What are VSS Diamonds?

Wondering about buying a VVS diamond, but don’t have a clue what it really means or how much it should cost? Should you buy a VVS diamond or something cheaper for an engagement ring?

Well, here is the short answer. If you’re buying a diamond that is 1 Carat or under, then you do not need to buy a VSS Diamond. If you are buying a 2 Carat diamond or higher, then you should buy a VSS diamond.

So, what exactly does a VSS Diamond mean anyway? A Very Very Slightly Included (VVS) diamond is a very high-quality diamond that rates third highest on the Diamond Clarity Scale. They only have microscopic flaws and blemishes that can be seen under 20x magnification.

Keep reading and I can tell you exactly what VVS diamonds are, how much VVS diamonds cost, and everything in-between to help you decide if you should buy a VVS diamond engagement ring.

Pros & Cons of VVS Diamonds

There’s no denying VVS diamonds are high-quality. Their pros and cons are pretty simple.

Pro: Rarity

One of the biggest allures to buying a VVS diamond is its rarity. As little as 10% of diamonds have VVS clarity!

Pro: Almost Perfect

A VVS1 diamond is as close to flawless (IF and F diamonds) as possible. A VVS1 diamond can be very expensive, but it’s a beautiful diamond and holds its value well.

Con: Might Not Be Worth It

The main issue with a VVS diamond is cost. Besides, VVS clarity isn’t the only eye-clean clarity tier. Call it marketing or a scam, but humans love sentimental things. That message alone can be reason enough to buy a VVS diamond for their loved ones.

A great alternative to VSS diamonds are VS1 and VS2 diamonds. They may have more inclusions under magnification, but both VS and VVS diamonds appear free of inclusions to the naked eye. Technically, you don’t need to spend the extra money for better clarity.

Buying Tip: An eye-clean VS1 diamond can save you up to 30% more than purchasing a VVS1 diamond. Let’s compare a VVS diamond to a VS1 Diamond.

VS1 Princess Natural Diamond G Color 1.00 Carat for $4750 versus a VVS1 Princess Natural Diamond G Color 1.00 Carat for $5130. Both are phenomenal diamonds but notice the price difference.

What is a VVS Diamond?

So, what’s VSS diamonds mean anyway? A diamond with VVS clarity grade means it’s Very Very Slightly included. VVS clarity diamonds are a very high-quality diamonds that rate third highest on the Diamond Clarity Scale.

A VVS diamond may have tiny microscopic inclusions that can only be seen under 20x magnification. So they are considered eye-clean, but they are not flawless or internally flawless diamonds.

VVS1 & VVS2 Diamonds

The VVS tier breaks down into two different grades: VVS1 and VVS2. A VVS2 diamond is below a VVS1 diamond.

On average, most people don’t see the inclusions or blemishes within a VVS diamond. You’re even less likely to see them on a VVS1 diamond as opposed to a VVS2 diamond.

Here are the key differences between the two:

  • A VVS1 diamond is more valuable than a VVS2
  • A VVS1 diamond can be up to 25% more expensive than VVS2
  • Most people can’t distinguish a VVS1 from a VVS2

How Much Should VVS Diamonds Cost?

The average cost of a 1 carat round VVS1 diamond with GHI color grades is between $5,000-$8000. 


The average cost of a 1 carat round VVS2 diamond with GHI color grades is between $3700-$6700.


Why do the prices vary?

There’s no simple way to break down the cost of any diamond because they’re graded on a variety of factors.

VVS diamonds aren’t any different. The price of a VVS diamond will depend on the other diamond grades and details like:

  • Cut
  • Carat
  • Diamond Shape
  • Natural or Lab-Created
  • Grading Report

Higher Carat Weights are Rarer

Carat weight will have the biggest impact on the cost of a VVS diamond. The larger you go in carat weight, the better your color and clarity need to be. The smaller it is, the lower your clarity and color can be if you’re trying to save money. VSS diamonds become harder to find and even rarer as you increase the carat weights.

Cut Grade

With round diamonds, the cut grade will increase VVS diamond prices. An ideal or super ideal cut VVS diamond will make your price rise.

Round Diamond Shapes are Most Expensive

Diamond shape has a direct effect on VVS diamond cost. It’s difficult for gem cutters to find VVS clarity diamond rough. With a round diamond, 60% of the diamond rough has to be thrown out.

That’s one of the reasons why round diamonds are the most expensive. It cost the industry a lot of money to discard high clarity material.

Non-Round Diamonds are Cheaper

Buying non-round diamond shapes can save you money. Emerald cut diamonds and Asscher cut diamonds with VVS clarity are lower priced than shapes like ovals, pears, and princess cut diamonds. That’s because step-cut diamond shapes reveal more inclusions. The facets in brilliant-cut shapes make them less noticeable.

In a princess-cut diamond, only 30% of the rough has to be discarded. These round and princess cut VVS1 diamonds have a price difference of $3280.

1.04 Carat Round Diamond for $8,460 versus 1.04 Carat Princess Diamond for only $5,180!

They are both GIA certified and all other diamond grades are the same. The difference is the diamond shape.

Natural or Lab-Created Diamonds

Natural earth-mined diamonds are more expensive than Lab Diamonds. Both are chemically and organically the same, but earth-mined diamonds come with the feeling of exclusivity and rarity. If you don’t care about the diamond’s history or method of creation, then you can get a great deal on a lab-grown diamond. As much as $5000 cheaper as shown below!

1.03 Natural Carat Round Diamond for $8,110 versus 1.03 Lab-Created Carat Round Diamond for only $3,120!

Grading Report

A diamond with a GIA grading report can cost more than a diamond with a different lab’s grading report such as one from the IGI or AGS. GIA is considered the most accurate grading report and truly ensures that the diamond’s specs are what you are paying for. In some cases, the GIA report can add around $1,000 to the price of the diamond.

1.04 Carat GIA-Graded Round Diamond for $8,460 versus 1.04 Carat IGI-Graded Round Diamond for only $7,330! Read more about GIA vs IGI grading reports.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about VVS diamonds today. So, do you want a VVS diamond for your engagement ring?

If you’re looking for the best price, you should consider other eye-clean diamond grades such as VS diamonds like VS1, VS2, or even an SI1.

For a 1 carat diamond or lower, I recommend you purchase a diamond with VS diamond clarity. Inclusions will only be visible under 10x magnification and to the naked eye.

For a 2 carat diamond or more, I recommend you purchase a VVS clarity diamond. The bigger the diamond, the easier it is to see inclusions, so you will want a high-clarity diamond.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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