As you all know diamonds are rare and expensive. Diamonds are mostly used for beautiful rings as it is the best-known, and rarest gemstone in the world. There are many factors to consider before buying an engagement ring as a gift for someone you love. These factors vary between the color, the clarity, the cut, and the carat weight. Furthermore, a diamond’s price tag will usually give you a good idea of its quality and clarity grade. In this article, we will focus on a diamond’s clarity grade, particularly the VVS diamonds. By understanding what they are and what to expect, you will be able to make an informed decision when buying your future ring.
The truth behind VVS diamonds
There are many diamond clarity grades. VVS is an abbreviation for Very Very Slightly Included. Diamonds of this grade contain tarnishes and inclusions that cannot be seen by the naked eye, nor can they be seen by a non-skilled grader. Depending on the history of the diamond, it may or may not contain dark spots, scratches, or chips on its surface.
That said, you don’t have to worry about all this from a visual standpoint since your eyes won’t be able to see these flaws. As a matter of fact, only a grader with good credentials, armed with a 20x microscope can notice those kinds of details. Thus, this type of diamond is a good choice as no one will notice the tiny imperfections.
The making of VVS diamonds
VVS diamonds are constructed of carbon with atoms forming a crystal structure known as a cubic diamond. Before becoming a diamond, the carbon has to go through a very long process, where it will get severely pressured and exposed to extremely high temperatures. The latter can go as high as 1000 °C or 1832 °F! Add to that 50 kilograms of pressure per square centimeter, and the carbon molecules start forming a perfect chemical bond.
However, all the above processes have to happen around 160 kilometers beneath our feet. Moreover, the only 2 options to apply that kind of pressure are either a massive earthquake or a meteor crash. And if all that wasn’t enough, diamonds take thousands of years before becoming the precious and very coveted little rocks.
4 factors that experts use to classify the diamond quality
The main sources of diamonds in the world are Russia, Botswana, Congo, Australia, Canada, and South Africa. Specialists categorize diamond quality by using the four following rules:
1. Color of the diamond
Diamonds have many different colors which can make their price tags vary. There are 2 color tones of diamonds:
- White tone (colorless)
- Yellow tone (near colorless).
Furthermore, there are also rare color types such as pink and blue which can be dramatically expensive. Red diamonds are the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. However, the white diamond is more popular than other color categories.
2. Size of the diamond
The diamond costs per karat. Large diamonds are more unusual than small diamonds. For example, a 1-carat diamond weighs the same as a four 0.25-carat, but one larger diamond is worth much more than four smaller pieces of diamonds. Moreover, carat fractions can be priced differently depending on the quality.
3. The cut grade of the diamond
When a diamond is finished perfectly, it means that the craftsman has very great skill and care. A flawless diamond should be bright, colorful, and scintillating by three optical effects: brightness (white light reflections), fire (flashes of color), and scintillation (areas of light and dark).
4. The clarity grade of the diamond
A higher grade of clarity depends on the purity of the gemstone. In 1953, Richard T. Liddicoat created a gemstones’ category system in the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Here are the 5 grades that have been used since:
I2 and I3
The letter “I” stands for “Included” which means that the diamond contains blemishes and dark spots. Besides, its brightness could also be of a lower standard. On the pricing side of things, this grade of diamond is generally the cheapest one on the market.
A diamond with this grade usually presents smaller blemishes. Nevertheless, those won’t affect its shining and brightness aspect all that much.
This level is considered 90% better quality than most diamonds in the market. The scratches and small inclusions of a SI diamond cannot be seen by our eyes, except if you’re using a 10x microscope and that you know exactly what to look for.
VS and VVS
These grades are very popular and considered the best quality for an engagement ring. VS and VVS gemstones have very small inclusions (or very very small, in concordance with the grade’s term). The blemishes are so tiny that they are almost invisible, even with a 20x microscope.
“IF” is the abbreviation for “Internally Flawless”. These gemstones are perfection, literally, and south after by some of the richest people in the world. It is no surprise that this grade represents the most expensive and purest diamonds on the market.