specifically, VS1 is a category on the diamond clarity scale. This scale measures the clarity of a diamond by the number of inclusions (flaws) seen in the diamond under 10x magnification.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses the following categories to grade diamond clarity:

  • F – Flawless
  • IF – Internally Flawless
  • VVS1 – Very Very Slightly Included 1
  • VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Included 2
  • VS1 – Very Slightly Included 1
  • VS2 – Very Slightly Included 2
  • SI1 – Slightly Included 1
  • SI2 – Slightly Included 2
  • I1 – Included 1
  • I2 – Included 2
  • I3 – Included 3

What Does VS1 Mean For Diamonds?

VS1 means very slightly included 1. In layman’s terms, this means that the inclusions inside a VS1 diamond are minor and challenging to see, even under magnification.

vs1 diamond

See the tiny red curved line in the graphic above? That is an example of what a feather inclusion could look like in a VS1 diamond clarity grading. It is important to keep in mind that this is a representation of the inclusion as seen under 10x magnification.

When viewed without magnification, this inclusion would not be detectable. In fact, the diamond would likely appear virtually flawless or eye-clean. In other words, when you’re looking at the stone with your naked eye, there are no visible inclusions or blemishes.

Is VS1 A Good Diamond?

A VS1 diamond is a very respectable grade. It is not at the top of the clarity scale, as that is reserved for the extremely rare flawless diamond. However, VS1 does rank at a worthy 4th place, coming in behind Flawless, Internally Flawless and Very Very Slightly Included.

One of the primary benefits of the VS1 clarity grade is that inclusions are almost never visible to the naked eye. As a result, these diamonds are usually much more affordable than their Internally Flawless or even VVS (Very Very Slightly Included) counterparts.

What Does A VS1 Diamond Cost?

The price of a specific VS1 diamond will vary depending on the gem’s other qualities such as the carat weight or color, which are 2 of the 4C’s of diamonds. Take a look at the examples below, where the differentiating factor in price is the color of the diamond.

ShapeCaratCutColorPrice
Round1.00ExcellentK$3,107
Round1.00ExcellentD$5,142

The table above compares two different diamonds. These stones have identical shape, carat and cut. You could even call them fraternal twins with their only distinction being color rating. One has the highest color grade a diamond can receive, which is D, while the other has a middle-tier rating of K. The diamond color scale starts at D and ends at Z.

With other factors being nearly identical, take a look at the significant price difference between the two diamonds. Would you have guessed the D color would cost over $2,000 more than the K? This is an example of how much fluctuation the price of a diamond will have depending on even one of the 4C’s.

Is A VS1 Diamond Better Than A VS2 Diamond?

The VS1 diamond is one notch higher on the diamond clarity scale than the VS2. So technically, yes, it is considered a higher-quality diamond from a clarity perspective.

The key difference is that a VS1 grade has inclusions that are considered difficult to see under 10x magnification, while the VS2 grade inclusions are considered somewhat easy to see.

Take a look at the graphic below. It shows a side-by-side comparison of the two grades as seen under 10x magnification. You can see both diamonds have an inclusion (the red curved line). Right off the bat, the VS2 inclusion is larger and much easier to spot than the VS1 inclusion.

vs1 diamond
VS1 diamond compared to VS2 diamond under 10x magnification

Conclusion

The VS1 diamond is a very good option when shopping for an engagement or wedding ring. There are definite flaws with this grading, but if you are in the market for a more economical, yet still eye-clean diamond, a VS1 is a fantastic choice.