The GIA clarity grades are used to rate how “included” a diamond is, a measure of how many imperfections exist inside the diamond and blemishes on the surface of the stone. The sixth highest clarity grade is VS2 which stands for Very Slightly Included 2, one grade lower than VS1 and one grade better than SI1 (Slightly Included 1). While these diamonds are not considered “flawless”, the inclusions present within these diamonds are small enough that they will not be visible to the naked eye. Typically these imperfections are minor and only visible under 10x magnification. VS2 diamonds should always be “eye clean” (meaning no inclusions are visible to the naked eye), but buyers should always view the inclusions present in their diamonds to ensure they are not in an undesirable location or, if they are, that they are not large enough to be seen by the unaided eye.
There are many types of imperfections and blemishes that can affect the clarity grade of a diamond, and some are less desirable than others. VS2 diamonds should have no inclusions that are visible to the naked eye and only subtle blemishes, even when viewed through a 10x microscope lens. The diamonds are squarely in the middle of the range that jewelers typically recommend to their clients (basically grades from SI1 to VS1), as the imperfections are too small to be seen by the human eye. StoneAlgo typically recommends that you target a VS2 clarity diamond to begin with when buying a stone and make sure to view images and videos of any diamond you plan on purchasing. Even if an online jeweler does not have images of a diamond listed on its site, you can contact their customer service to request that images and videos be e-mailed to you for evaluation. Also, you should be aware that different shapes of diamond hide inclusions differently. For example, a round shape diamond will hide inclusions more easily than an equivalent quality stone with a larger flat surface area (such as princess or cushion cut).
Diamond buying is all about making small tradeoffs to maximize the criteria you care most about, whether that means getting the largest diamond or the highest quality stone (or somewhere in between) is a matter of preference that every buyer must determine. One thing you should know before you begin investigating tradeoffs is that going one grade lower in clarity will save you less than going one grade lower in color. It’s also important to consider that above a certain point, no one will be able to see the difference between a perfect diamond and a very good diamond unless they have a magnifying glass or a diamond of significantly higher quality to compare it to. We typically recommend you begin your search at I color, VS2 clarity and always see what the diamond market looks like for better or worse colors and clarities while requesting videos and images of every diamond you are interested in buying.
There are a lot of moving parts but generally speaking we try to maximize carat size for our given budget by sticking to the lower end of the color ranges we specified and searching for VS2 or better diamonds. SI1 diamonds are great if they’re eye clean, but they are a pain to find and often end up costing just as much as a VS2 diamond would. If you need one-on-one advice, we offer free support to all our users – simply drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org