For centuries, the lustrous fire of a sparkling faceted diamond has entranced human beings around the world. A carefully cut and shaped stone possesses both beauty and enduring value. As the hardest mineral (a diamond ranks as a “10” on the Mohs Scale of Hardness), this appealing gem delights careful jewelry shoppers and investors alike.
We’ve collected some helpful shopping tips for VS2 diamonds. Today, this particular type of diamond frequently offers outstanding benefits. Savvy buyers sometimes search for this specific clarity grade, in fact. This category includes alluring hidden bargains in certain cases. James Allen carries a wonderful selection of both VS1 and VS2 grade merchandise.
VS2 Diamond Overview
As a preliminary matter, consider the importance of researching the diamond marketplace with care. By learning about basic criteria gemologists employ in assessing the quality of different stones, customers shopping for rings, brooches, pendants, and other exquisite pieces of diamond jewelry gain an important advantage. A VS2 diamond overview considers this grade of stone within a larger framework:
Unlike many other gems, diamonds maintain a high degree of hardness. Formed from the same element as coal (carbon), a diamond differs in terms of the compactness and arrangement of its constituent molecules. These unique gems spend eons within the Earth’s crust. Over the course of time, the heat and the weight of the surrounding ground gradually transform them into exceptionally hard, lustrous stones.
Diamonds extracted from the ground undergo extensive processing before they reach consumers. One of the most critical steps involves the grading of a diamond. Yet the majority of these gems never reach the jewelry trade or investors. In fact, large numbers of diamonds perform important roles as cutting or drilling tools. The Mohs Scale of Hardness ranks diamonds at the top of a 10-point scale. They prove harder even than other widely-collected gems (like emeralds, rubies, sapphires, or opals).
Grading Diamonds: An Important Step
Gemstone quality diamonds undergo an important grading process. Since these stones have remained within the Earth for centuries, they sometimes contain additional minerals on the exterior (a blemish) or within the stone (an inclusion). These other constituents may impact the degree to which a finely cut and shaped diamond reflect the light. Flaws may limit a diamond’s sparkle.
Today a variety of techniques permit experts to evaluate the presence (or not) of inclusions and blemishes in raw diamonds. In the past, experts usually performed this assessment using hand-held magnifying tools, like a jeweler’s loupe. After undergoing cutting and faceting, a stone becomes ready for placement within a distinctive jewelry setting. Sometimes fine jewelry buyers purchase diamonds and then commission a specific jeweler to create a customized piece showcasing the beauty of the stone to its best advantage.
The Fundamental “4Cs”
In grading diamonds, experts pay close attention to four fundamental properties. Sometimes described as the “4Cs,” these items refer to:
The higher a diamond scores in each category, the more desirable the gem proves, in most cases.
Two Reputable Diamond Grading Labs
A variety of excellent labs conduct professional diamond grading around the world. In the United States, two popular and highly respected sources attract considerable interest. These labs offer assistance grading gems for customers. They also frequently offer educational programs and supply public educational materials about the diamond marketplace:
The American Gem Society (the “AGS”)
The AGS has served as a nonprofit trade organization for decades. Many jewelry firms benefit from its courses and seminars. The organization maintains a lab offering diamond grading services.
The Gemological Institute of America (the “GIA”)
The GIA also offers extensive resources to assist gemologists, jewelers, and the public in learning about gemstones. It conducts educational courses. Additionally, the GIA maintains a highly respected lab that grades diamonds for customers.
Diamond Clarity Scales
Among the 4Cs, the clarity of a diamond proves quite important. It indicates how flawless an individual stone appears. In considering VS1 and VS2 stones, a potential jewelry buyer basically evaluates stones that have already received a ranking on the clarity scale. This spectrum extends from high grade FL (flawless) stones all the way down to low grade I3 (included 3) diamonds. Only a comparatively small percentage of diamonds extracted from the Earth fall into the flawless category.
The terms VS1 and VS2 refer to the categories for “Very Slight Included 1” and “Very Slightly Included 2,” respectively. These grades of diamonds fall roughly along the middle portions of the clarity scale. They do contain some inclusions, but these flaws may not appear visible to the eye without magnification. Jewelers refer to stones which contain inclusions apparent only with the assistance of a magnifying process as “eye clean.”
Inclusions And Blemishes
Why do experts pay attention to the presence of inclusions or blemishes in diamonds? During faceting, a craftsman directs the shaping of a cut stone into a finished gemstone (with many angled surfaces capable of reflecting light). Typically, experts strive to hide flaws while optimizing the internal brilliance of the stone. The number and the location of inclusions increase the challenges of this task.
A beautifully cut and faceted gemstone ideally sparkles. It will capture and refract the beauty of surrounding light in a captivating way. It remains important to remember, however, that other factors that you should consider when looking for an exquisite VS2 are: carat, color, and cut. All of the 4Cs play a role in the value and gradation of the gemstone (not cut alone).
Why Magnification Matters
As you shop for a diamond, you’ll want to keep in mind the significance of the magnification process from a clarity standpoint. On the lower end of this scale, a number of inclusions may mar the beauty of a diamond. Yet very few stones qualify as flawless or internally flawless.
The Very Slightly Included categories of diamonds fall within the middle portion of the clarity scale. They do indeed contain at least some inclusions. Yet these flaws may not appear visible to the naked eye. In searching for a diamond, it generally makes sense to remain aware of the inclusion issue. By looking at a stone that interest you under magnification, you’ll have a better opportunity to evaluate its internal flaws.
Finding “Eye Clean” Diamonds With Your Jeweler’s Help
Remember also that the location of the inclusions does matter in terms of a gemstone’s appearance. Extraneous material located deep within the diamond might not appear as readily visible as an inclusion closer to the surface, depending upon the cut and faceting of the stone. This technical issue won’t necessarily impede someone’s enjoyment of the beauty of the diamond in a finished piece, especially if a customer selects an “eye clean” diamond.
How can you find “eye clean” merchandise? Reputable jewelers offer assistance to their customers in selecting these products. Many (like James Allen) encourage customers to evaluate images of the stone using magnification. This step helps identify the location and impact of inclusions.
Celebrating the Beauty of Diamonds
The alluring sparkle of a diamond causes many hearts to beat just a bit faster. These radiant stones for centuries have symbolized the fire of undying love and deep passion. They remain a popular gift to celebrate romance, for example.
Often people visiting James Allen seek excellent diamonds for use in engagement rings or other important, life-changing, pieces of jewelry. The lustrous internal brilliance of diamonds appears with the assistance of skilled craftsmanship. By carefully choosing the best stone, shaping and faceting it, and placing it within a secure, eye-catching setting, expert jewelers create treasured pieces.
VS1 Diamonds Versus VS2 Diamonds
Why do some savvy shoppers prefer to hunt for diamonds within the two VS categories? And what important differences exist between these two grade levels? A variety of considerations may underlie this decision:
Some Practical Reasons to Search For VS2 Diamonds
Today, experienced jewelry collectors sometimes preferentially search within the Very Slightly Included 2 clarity category to locate tempting bargains. Some practical reasons prompt this decision. With effort, an astute shopper may still locate a lovely “eye clean” stone at this grade level. Additionally, a far greater number of diamonds maintain a VS2 rating. Diamonds without inclusions occur infrequently.
Discovering a fine VS2 diamond allows a customer to obtain a much better quality of gem. These diamonds usually sparkle more brightly than stones ranked in the SI1, SI2, I1, I2, and I3 clarity groups, in most cases. When inclusions don’t appear evident to the naked eye, they won’t detract from the visible appearance of the set stone. Flaws still impact brilliance, yet the skill of the faceting may help offset this issue to some extent.
Price Comparison of VS1 And VS2
Additionally, astute diamond shoppers discover some significant price differences between VS1 and VS2 grades. This simple classification may account for wide variations in pricing in some retail settings. For example, even though a consumer may not notice the inclusions in either a VS1 or a VS2 stone with the naked eye or detect variations in the settings, price differences of $1,000 or more sometimes relate to the clarity grade of the diamond.
A price comparison of VS1 and VS2 stones may incline a thrifty customer to search for the latter grade. In general, VS2 diamonds contain slightly bigger and more numerous flaws. Yet sometimes these lovely gemstones hide remarkable bargains.
Other Important Factors
Additionally, keep in mind the other factors that you should consider when looking for an exquisite VS2 Are: carat, color, and cut. The carat weight of the stone sometimes makes a significant difference in its value. Other bloggers have recommended selecting a VS1 stone over a lower-priced VS2 stone in most situations in which the diamond weighs more than two carats, for instance.
Similarly, both the color and the cut impact the total value of the diamond. The GIA utilizes a color scale ranging from colorless in the D range to light color beginning in the S range. This consideration may impact the overall appearance of the diamond you select. Choose one with a cut best calculated to minimize the impact of its flaws.
See Examples at James Allen
To fully appreciate the importance of carefully evaluating diamonds using the 4Cs, it makes sense to consult with a knowledgeable jeweler. Experts at James Allen offer assistance to customers. They can answer questions about the diamond grading and assessment process.
The James Allen website offers a number of helpful resources for astute diamond buyers. It permits customers to view each diamond from a magnified perspective, for example. By perusing a number of different stones, you’ll enhance your appreciation for the impact and significance of inclusions.
Remember These Shopping Tips For VS2 Diamonds
Of course, the process of grading diamonds in a lab seems remote to most jewelry shoppers searching for solid value in retail stores or online jewelry centers. Yet it remains important not to allow emotion to sway your assessment of an important purchase. Try and keep some helpful tips in mind:
Before making a final decision about a diamond purchase at a jewelry store, ask permission to view the stone with the assistance of a jeweler’s loupe. This step enables you to clearly identify the inclusions and flaws in the diamond. It allows you to become familiar with the unique features of the gem under consideration.
Since customers still discover “eye clean” pieces at the VS2 level, evaluating the stone under magnification proves important. This somewhat resembles the process of raising an auto hood and looking over the engine before buying a shiny new sports car. You’ll gain a better sense of the intrinsic value of your purchase.
Ensure Accurate Images
Additionally, when searching for a piece of fine jewelry over the Internet, consider the importance of evaluating accurate images. Sometimes online sellers substitute the image of product for a closely related one or for a generic “brand” example. Whenever possible, before making a fine jewelry purchase, ask to see the actual piece itself.
Customers who commission a customized item of jewelry may not have the ability to take this precaution, of course. An artisan may still need to actually place a gem within a unique handcrafted setting. Yet it makes sense to remain aware of the potential for buyer’s remorse when selecting jewelry by relying upon generic images.
Caveats For Online Shoppers
During online diamond shopping, pay especially close attention to the issue of magnification as a tool for identifying internal flaws within the diamond. The absence of visible inclusions on the surface of a VS2 diamond should not blind you to the fact these issues exist. If the stone lacked flaws, it would command a much higher clarity grade.
James Allen assists customers by furnishing a bird’s eye perspective of diamond flaws. A super zoom tool aids in identifying the inclusions with magnification. Consider requesting assistance using this technology effectively as you hunt for a stone meeting your criteria.
Select Lab-Evaluated Merchandise
Finally, remember that most reputable labs supply customers with certificates attesting to the grade and quality of diamonds. This paperwork aids in identifying the stone if a customer ever seeks to insure jewelry. The quality of the lab matters in terms of the utility of a diamond certificate, of course.
For example, the GIA lab conducts diamond grading under highly controlled conditions. Protocols maintain the anonymity of both the customer and the evaluators. Several trained graders examine each stone under a 10x magnification and standardized lighting conditions. The process involves carefully weighing the stone and employing a proprietary GIA Diamond Checking Tool.
Finding Your Diamonds
Whether you select mainly VS1 diamonds versus VS2 diamonds may ultimately depend upon your available budget. Some superbly beautiful gems fall into both of these sometimes overlooked categories. While these grades do contain minor flaws, discovering an “eye clean” stone may enable you to secure a real bargain.
Diamond investors tend to search mainly within the FL or IF grades. Consequently, prices for stones evaluated as flawless or internally flawless frequently remain out of the financial reach of many fine jewelry buyers. Even if you do locate these stones in wearable jewelry, you might find yourself tempted to wear paste replicas during most social engagements, due to the risk of loss or damage.
Yet by focusing your search efforts on exceptional VS2 grades, you just might secure a really impressive gem at a surprisingly affordable price. This category of diamond permits daily use and enjoyment for most households. Choose a diamond capable of delighting yourself and your loved ones by hunting for solid value in the oft-neglected VS2 class!