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Internally Flawless – IF Diamonds: Is it Different from Flawless?

IF Diamonds Clarity - The Full Guide - Internally Flawless – IF Diamonds - Is it Different from Flawless

When pursuing an online jewelry store (as it is a rarity to find them in brick and mortar locations), you may stumble upon diamonds with an exceptionally high clarity level, known as Flawless or Internally Flawless

These are priced extremely higher than diamonds with lower yet still impeccable clarity grades.

Provided below is an image of a 1.1 carat diamond on James Allen (with an excellent cut and G color) that possesses internally flawless clarity grade:

1.05 Carat Internally Flawless clarity

Even under 20x magnification, the image clearly indicates the absence of any inclusions, which is precisely what is meant by the term flawless & internally flawless (will see detailed comparison shortly).

In this article, we will analyze the meaning of the Internally Flawless clarity grade, distinguish it from comparable grades, assess its price range, and provide our recommendation.

When referring to diamonds, people often use the word “flawless” to describe a perfect diamond, given that the term itself implies a sense of perfection.

However, within the diamond industry, this term officially denotes a diamond purity grade, known as Internally Flawless.

Diamonds are formed at great depths beneath the Earth’s surface through intense heat and pressure, resulting in distinct marks that can either be internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes), which are measured by Diamond Clarity.

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The Internally Flawless grade represents the 2nd highest level of diamond clarity, which indicates the cleanliness of the diamond, where “clean” refers to the absence of any inclusions or imperfections present inside the diamond.

This means, that internally flawless can have minor blemishes, which are imperfections that are found on diamond surface.

These blemishes aren’t visible to you, or even the regular jeweler, they need 10x magnifier, and tens of years of experience to be able to detect them, making it extremely hard to distinguish it from a flawless diamond.

The clarity of a diamond is divided into various groups, each with one or more grades assigned based on the type, size, and location of imperfections or birthmarks.

The highest clarity grade on this chart is called “Flawless,” indicating that no blemishes or imperfections can be detected under 10x magnification by a skilled gemologist.

This clarity grading system has been established by the GIA, which is recognized as the foremost global authority on diamond grading and standards. Knowing about these different grades can help you choose the best quality diamond for your needs:

diamond-clarity-grades

Diamonds that are classified as internally flawless are also quite rare, with less than 3% of all diamonds meeting this grade.

To put it into perspective, out of 1000 diamonds distributed equally, you can expect to find only about 30 of them to be considered internally flawless, in reality (online stores), percentages will be a bit less than that, for the sole reason of demand.

Even on a large diamond retailer like James Allen, with over 300000 diamonds available, the number of internally flawless diamonds is around 7000.

Flawless vs Internally Flawless Clarity Grades

In some stores and online resources, you may find Flawless and Internally Flawless grouped together on a single chart, like the one above.

However, it’s important to note that there is a slight difference between these two grades.

Flawless diamonds have “No inclusions and no blemishes visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification,” according to the GIA definition, whereas Internally Flawless diamonds may have minor surface blemishes but no internal inclusions visible under 10x magnification.

In a bit more details:

Flawless diamonds are free from any external and internal blemishes or inclusions visible under 10x or even 20x magnification by a skilled gemologist.

In other words, they have no visible scratches, nicks, chips, or other surface blemishes, as well as no internal inclusions, such as cracks, bubbles, or other mineral deposits.

Internally Flawless diamonds, on the other hand, may have some minor external blemishes, but they have no internal inclusions visible under 10x magnification. This means that while they may have some small scratches or nicks on the surface of the diamond, they do not have inclusions of any type inside the stone.

In simple English: To us, you, your friends, your jewelry store salesperson, they are exactly the same, the difference between IF & FL grades needs advanced magnification, and professional gemologist with years of experience.

And for a visual comparison, here are two diamonds on James Allen as seen under the super 40x magnification feature of James Allen:

FL vs IF clarity diamonds James Allen

The diamond on the left is 1.1 carat, G color, excellent cut, and Flawless.

The one on the right is almost identical, but has internally flawless clarity grade.

Inspect both diamonds under magnified 360 degrees available on James Allen to see different angles and verify that there is no visual difference at all between both grades.

Internally Flawless Clarity Diamonds Prices

Looking for diamond prices with internal flawless clarity is similar to asking about prices for diamonds with D or E color grade.

These grades are considered extremely high in comparison to the recommended clarity and color grades.

They are also overpriced and their difference is not noticeable to most people.

To find a price for these “insane” grades, relying on local stores is not recommended as they are much more expensive than online diamond stores and may not even have these grades available.

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Therefore, for reference, we will use James Allen and Blue Nile as they have the largest diamond inventory, with over 500k diamonds combined. Our search will be limited to common characteristics:

Cut: Excellent

Carat: 0.95 – 1 (as mentioned above, this grade is extremely rare and we might not find exactly 1 carat)

Color: G

Polish & Symmetry: Excellent

We ran a filtered search on both sites for IF-Internally Flawless clarity grade.

James Allen offered us 70 diamonds, ranging between $6500 and $10500, yep $10k for 1 carat diamond that you can see here.

Doing the same thing on Blue Nile gave us 31 diamonds, cheapest at $7050 and most expensive at $10760.

It’s clear that these prices are extremely expensive compared to the average 1 carat diamond prices.

Are Internally Flawless Diamonds Worth it?

Similarly to flawless, IF-Internally Flawless diamonds are considered extremely rare, super high quality (that goes unnoticed for people), and of course very expensive.

Whatever budget you have in mind, you probably can make good use of it to pick a premium cut diamond (Like True Hearts™ by James Allen, or A CUT ABOVE® by Whiteflash), probably get a larger carat, or guarantee a colorless color.

Whiteflash 360 HD Diamond Videos 970x250 1

But in terms of clarity, we believe going over VS1 under any circumstances doesn’t align with the “best bang for your buck” approach.

Our suggestion is to consider diamonds with SI1 clarity as a starting point, even though it may seem unrealistic to mention this grade when talking about internally flawless diamonds.

However, for diamonds that are less than 1 carat in weight, SI1 clarity will provide a visually clean appearance in most cases.

Opting for a higher clarity grade such as VS2 would be a wise decision too. Going beyond this grade may not be necessary unless you are purchasing a significantly larger diamond, such as those that are 2 carats or more.

Where to Buy Internally Flawless Clarity Diamonds?

So, probably you don’t want to buy one (we hope so), but still very interested to browse & see internally flawless diamonds, and would like to know where you can find IF diamonds.

Unlike Flawless diamonds, internally flawless stones are just a little more common and can be found almost at any online diamond store.

Here are some recommended stores that sell IF diamonds, with great imaging technology so you can check the minute details of each diamond:

1. James Allen

If you’re in search of a perfect diamond, James Allen is undoubtedly the top player in the online diamond industry. With cutting-edge imaging technology and an extensive inventory of hundreds of thousands of diamonds, James Allen should be your go-to option.

As of writing this, out of 207k round diamonds on JA, 7000 have internally flawless clarity grade as we see in this search.

One of these diamonds is 15 carat, and although it has a G color, it’s priced at just $1.3 million!

For the record, here is that diamond:

15 carat IF Internally Flawless diamond 1.3m

To learn more about this store, we have a dedicated article where we reviewed everything about James Allen.

2. Whiteflash

Whiteflash isn’t as big as James Allen or Blue Nile since they focus on premium & high quality diamonds, but they still offer a number of IF diamonds.

The great thing about Whiteflash is their advanced imaging technology as well, not superb as JA, but better than most of the available images in the market.

As of now, they have 11 internally flawless diamonds in their inhouse inventory, and around 206 from their outsourced collection.

3. Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth is indeed a huge player in the outsourcing & large inventory of diamonds, and although they are well-known for their lab grown diamonds, they also have great inventory of a natural diamonds.

As of writing, Brilliant Earth has 2600 internally flawless diamonds.

4. Blue Nile

The largest (or 2nd largest) online retailer, hundreds of thousands of diamonds as well, with a great reputation online.

They have (as of writing) 206k round diamonds, 6k of them are internally flawless.

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Clarity Grades Review

In quick recap, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has created a grading system with six categories to evaluate diamond clarity, ranging from Flawless to Included.

Here are the six categories of diamond clarity in order of increasing inclusions:

  • Flawless (FL): These diamonds have no visible inclusions or blemishes, even under 10x magnification. FL diamonds are incredibly rare and highly prized for their exceptional clarity.

  • Internally Flawless (IF): These diamonds also have no visible inclusions, but they may have minor blemishes on the surface that are visible under 10x magnification. IF diamonds are also quite rare and highly valued.

  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): These diamonds have inclusions that are very difficult to see under 10x magnification. VVS diamonds are also highly valued for their exceptional clarity. VVS1 diamonds have inclusions that are even harder to see than VVS2 diamonds.

  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): These diamonds have inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification, but they are minor and do not significantly affect the diamond’s overall appearance. VS diamonds are still considered to have high clarity, and their inclusions are usually not visible to the naked eye.

  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): These diamonds have inclusions that are noticeable under 10x magnification and may affect the diamond’s brilliance or transparency. SI diamonds are generally more affordable than higher clarity diamonds but can still be very beautiful and -in most cases- eye clean.

  • Included (I1, I2, and I3): These diamonds have inclusions that are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect the diamond’s durability, transparency, and brilliance. Diamonds in the I group are usually the most affordable, but their inclusions can be visible to the naked eye and may affect the diamond’s overall appearance.

Internally Flawless Clarity Final Word

To buy or not to buy a flawless diamond depends on your personal preferences and budget.

To summarize, internally flawless diamonds are very rare and 2nd most valuable in terms of diamond clarity, as they have no inclusions but minor blemishes that are very hard to be seen even on 10x magnification.

Having these super characteristics, internally flawless are very expensive, $3000+ more than the average 1 carat diamond price.

For those seeking a balance between clarity and value, diamonds in the VS2 to SI1 range may be worth considering.

Even though these diamonds have inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification, they can still appear clean to the naked eye and offer a good combination of quality and affordability.

Still not sure where to buy your diamond?


We always recommend shopping diamonds online and created a Full guide to shop diamonds like a Pro.
Among online retailers, here are our favorite stores click their logo to visit store

  1. James Allen:

    Our favorite online store, best diamond imaging technology available today, comes with the largest collection with more than half a million loose diamonds.


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  2. Blue Nile:

    Widest collection of loose diamonds of all sizes, great imaging technology for most of their inventory (hundreds of thousands of diamonds), great customer support.


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  3. Whiteflash:

    Home Of A CUT ABOVE® Super Ideal Diamonds, they stand out from the crowd by offering premium diamonds cuts, tailored to those who love the details, at great prices too.


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