loose diamonds in various diamond shapes
loose diamonds in various diamond shapes

Flawless Diamonds: A Complete Guide

Angelica Frey | January 26, 2023

Once you decide to buy a diamond, it’s easy to equate terms like “flawless” to “perfect” and be swayed by it. However, the technical definition of “Flawless diamond” requires some explanation. In fact, “Flawless” only refers to the diamond’s clarity, which indicates the absence of inclusions and blemishes, respectively internal and external structural imperfections.

Where your lab-grown diamond lands on the diamond clarity scale will impact its beauty and value — not to mention its price tag. Therefore, understanding the way clarity works will empower you to make the right choice. Flawless diamonds are the highest-graded diamonds in terms of clarity and are very rare, and their cost usually reflects their purity and rarity. However, clarity is only one of the several factors that impact diamond grading. Learn more about flawless diamonds and all diamond grades with help from a diamond expert.

What Is a Flawless Diamond?

A Flawless diamond is a diamond with the highest degree of visual purity, also known as clarity. Clarity is part of the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat), which are considered the international standard of measuring a diamond’s beauty and value. GIA defines a Flawless diamond as having “no inclusions or blemishes visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification.”
Clarity grades include FL (Flawless) IF (internally Flawless) VVS (very very slightly included) VS (very slightly included) SI (slightly included), I (included). Inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external) are what makes each diamond unique, and they’re caused by the extreme heat and pressure that contributes to their formation.

Factors influencing the grade consider the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification.

Flawless Diamonds and Color

A diamond is defined as Flawless only when no inclusions or blemishes are visible using a 10x magnification. The attribute “Flawless” refers to its clarity, which is only one of the four Cs—the other three being color, cut, and carat. Color is independent of clarity, and is graded from D—the highest grade— to Z, which, respectively, indicate a colorless diamond and a light brown diamond.

How Rare Are Flawless Diamonds?

D color diamonds are quite rare, and make up less than 1% of the world's supply of diamonds, and Flawless D color diamonds are even rarer.

Flawless vs. Internally Flawless Diamonds

Flawless and Internally Flawless are the highest clarity grades on the GIA scale. While Flawless refers to the absence of both inclusions and blemishes detectable under 10x magnification by a skilled grader, Internally Flawless indicates the presence of blemishes visible to a skilled grader under 10x magnification.

How Much Does a Flawless Diamond Cost?

The cost of a Flawless diamond may vary, mainly because Clarity is only one of the 4Cs and there are three other parameters to take into account. However, Flawless diamonds make up less than 1% of the diamonds in the whole world, so the price tag tends to reflect their rarity. If you keep all the other Cs and shape consistent but compare between a VVS and a Flawless diamond for example, you can expect a Flawless 1-carat diamond to cost 1.66x the cost of the VVS one. A similar proportion is observed as you increase in size: even with the same shape, cut, color, and carat, a Flawless 4-carat diamond costs 1.52x a VVS 4-carat diamond

Mined vs. Lab-Grown Flawless Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds are created using processes that duplicate the ones that occur in nature, including extreme heat and pressure. This means that lab-grown and mined diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties. In both instances, Flawless diamonds remain extremely rare.

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Flawless?

A lab-grown diamond can be flawless but it’s not a defining characteristic of it. Just because a diamond is created in a controlled environment, it does not mean that they’ll be free of blemishes and inclusions. The growing process in the lab yields the same blemishes and inclusions as one would find in mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds display the same physical, chemical, and optical characteristics as natural diamonds.

Do Flawless Diamonds Have More Sparkle?

Diamond sparkle is one of the most coveted factors when it comes to buying an engagement ring, yet Flawless diamonds are not the shiniest just by virtue of their clarity. In fact, one might be surprised to learn that clarity is not the sole contributing factor. In fact, what we call sparkle is the result of light’s interaction with a diamond’s cut. Upon entering a diamond, in fact, light travels through it and reflects off its interior surfaces. If it leaves in the form of white light, we call it brightness or brilliance; when it divides into spectral colors, it’s called fire. Sparkle is a dynamic alternation of flashes of brightness and fire, technically known as scintillation. Bottom line, if you care about sparkle, pay attention to the diamond’s cut as well as to the clarity.

However, inclusions and blemishes impact the appearance of a diamond the more you go up in carat size, as a larger surface area of higher carat weight diamonds can make inclusions more visible. In that case, pay as much attention to clarity grade as you do to cut to maximize brilliance, fire, and scintillation.

How To Buy Flawless Diamond Rings

When you’re buying an engagement ring and are actively looking for a Flawless diamond, limit your search to IF or FL clarity grades, which are the highest grades of clarity for a diamond. Do keep in mind, though, that a diamond that is graded as Flawless can still have polish lines on a pavilion facet. The VRAI-created diamond inventory is updated daily, and you can apply the desired filters to choose the desired clarity.

Book An Appointment with A Diamond Expert

When buying a diamond, it’s important not to focus too much on one of the 4Cs over the other, prioritizing a balance between cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, one’s preferred metal color, and budget. Booking a complimentary appointment with our diamond experts can help you determine if a Flawless diamond is the right choice for you. They’ll give you personalized guidance, in-depth diamond education, and help finding engagement rings, wedding bands, fine jewelry gifts, and more.