What Percentage of Diamonds are Flawless? | The Diamond Reserve

What Percentage of Diamonds are Flawless?

Imagine a diamond devoid of any imperfections, its facets catching light with pristine brilliance. This is the elusive “flawless” diamond, a highly sought-after and coveted ideal in the world of gemstones, but how rare are these perfect gems, and are they truly worth the chase? While diamonds at this level of perfection are certainly rare, they are not unobtainable by any means. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of diamond clarity and uncover the facts behind flawless beauty.

Demystifying Flawless Diamonds

Diamonds form under immense pressure and heat deep within the Earth, and most develop internal markings like crystals, clouds, or feathers during this process. Many of these inclusions are so tiny, they aren’t visible to the naked eye, while others are more prominent and impact the desired characteristics of a diamond. The journey to flawless is arduous, and only a minuscule percentage, estimated to be between 0.5% and 1% of all mined diamonds, achieve the coveted “flawless” designation. 

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) established the industry standard for clarity grading, categorizing diamonds from Flawless and Internally Flawless to Included. At the very pinnacle of this scale sits Flawless (FL), signifying a gem completely free of internal inclusions visible under 10x magnification. Would that same diamond still be blemish-free at 100x magnification? Possibly not, but because of the absence of visible blemishes and inclusions (at 10x magnification), it’s considered flawless. 

The tricky thing about flawless diamonds is that they must be blemish-free internally and externally. If a diamond is only flawless internally, it’s known as Internally Flawless (IF). This is significant as the transportation, handling and jewelry setting processes can cause blemishes resulting in a loss of value, and once the diamond is purchased, it could be chipped or scratched at some point, meaning a “flawless” diamond may not be so forever. 

How Important is a Flawless Diamond? 

While flawless diamonds undoubtedly possess exceptional clarity, it’s crucial to understand that clarity is only one factor that influences a diamond’s value and beauty. And remember most of these “flawless” markings are microscopic, invisible to the naked eye, so unless you plan on scrutinizing your diamond with magnified intensity, the “flawless” label might not make a noticeable difference in its visual appeal. 

Flawless diamonds command a significant price premium, sometimes exceeding 10 times the price of a similar diamond with a slightly lower clarity grade, and many “flawless” diamonds have microscopic inclusions that have minimal impact on its overall aesthetics and sparkle. It’s important to weigh the added cost against the actual aesthetic benefit, especially considering most inclusions are invisible to the unaided eye.

Undoubtedly diamond clarity is important, but it’s only one of the “Four Cs” that determine a diamond’s value and sparkle.

  • Cut: A well-cut diamond with expertly angled facets, maximizes light and brilliance, making it dance with fire. Even a “flawless” diamond won’t sparkle without a masterful cut.
  • Color: Dazzling whites and near-colorless grades (D-F) are highly sought-after, but slightly warmer hues (G-J) can offer significant value while still appearing stunningly white to the naked eye.
  • Carat Weight: This determines the size of the diamond, but size isn’t everything, a smaller, well-cut diamond with superior color and clarity might be a wiser choice than a larger stone with compromised characteristics.

Instead of fixating solely on “flawless,” prioritize cut and color, which have a more significant impact on a diamond’s visual beauty and brilliance. A slightly lower clarity grade with exceptional cut and color might offer better value and still captivate you with its sparkle.

Contact one of our diamond and fine jewelry experts or call (720) 560-3548 for more information about clarity and grading, and to find the perfect engagement ring or wedding set.