Jewelry Blog

Expert Guide to the FL Clarity Diamond

infographic with informations about fl clarity

If you’re planning to pop the question soon, you need to find the perfect diamond first. And what could be more perfect than an FL clarity diamond? “FL” stands for flawless, and it’s used for diamonds that are free of inclusions and blemishes. In other words, an FL clarity diamond is perfect from the inside out.

This expert guide will teach you what you need to know about FL clarity diamonds and what makes them so special.

What Is FL Clarity?

What is FL clarity infographic featuring top-down view of a diamond

One of the first things you need to know about diamonds is that no two diamonds are the same. Each earth-mined diamond has a unique crystalline structure. Formed under extreme heat and pressure, diamonds can appear with internal characteristics (inclusions) and external characteristics (blemishes). Inclusions can take the form of small bubbles, cracks, and similar microscopic imperfections.

The absence of imperfections within a diamond is formally known as clarity. A diamond’s clarity, or the number of inclusions, can determine how easily light can travel through the diamond. Together with color, cut, and carat weight, clarity is one of the most important quality-determining characteristics of a diamond.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed a clarity grading system that consists of six levels of clarity. On the bottom of the scale are I1, I2, and I3 diamonds, which are heavily included. At the other end of the scale is the FL clarity grade, and they’re considered flawless.

FL clarity diamonds have no inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification. In terms of clarity, FL diamonds are the most sought-after gemstones in the world. They’re incredibly rare, commanding the highest prices on the diamond market. In fact, only 1% of natural diamonds have an FL rating.

FL Diamond Pricing and Chart

five old mine-cut diamonds on a carpeted surface
Old Mine Diamond

Since they’re so rare, FL clarity diamonds cost much more than diamonds with other clarity grades, even though they might have the same color, cut, and carat weight. A well-cut 1-carat FL clarity diamond can cost from $6,000 to $10,000. The total price depends on many other factors, but we’ll get to that later.

Here’s an overview of the average price for an FL clarity diamond with different carat weights.

Carat WeightPrice
0.5 carats $3,500
1 carat$7,500
1.5 carats $20,000
2 carats$33,000
3 carats $140,000
4 carats$230,000
5 carats$400,000
6 carats $560,000

As you can see, FL clarity diamonds are extremely expensive. If you want an FL clarity diamond with five or more carats, it can cost half a million dollars.

The price of an FL clarity diamond can change depending on many factors, like the diamond’s color and cut. If you’re determined to get a perfect diamond engagement ring, you’ll probably want a colorless diamond. Diamonds that belong in the D-F color scale are quite pricey, so be prepared to pay even more for this combination. You could save thousands of dollars by choosing a diamond color from the G-J category.

The cut can also cause a major shift in price. For instance, a 1-carat Asscher-cut FL clarity diamond costs around $6,000, much cheaper than the round brilliant cut. On the other hand, a 1-carat princess-cut FL clarity diamond can go for $10,000.

If you want to know more about FL clarity diamond pricing, we advise you to talk to a diamond expert. You can do so by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this article.

Is It a Good Idea to Buy an FL Clarity Diamond?

If you’re thinking about buying an FL clarity diamond, here are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind.

Pros of Buying an FL Clarity Diamond

diamond engagement ring with dainty band displayed on a womans finger

If you buy an FL clarity diamond, you’ll have a truly unique diamond engagement ring. Since they’re so rare, it’s hard to find flawless diamonds on the market. If you manage to get your hands on one, you’re lucky!

The most notable upside of FL clarity diamonds is their immaculate crystalline structure. They are free of any internal and external imperfections that can be seen with 10x magnification. In other words, you’ll be able to propose with a diamond that is perfect in every way.

Cons of Buying an FL Clarity Diamond

woman holding diamond engagement ring considering whether to buy it or not

The biggest disadvantage of an FL clarity diamond is that you will spend a fortune on it, especially if you want a diamond engagement ring with more than 1 carat. As you can see from the chart above, FL clarity diamonds can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Chances are, you’ll have some trouble finding an FL clarity diamond. We mentioned that only 1% of natural diamonds have the FL clarity grading. However, did you know that FL clarity diamonds that have a D color grade make up just 0.001% of diamonds in the entire world? Since they’re so rare, you might not be able to find an FL clarity diamond with the cut, color, or carat weight you initially wanted.

Expert Tip: It’s also important to mention that diamonds with a lower clarity grade can look identical to a flawless diamond to the naked eye. It’s the same with D color diamonds and F color diamonds. They look the same, but the price differences are astronomical. You might ask yourself if such an expensive investment is worth it if you could just go home with a much cheaper diamond that looks the same.

Types of Inclusions in an FL Clarity Diamond

top-down view of round diamond with an FL clarity grade

Ideally, you don’t want to see any eye-visible inclusions in your diamond. But just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Even FL clarity diamonds carry inclusions, you just can’t see them at a certain magnification ratio. The truth is, there is no such thing as a diamond with non-existent inclusions. It’s simply the way they are formed.

Gemologists determine a diamond’s clarity by looking at the size, number, location, and nature of its inclusions. All of these factors can impact a diamond’s visual appearance, minimizing its brilliance and beauty. Inclusions refer to whatever gets trapped in the diamond’s structure during its formation.

The most common types of diamond inclusions are crystals, graining, pinpoints, feathers, clouds, and twinning wisps. One diamond can appear with all of these types of inclusions at once. It’s even possible to find crystals growing inside the diamond. As long as they’re not surface-breaking inclusions or blemishes, you have nothing to worry about.

If you want to buy an FL clarity diamond, you won’t have to worry about inclusions at all. Even though they may exist, it’s physically impossible to perceive them. Only trained gemologists can see the inclusions with the help of a special microscope.

How to Buy a Loose FL

top-down view of round FL diamond and loose Diamond in Diamond Box

When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, you’ll have to decide whether you want to buy a loose diamond or a complete ring together with the setting.

If you want a loose FL clarity diamond, there are many online jewelry shops you can check. The main issue of online shopping for loose diamonds is that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If this is your first time looking for diamonds, it might be slightly complicated. With so many options out there, you might focus on the wrong thing and miss important details. Not to mention that they all look the same.

To prevent this from happening, you can write a list of criteria you’re looking for in a loose diamond. For example, “FL clarity,” “round brilliant cut,” “E color,” “1.5 carats,” and similar. You can give this list to a jeweler and ask them to find the ideal loose diamond for you. If you need a jeweler’s help, fill out the form at the bottom of this page and you can have access to Estate Diamond Jewelry’s search options.

FL vs. IF Clarity Diamonds

FL Clarity vs. IF Clarity Diamonds

“FL” stands for flawless, and “IF” means internally flawless. While FL clarity diamonds take first place on GIA’s clarity scale, IF clarity diamonds are right behind them.

An untrained eye wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an IF and FL clarity diamond. Under 10x magnification, FL diamonds don’t exhibit internal or external inclusions, while IF clarity diamonds can come with some blemishes on their surface. These blemishes can take the form of polish marks, surface graining, extra facets, or naturally occurring imperfections. The reason diamond cutters don’t remove these blemishes is that they don’t want to minimize the diamond’s carat weight.

The biggest difference between an FL clarity diamond and an IF clarity diamond is its price. Internally flawless clarity diamonds are 25% to 35% less expensive than flawless diamonds. Still, IF diamonds are much pricier than diamonds with lower clarity levels.

If you want our recommendation, you shouldn’t spend so much money on an FL clarity diamond if you don’t like its other characteristics. Instead of focusing on the perfect clarity, you can get a diamond with VVS1 or VVS2 clarity, but with better color, cut, and carat weight.

Top 7 Insider Tips and Tricks for Buying FL Clarity

If you’re contemplating buying an FL clarity diamond but you’re not sure where to look or what to look for, these seven insider tips and tricks will help you.

1. Ask for a GIA certificate

Loose Diamond in a diamond box with  accompanying GIA Certificate

Whether you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring online or in person, always ask to see the diamond certificate. Every diamond should come with a certificate, GIA certificates being the most reliable. If you want to buy a diamond with VVS2 clarity and higher, the certificate will prove you’re not being scammed. This is especially important for FL clarity diamonds.

2. Consider a Slightly Smaller Diamond

minimal and delicate diamond engagement ring with split shank

When people shop for diamond engagement rings, one of the first factors they have to think about is the carat weight, which usually affects the price the most. If you have your sights set on a larger stone, we advise you to go a little bit smaller. Instead of buying a 1-carat diamond, opt for a 0.99-carat diamond. Instead of a 2-carat diamond, choose a 1.99-carat diamond.

The differences in carat weight are so small, that they’re almost nonexistent. However, the smaller carat size will cause a major shift in price. This will allow you to get a high-quality FL clarity diamond while staying within your budget.

3. Shop for an Antique Diamond

diamond engagement ring featuring a floral diamond cluster and delicate band

While you can always buy a lab-grown diamond that was visually enhanced, buying an antique FL clarity diamond is more special. Antique and vintage engagement rings are at least 100 years old. Since all diamond engagement rings were handmade at that time, you’ll know you have a truly unique ring.

Another reason you should buy an antique FL clarity diamond ring is because it’s rarer than newly made diamonds. In other words, if you ever decide to sell the ring, you’ll be able to charge a higher price due to its rarity.

4. Only Buy From a Reputable Company

Estate Diamond Jewelry expert jeweler in the Showroom with display cases

An FL clarity diamond is an expensive investment, which is why you need to be careful about where you buy it. It’s perfectly fine to buy a loose diamond online, just make sure the online jewelry store is trustworthy. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to photoshop a diamond and make it look perfect. To avoid receiving a heavily included diamond in the mail, only buy from reputable jewelers. It would be best if you could ask to see the ring in person before making the purchase.

5. Find a Promo Code or Ask for a Discount

woman looking at display case of diamond engagement rings

An FL clarity diamond engagement ring won’t be cheap, which is why you should try to get it for a lower price. You can do this by finding a promo code or asking for a discount. Most online jewelry stores offer discounts of 5% to 15% or promotion codes you can find on their website or social media channels. Even if the code has expired, if you ask nicely, they will probably extend it for you. Just don’t become confrontational, or you will never get the ring for a lower price.

If you want to know more about how to negotiate for an engagement ring, this article can help you.

6. Get a Yellow Gold Mounting

diamond engagement ring with yellow gold mounting and diamond halo

Even if you do find an FL clarity diamond engagement ring, it might not be in the D-F color range. You might have the budget for an FL clarity diamond, but not a D color diamond. Don’t forget that the G-J grades are near colorless, so they won’t exhibit any noticeable traces of yellow. If there are some yellow undertones, a neat way to conceal them is with a yellow gold mounting. Doing this means you will still have a good-quality ring without making the color obvious.

7. Choose the Right Cut

Asscher-cut diamond ring with diamond halo and adorned shoulders in box

People often think that clarity and color affect a diamond’s clarity the most. What truly influences a diamond’s appearance is its cut. That is, how well the stone was cut. If the diamond has a low-quality cut, it won’t matter if it has the FL clarity grade. Depending on where you get the diamond, you’ll be able to choose between good, very good, and ideal cuts. If you have the budget for it, choose an ideal cut diamond. It’s much more important than the diamond’s clarity.

Guide to Purchasing an FL Clarity Diamond Ring

Customer looking at display case of diamond engagement rings in showroom

These are some things you should consider when buying an FL clarity diamond or setting one into a ring.

FL clarity diamonds are hard to find, so you need to be patient.

Remember, the bigger the diamond, the more visible any inclusions will be. If you want the best cut-clarity combo for an FL diamond, the round brilliant cut is a perfect choice. Other cuts that hide inclusions well include the oval, pear, marquise, cushion, and radiant cut.

The material for the ring also matters. If you manage to find a diamond with a D-F color and FL clarity, the material will complement its beauty. Platinum and white gold can increase its shine, while yellow gold and rose gold can create a stunning contrast.

Do online research before you buy an FL clarity diamond. Based on your budget, see what your options are. Perhaps you’ll figure out that you would rather focus on the color or the carat weight instead of clarity.

Choose a setting that makes the diamond’s clarity pop. You can achieve this effect with a simple solitaire setting with a few side stones. Another option is to get a halo-style diamond engagement ring. They come in different shapes and sizes, and you can even get a halo made from other gemstones, like rubies, emeralds, or sapphires.

Talk to a Diamond Expert

Expert Jeweler helping customer in Estate Diamond Jewelry Showroom

There are three important things you need to know about FL clarity diamonds: they’re extremely rare, incredibly expensive, and above all else, unbelievably beautiful. “FL” stands for flawless, which is exactly what makes it so desirable and timeless. Even flawless diamonds come with tiny inclusions, we just can’t see them with the naked eye.

Evaluating a diamond’s clarity online can be tricky, which is why you should let a diamond expert help you. Fill out the form below and one of our diamond experts will reach out to you within just one business hour. If an FL clarity diamond from our website has caught your eye, don’t hesitate to contact us today.


About Benjamin Khordipour

Benjamin Khordipour is one of the jewelry researchers and gemologists at Estate Diamond Jewelry. He received his official gemological degrees from both the GIA and GUBELIN. He also regularly contributes to Business Insider, Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, and Brides Magazine. Benjamin was born in New York and joined Estate Diamond Jewelry in 2014. He is passionate about vintage jewelry and diamonds. This blog was built on his strong belief that jewelers have a responsibility to properly educate their customers. In 2019, Benjamin co-authored the book The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. His favorite vintage jewelry era is the Art Deco Era and his favorite type of stone is the Kashmir Sapphire. He also collects rare antique pins.