April 11th 2022
VS2 Clarity Diamonds: Are They Eye Clean?
By Devin Jones
Diamond clarity is one of the most confusing aspects of diamond shopping, so we're here to break down exactly what it means for you and your diamond purchase. The first step is understanding if VS2 clarity is right for your diamond is understanding what "clarity" actually means.
Diamond clarity grades describe the significance of imperfections inside a diamond as well as some blemishes on the exterior of the stone. These imperfections are called inclusions if they're inside the diamond and blemishes if they're flaws on the exterior of the diamond.
Can you tell which of the diamonds below is the most included?
Click on each diamond for more details and videos
The last diamond featured above is an SI2 clarity diamonds. This is typically where the average diamond shopper may begin to notice the inclusions in real life without the aid of magnification (keep in mind these images are VERY magnified). However, some SI1 clarity and even some VS2 clarity diamonds have visible inclusions that make them not-so-eye-clean.
Imagine you have a beautifully cut diamond but it has a big crack inside it. That would be a significant inclusion and you wouldn't want to buy that diamond. On the other hand, a diamond might be totally perfect in every way - that diamond would be considered flawless and would cost a lot more than the diamond with a crack in it since more people want to own this diamond (simple supply and demand).
VS2 diamonds should be eye clean diamonds meaning they are diamonds that appear flawless to the naked eye, but they may still have imperfections that are visible under intense magnification.
Below we'll help you understand how to pick out a perfectly eye clean VS2 diamond, choose a color grade that complements your stone, and evaluate the various tradeoffs in your VS2 clarity diamond purchase.
What Is VS2 Clarity?
VS2 clarity means the diamond is very slightly included. Basically, it's the GIA's way of saying, "this diamond has inclusions but they're so insignificant that you'd need 10x magnification to see them". Based on this definition you'd expect that all VS2 clarity diamonds should be eye clean, and you're not wrong - they should be. But they're not always, for a variety of reasons including human error.
VS2 diamonds are considered the sweet spot for value and quality. Any lower (SI1, SI2) and the diamond's clarity becomes more questionable. Any higher (VS1, VVS2) and the diamond is well beyond eye clean, meaning you're paying a premium for quality you can't distinguish from similarly eye clean diamonds of lower clarity grades (like VS2).
VS2 is where you'll see most online diamond shoppers eventually gravitate as they get more comfortable seeing those super-zoomed diamond images that can make even the smallest of inclusions incredibly obvious. There are certainly plenty of great SI1 diamonds out there as well, but generally speaking the better looking SI1 diamonds tend to be priced similarly to VS2 diamonds. For this reason, we typically prefer to limit our own searches to VS2 or better clarity.
Is VS2 Clarity Worth It?
VS2 clarity diamonds can look totally eye clean or more obviously included, it all depends on the diamond, the type of inclusions, and where the inclusions are located. That said, most VS2 clarity diamonds are worth the price and offer exceptional value.
Take this totally eye clean H color VS2 clarity diamond from Blue Nile for example. This diamond has an impressive diamond cut score of 9.2 on StoneAlgo's internal scale, meaning it will have exceptional sparkle even for an excellent cut diamond. This alone can help mask some minor inclusions. Compare that eye clean diamond to this not-so-eye-clean diamond (SI1 clarity). You can see a large, black spot on the top left of the table (the flat top of the diamond).
The location of inclusions plays an important role in how impactful they are. An inclusion in the top center of the diamond will be easily visible from any angle, while a diamond that is off to the side of the stone could be hidden by the prongs of an engagement ring setting. Generally speaking, you'd prefer to have any inclusions off to the side of the diamond when viewed from above.
Which Diamond Color Grade Is Best for VS2 Clarity?
If you're shopping for a VS2 clarity diamond, it's likely that you are looking for value as well as quality. For that reason, diamond shoppers who buy VS2 clarity diamonds don't tend to pair them with an overly expensive color grade D or E color. Instead, VS2 clarity grade tends to be paired with near colorless diamonds like G color most often. Here are the most popular color grades chosen with VS2 clarity diamonds on StoneAlgo:
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