IF And FL Clarity – No Visible Imperfections Under 10X

Flawless (FL) and internally flawless (IF) diamonds are found at the pinnacle of the clarity scale. These amazing diamonds symbolize pure and unconditional love, making them a popular choice among couples.

When examined under 10X magnification by an expert gemologist, FL and IF diamonds show no visible inclusions. Needless to say, these extremely rare diamonds come with a huge premium that exponentially increases with carat size.

What’s the Difference Between Internally Flawless (IF) And Flawless (FL)?

The real difference between FL and IF boils down to the presence of blemishes on the diamond’s surface. Characteristics such as surface graining, naturals, extra facets or small regions of polish marks would render a diamond in the IF grade instead of the FL grade.

Check Out These 2 Examples of FL Diamonds Below:

0.44 Carat F Color Flawless Cushion Diamond

flawless cushion cut diamond

0.46 Carat F Color FL Emerald Diamond

flawless emerald diamond

Compare Them to These 2 Examples of IF Stones…

1.02 Carat F Color IF Radiant Diamond

internally flawless clarity radiant cut

1.01 Carat H Color IF Cushion Diamond

internally flawless cushion cut

Why Are There Extra Comments in the Grading Report for IF Stones?

Listed below are common comments found in grading reports of internally flawless clarity diamonds:

– Minor details of polish are not shown (GIA)
– Surface graining is not shown (GIA)
– Minor details of finish are not shown (AGS)


These are perfectly OK comments and are no cause for concern if you see them in a grading report. As mentioned earlier, these comments are what separate the IFs from the FLs.

Interestingly, while some blemishes can be removed with further repolishing, cutters may choose not to do so. This is because they don’t not want to remove additional carat weight and compromise the diamond’s value just to achieve that.

On the other hand, material issues with the rough crystal may see surface grain lines extending into the diamond’s body such that no amount of repolishing can totally remove the blemish.

Did You Know That Even Flawless Diamonds Are Not Perfect…

Diamonds formed in nature under extreme and turbulent conditions. As a result, it is impossible to achieve a crystalline structure of carbon atoms that is 100% pure. In the grading labs, the rating of FL/IF is assigned when no inclusions are viewable under a 10X magnification.

This doesn’t mean we can’t see inclusions in high powered scopes using 60X or 100X magnifications. In reality, a “perfectly pure” diamonds doesn’t exist since some degree of foreign impurities are always present. Whether we see them or not depends on the power of magnification we view the stone in.

With that said, flawless/internally flawless diamonds are extremely rare because they require a series of stringent conditions to be fulfilled before they can be created. These stones are highly sought after by both collectors and investors. It’s no wonder that the larger diamonds often fetch record breaking prices at auctions houses such as Sotheby and Christies.

On the other hand, smaller sized FL/IF diamonds are much more affordable. They often find their way into proposal rings to symbolize a man’s love for his partner.

If you are interested in buying an internally flawless diamond, click here to cherry pick a diamond from hundreds of available choices; each with a video to show you exactly how the diamond looks like.

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One Comment

  1. pat eppers-
    March 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    a friend is making a fool of herself with her $10,000-1 ct diamond–told it is flawless—-I tried to explain the external flawless term to her,etc of course she wouldn’t listen–hopefully this article will help her understand—-best info that I have found

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