FL Diamond Guide: Clarity & Price

FL Diamond Guide: Clarity & Price

Curious about FL Diamonds? In this handy Twirl Weddings guide, I’ll provide you with all the information you need to make informed decisions when buying FL diamonds. We’ll explore questions like:

  • Are diamonds labeled as flawless truly flawless?
  • Is it a wise investment to purchase flawless diamonds?
  • Tips for saving money when buying flawless diamonds.

What is an FL Diamond?

An FL diamond is a special type of diamond with a clarity grade of flawless. Flawless diamonds are the best grade you can find in the diamond industry. When a diamond is labeled as FL, it means that there are no visible imperfections or flaws that can be seen with the naked eye or even under 10x magnification.

However, it’s important to note that no diamond is absolutely perfect. Even diamonds classified as flawless may have tiny surface irregularities or faint blemishes that can only be seen with extremely powerful magnification, like beyond 50x.

Finding a flawless diamond is extremely rare, especially when it comes to larger carats. In fact, less than 1% of all graded diamonds are considered flawless.

Diamond Clarity and Inclusions

Diamond clarity plays a major role in determining the quality of a diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed a system called the 4Cs of Diamond Quality. This system focuses on four important aspects: the diamond’s cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

Each of the 4Cs has its own set of grading standards and charts. When a gemological laboratory examines a diamond, they assign a clarity grade based on the natural characteristics observed in the diamond.

These characteristics, also known as flaws, imperfections, or birthmarks, have official names: inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are characteristics that exist within the diamond and can come in various shapes and sizes. They are typically divided into internal inclusions and surface blemishes. In general, inclusions may affect the visibility of the diamond rather than its durability. However, certain blemishes on the surface can impact durability if the diamond is accidentally struck in a vulnerable spot.

SI2 Clarity Radiant Cut Diamond
VS2 Clarity Princess Cut Diamond

It’s worth noting that these types of blemishes are not commonly found in diamonds that are commonly available in the market.

The Official GIA Clarity Scale

At the GIA laboratory, the graders carefully examine and evaluate the specifics of inclusions and surface blemishes using the following criteria:

Size: They consider the size of the inclusions and blemishes present in the diamond.
Location: Inclusions located in the center table facet of the diamond are more noticeable compared to those found on the outer edges or in the pavilion.
Color: Inclusions in commercial diamonds are usually either white or dark in color. Dark inclusions are more visible than white ones. Sometimes, diamonds may even have bright colored inclusions caused by other gem materials like garnets or emeralds, but these are not typically found in stores.
Nature: There are different types of inclusions and characteristics in diamonds. Some can impact the durability of the diamond, while others primarily affect its visibility. Some inclusions occur during the diamond’s growth process, while others may happen during the cutting and polishing stages.
Relief: This refers to how an inclusion or blemish appears in relation to the surrounding area, specifically how it looks in relation to the facet cuts around it.

After carefully considering these factors, the diamond is assigned a clarity grade using the official GIA Clarity Scale.

diamond clarity scale

Not all gemological labs that give clarity grades are equally strict or well-known like the GIA. Many labs still follow the clarity scale established by the GIA when assigning clarity grades.

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FL Diamonds vs IF Diamonds

An IF diamond is positioned slightly below an FL diamond on the clarity scale. The dissimilarity between the two is minimal. Both internally flawless (IF) and flawless (FL) diamonds are highly rare and possess exceptional clarity grades. Neither of these grades has any visible imperfections that can be seen with the naked eye.

FL Clarity Diamond
IF Clarity Diamond

However, FL diamonds are even rarer and consequently come with a higher price tag. Typically, the price difference for an FL diamond ranges from a 10% to over 40% increase, depending on the quality factors.

As you opt for higher carat weights in FL clarity diamonds, the price increment rises significantly due to the scarcity of larger carat-sized FL diamonds.

Whether you choose internally flawless or flawless diamonds, you can obtain a stunning diamond. Both types lack visible inclusions that would hinder light performance or compromise durability.

Unlike flawless diamonds, internally flawless diamonds may exhibit surface blemishes when observed under higher magnification. These blemishes are undetectable under 10x magnification but become visible beyond that level.

FL Diamonds vs VVS1 Diamond Clarity

VVS1 diamonds are two clarity grades lower than flawless (FL) diamonds. Both clarity grades are classified as high clarity and are considered eye clean.

VVS diamonds, which stands for Very, Very Slightly Included, may have small blemishes and inclusions when viewed under 10x magnification. However, these inclusions are typically not noticeable or dark in color. On the other hand, FL diamonds do not have any blemishes or inclusions visible under 10x magnification.

Usually, VVS diamonds are still considered expensive, although not as costly as flawless diamonds. VVS diamonds make up less than 5% of all graded diamonds, which is more common compared to the rarity of FL diamonds, accounting for only 1%.

In general, a VVS1 diamond can cost around 20% to over 40% less than an FL diamond.

How Much Do Flawless Diamonds Cost?

If we assume that all other aspects of a flawless diamond, such as its color and cut, are of good quality, it is reasonable to expect that flawless diamonds will be expensive. After all, they are the top clarity grade available on the GIA clarity scale.

The cost of a flawless diamond depends on various factors, including its color and the other components of the 4Cs (cut, carat weight). For example, a flawless diamond with a D color grade will generally be more expensive than a J color flawless diamond of similar quality.

However, it’s important to note that the price of a diamond is determined by a combination of different factors, so it is not guaranteed that all flawless diamonds will be pricier than diamonds with lower clarity grades or even internally flawless diamonds.

Typically, the price of a flawless diamond starts at a higher range and increases as the other quality factors improve. As the carat weight of flawless diamonds increases, the price goes up significantly.

In general, a flawless diamond with a one-carat weight can range in price from $10,000 to well over $100,000, depending on the highest quality grades and other factors.

Save on FL Diamonds with Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds offer an excellent opportunity to acquire high-quality diamonds at a significantly reduced cost compared to diamonds extracted from the earth. These diamonds are real and are created in a laboratory setting by replicating the conditions that occur naturally underground.

Lab-grown diamonds adhere to the same quality standards, crystal structure, and grading as natural diamonds. Additionally, their production is much simpler than the diamond mining process, making them more environmentally friendly.

Due to the ease of production, lab-grown diamonds have different monetary values and prices compared to mined diamonds. According to industry experts, lab-created diamonds can be 20-40% less expensive than mined diamonds of equivalent grades.

If you decide to purchase a lab-grown diamond engagement ring, you can obtain a flawless diamond at a considerable discount. However, it’s important to note that they won’t be exceptionally cheap, as flawless is still the highest clarity grade on the scale.

On average, a lab-grown diamond with flawless clarity and a one-carat weight can be found in the price range of around $3,000 to $8,000. As the carat weight increases, the price may also increase, but not to the extent seen with mined diamonds.

Is FL Clarity Suitable for an Engagement Ring?

Many people assume that a flawless diamond is always the epitome of a stunning engagement ring. However, that’s not necessarily true.

When it comes to commercially sold diamonds, both online and in physical stores, flawless diamonds are generally considered to be of high quality. However, it has become more challenging to find true high-quality diamonds with the increasing number of customers visiting individual seller stores like Etsy.

For someone who is not well-versed in cut quality, they may not realize that a half-carat flawless diamond with an I color grade and a Good cut grade may not be classified as a high-quality diamond.

Remember, diamond quality is not solely determined by clarity. If the cut quality is lacking, even a flawless diamond can appear dull. Additionally, the rarity of flawless diamonds diminishes if other factors are not up to par.

Assuming that all other aspects of the diamond are well-balanced in terms of quality, it is reasonable to believe that a ring with a flawless diamond will be beautiful.

However, personally, I don’t believe that a flawless diamond offers the best value for an exquisite engagement ring.

In my opinion, it is not necessary to have the highest grades in all aspects in order to have a perfect diamond engagement ring. Why pay more than necessary for a gorgeous diamond ring?

Unless, of course, money is not an issue for you. If that’s the case, then go ahead and splurge. We’re all a little envious of you.

For the rest of us, diamond prices can be quite expensive. And there’s no reason to pay more for something that you can’t see with your own eyes.

Let me break it down for you if you’re still unsure.

Typically, the following clarity grades are considered to have stones that are visually clean:

So, here’s my logic. If all of these clarity grades do not have visible inclusions without magnification, why would I pay for the highest tier with the highest price?

I mean, let’s be honest, most people don’t plan on scrutinizing their diamond ring under magnification once they’ve purchased it. And the only difference between these visually clean clarity grades is how their inclusions look under magnification. I’d much rather save some money without any noticeable visual difference.

After all, the price difference between VS diamonds and FL diamonds is significant. Flawless diamonds can come with a cost increase of over 30% to 50%.

Why You Should Buy a Certified FL Diamond

When buying a loose diamond or an engagement ring, it is always recommended to choose a certified diamond. Certified diamonds come with a card or digital report that provides detailed information about the diamond or the engagement ring.

gia certification

Certification is also known as a grading report. It’s important to select a certified diamond from a reputable and consistent grading lab in the industry. Not all grading labs that provide reports for diamonds can be trusted, so be cautious.

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I strongly advise against purchasing uncertified diamonds, such as those found at popular retailers like Kay’s or Zales. Without certification from a trusted authority, there is no tangible evidence to support the claimed quality of the diamond.

In today’s market, where more people are turning to sellers on platforms like Etsy and Facebook, having proof of quality is crucial. It is especially important when it comes to flawless diamonds, which are among the most expensive diamonds available, particularly in larger carat weights. The rarity of flawless diamonds emphasizes the need for verifiable proof to ensure that the diamond you are purchasing is truly flawless. Otherwise, you run the risk of paying for a lower quality diamond than what you were led to believe.

Best Places to Buy the Best FL Diamonds

To me, the perfect diamond is both stunning and offers great value. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy being able to save money while still indulging in high-quality items. I appreciate the finer things in life, even though my wallet may not always agree.

Thankfully, there are numerous ways to save money when purchasing diamonds. One method that I highly recommend is buying flawless (FL) diamonds online.

However, I advise against purchasing them from just any online source. It’s important to choose a reputable online retailer that provides customer reviews and has established connections in the diamond industry.

Finding internally flawless or flawless diamonds at local physical jewelry stores may prove more challenging. On the other hand, online platforms typically offer a wide selection of loose stones. You can often examine them in high magnification and use filters to narrow down your options based on your desired grades.

Frequently Asked Questions On Flawless Diamond Clarity

Are flawless diamonds worth more money than diamonds with lower clarity grades?

Yes, flawless diamonds are highly valuable because they are extremely rare and have a perfect clarity. Their scarcity and flawless appearance contribute to their higher monetary worth compared to diamonds with lower clarity grades.

Can you see any imperfections in flawless diamonds with your eyes?

Flawless diamonds are evaluated and graded under 10x magnification, where no inclusions or flaws are visible. However, it is still possible for a flawless diamond to have very tiny imperfections or blemishes that cannot be seen without magnification.

Are flawless diamonds a good choice for investment?

Flawless diamonds are often considered excellent investments because of their rarity and enduring value. However, it’s important to take into account other factors such as the diamond’s cut, color, and carat weight when assessing its investment potential.

Do flawless diamonds come in different shapes and sizes?

Yes, flawless diamonds are available in various shapes and sizes. Whether you prefer a round brilliant, princess, or any other diamond shape, you can find flawless diamonds that match your preferences.

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