Jewelry Blog

Expert Guide to the IF Clarity Diamond

what is an if clarity diamond

When shopping for a diamond engagement ring or other jewelry, people often aim for eye-clean diamonds, and with an IF clarity diamond, you won’t have to worry about visible inclusions. While there is no such thing as a perfectly pure diamond, IF clarity diamonds come pretty close.

If you have your heart set on an IF clarity diamond, you’ve come to the right place. This article will cover what you need to know about this diamond clarity grade.

What Is IF Clarity?

what is an IF clarity diamond infographic with round loose diamond

IF Clarity represents diamonds that are categorized as “Internally Flawless”. Clarity is one of the most important aspects of diamond quality assessment since it measures the presence or absence of internal and external physical characteristics of a diamond.

A diamond’s clarity is graded based on the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) clarity scale, which starts with flawless diamonds and ends with included diamonds. IF diamonds take second place on GIA’s scale, right after FL (flawless) diamonds. The abbreviation “IF” stands for internally flawless, and it signifies diamonds with no visible inclusions under 10x magnification. To the naked eye, an IF clarity diamond looks exactly what its name implies – flawless.

If you want an IF clarity diamond for your engagement ring or other special piece of jewelry, you should know they’re on the pricier side. What makes them so desirable is their rarity. It’s not common to find diamonds with no visible inclusions, especially under a microscope. An IF clarity diamond is a symbol of purity and unconditional love because it offers timeless perfection and beauty.

IF Diamond Pricing and Chart

Eight-Diamond Chart Of Varying Clarity With Highlighted Inclusions

A loose, 1-carat IF clarity diamond can cost $6,000, but it can also be worth $9,000, depending on its other characteristics, like color and cut. IF clarity diamonds are not for those who are on a budget, as their prices are much higher compared to lower clarity grades. This chart shows the average prices for loose, round-cut IF clarity diamonds with different carat weights.

Carat WeightPrice

Keep in mind that these are the average prices for loose stones, which are diamonds that haven’t been set yet. Once you add the settings, the total price of the diamond ring will increase.

The price will differ depending on the color and cut of the diamond. For example, a round-cut 1-carat IF clarity diamond with a D color will be around $9,000. But if you settle on a lower-level color from the G-J category, you’ll be able to get the diamond for a much lower price. For instance, an H color IF clarity diamond is usually around $6,000.

Expert Tip: The diamond’s cut can influence the price. The table above shows the average prices of round cut IF clarity diamonds. If you opt for a different cut, like the princess cut, you can get the same-sized diamond for $5,000. Cushion and Asscher cuts would also cost less, but lengthier cuts, like the oval, marquise, and pearl cuts, will be more expensive.

If you’re interested in specific IF clarity diamond prices, you can fill out the form at the bottom of this article. Our diamond experts will tell you what to expect in terms of pricing.

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

If you’re thinking about buying an IF clarity diamond, there are many factors you need to take into consideration. After all, a diamond engagement ring is a huge investment, so it should be worth the money. Here are the most important pros and cons of IF clarity diamonds.

Pros of IF Clarity Diamonds

Internally Flawless IF Clarity Pisa Diamond Ring On Finger.

Whether you’re buying a diamond engagement ring, earrings, or necklace for that special someone or you get to choose one for yourself, it’s only natural you want the perfect piece. One way to achieve this is with an IF clarity diamond. After all, the words “internally flawless” speak for themselves.

The main reason people go for internally flawless diamonds is that they are nearly perfect from the inside out. Perfection is a luxury many people would like to obtain, and what better way to do this than with a flashy, transparent, and inclusion-free diamond?

Another reason IF clarity diamonds are so popular is because they’re rare. Having something that’s unique and that few other people have made internally flawless diamonds ideal for engagement rings.

Cons of IF Clarity Diamonds

Three-Stone Cartier Ring With IF Clarity Diamond And Sheild Cut Side Sapphires.

If you’re on a tight budget, an IF clarity diamond might not be for you. Internally flawless diamonds are quite pricey compared to diamonds with lower-grade clarity. As we mentioned before, you can expect to pay $5,000 to $9,000 for an IF clarity diamond that only has 1 carat.

Another thing to consider is that finding an IF clarity diamond might be a challenge because they’re so rare. Together, FL and IF clarity diamonds make up only 1% of all natural diamonds in the world. That’s also the reason they command such high prices. You might not be able to find one right away.

Expert Tip: If you were to put an IF clarity diamond and a VVS1 clarity diamond next to each other, an untrained eye wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Any inclusions would only show up under a microscope. That’s why buying an IF clarity diamond for such a high price might not be worth it for some people.

Types of Inclusions in an IF Clarity Diamond

top-down view of a round diamond.

Gemologists look at five important factors to grade a diamond’s clarity. Those are the size, number, position, nature, and color of inclusions within a diamond. Naturally, the more imperfections a diamond has, the lower its clarity grade will be. These inclusions are formed together with the diamond. It happens due to exposure to extreme heat and pressure 100 miles below the Earth’s crust.

Even though IF clarity diamonds don’t have visible inclusions under 10x magnification, they might come with external characteristics, otherwise known as blemishes. The most common types of blemishes that might appear on an IF clarity diamond include scratches, surface graining, polish lines, extra facets, and dark or light spots. Of course, a diamond can also come with chips, nicks, or similar types of damage.

This is why the diamond’s cut is more important than its clarity. It might not even matter if the diamond is perfectly transparent and has no inclusions. If it isn’t cut properly, it will greatly affect its overall quality and value.

How to Buy a Loose IF Clarity Diamond

Loose IF clarity Diamond.

When buying a diamond engagement ring, some people like to start with loose stones and design a suitable setting for the diamond afterward. While buying a loose diamond has many advantages, it might be complicated for first-timers. There are various online jewelry stores that offer loose diamonds, but they can all look the same to someone who knows nothing about diamonds. Since it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices, you can risk missing important details and end up buying a diamond you won’t be happy with.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, you should do some research and decide exactly what you’re looking for. If you want an IF clarity diamond, you might have to sacrifice something else, like the color or the quality of the cut. Once you decide what kind of loose diamond you want, write it down and show it to your jeweler. They can help you find the perfect IF clarity diamond.

If you need help buying an IF clarity diamond, our trained diamond experts can help you. All you need to do is fill out the form below and you’ll get access to Estate Diamond Jewelry’s search options that can help you find what you’re looking for.

IF vs. VVS1

top-down views of round IF clarity and VVS clarity diamonds

“VVS1” stands for very, very slightly included. As opposed to IF diamonds, VVS1 diamonds can have some internal inclusions. However, they are so tiny, it’s challenging to perceive them even with a 10x magnification lens. In fact, the inclusions are so microscopic, they don’t affect the diamond’s brilliance or transparency at all.

The VVS1 clarity grade is very popular because customers get eye-clean diamonds for a much lower price. A round cut 1-carat VVS1 clarity diamond can cost around $5,000. Not only that, but to the naked eye, IF and VVS1 diamonds would look the same.

That’s why we advise you to buy a VVS1 clarity diamond if you’re on a budget. They’re just as beautiful as IF diamonds, and they offer the same eye-cleanliness. If however, you’re looking to invest in the highest value piece you can afford, then an IF clarity diamond is a good choice.

FL vs. IF

top-down views of round IF clarity and FL clarity diamonds

The main difference between flawless and internally flawless diamonds is that the first category doesn’t have visible inclusions and blemishes under 10x magnification, while the latter has no inclusions. In other words, the presence of microscopic external characteristics is the only factor that sets these two clarity grades apart.

It’s incredibly challenging to differentiate between FL and IF diamonds, even for skilled gemologists. Even though they’re almost the same, internally flawless diamonds tend to cost less than flawless diamonds. Flawless diamonds are 25% to 35% more expensive than internally flawless diamonds.

If you’re torn between an FL clarity diamond and an IF clarity diamond, our advice is to get an internally flawless diamond. Not only is it impossible to tell the difference between these two clarity grades, but you can buy an IF diamond without breaking the bank.

Top 7 Insider Tips and Tricks for Buying IF Clarity Diamonds

Buying a diamond engagement ring should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To make sure you find the best possible option at a great price, follow these seven insider tips and tricks. These are good rules to follow for any other pieces of diamond jewelry as well.

1. Pick the Perfect Diamond Cut

bold diamond engagement ring with four side diamonds and a platinum mounting.

As we said before, the cut is the most important “C” diamond characteristic of the “4 Cs.” Some cuts work better with high-clarity diamonds, while others are universal. When it comes to IF clarity diamonds, you are free to choose any cut you want. You won’t have to worry about the cut revealing or magnifying the inclusions.

The emerald cut and Asscher cut are ideal for an IF clarity diamond. They’re step cuts that accentuate the diamond’s transparency. Another good option is the round brilliant cut, which can make diamonds with different clarity grades more brilliant.

2. Consider Buying an Antique Diamond

Large Rose-Cut Diamond on platinum micro-pavé mounting

Some people prefer antique jewelry because it’s one of a kind. If you’re looking for an antique IF clarity diamond that no one else has, you can find it at Estate Diamond Jewelry. Take a look at the Calabria ring. This gorgeous ring features a rose cut, I color, IF clarity diamond of 2.34 carats. The beautiful diamond is set in prongs, while smaller diamonds decorate the under-gallery and the shank.

There are many other stunning IF clarity diamonds at Estate Diamond Jewelry. If you’re interested in seeing them, take a moment to fill out the form below.

3. Never Shop From an Unreliable Jeweler

Expert Jeweler Helping A Customer In The Estate Diamond Jewelry Showroom.

You need to be careful when buying a diamond engagement ring, especially if you’re planning to get it online. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a diamond, make sure you buy it from a reputable jeweler. The last thing you want is to receive a diamond that looks nothing like the photo. Shopping from a reliable jeweler will give you peace of mind. Not only will you avoid getting scammed, you’ll also receive the best value for the money.

4. The Lower Carat Trick

small platinum diamond engagement ring with diamond halo.

It’s only natural to want a big rock, but sometimes, bigger isn’t better. Not to mention that IF clarity diamonds are particularly expensive. Getting a smaller carat size will allow you to focus on other characteristics while staying within your budget. You don’t have to get a 0.5-carat diamond, just go a little bit under.

Instead of buying a 2-carat diamond, opt for a 1.99-carat diamond. Similarly, if you don’t want to pay the price of a 1-carat diamond, choose a 0.99-carat diamond instead. Even though the variances in size are minimal, the prices are quite different.

5. The Diamond Should Be GIA-Certified

Tray of Diamond Engagement Rings in estate diamond jewelry Showroom.

The better the diamond seems, the bigger the risk of getting scammed. That’s why you should always ask for a diamond certificate that proves it’s an IF diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is responsible for assessing a diamond’s clarity, so make sure to ask for a GIA certificate. This is especially important for diamonds that have a VVS2 clarity and higher.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Yellow

Diamond Engagement Ring featuring round diamond on a Yellow Gold Mounting.

Since internally flawless diamonds are pricey, you might have to give up other characteristics to stay within budget. If you’re thinking about getting an IF clarity diamond with a yellow tint, don’t worry. There are a few ways you can make the yellow seem to go away. The easiest method is with a yellow gold mounting. Instead of choosing a setting that will create a sharp contrast and maximize the yellow undertones, a yellow gold mounting will make it blend in.

7. Negotiate the Price of the Diamond

Customer looking at a diamond engagement ring.

If you’re not happy with the price of an IF clarity diamond you like, there are ways to reduce it without giving up the diamond’s quality. It’s possible to negotiate a lower price. You may also find a promo code on the website or ask for a discount. This way, you’ll be able to get a 5% to 15% reduction in the total price.

If you want to know more about negotiating on your engagement ring, you’ll find lots of useful tips in this article.

Guide to Purchasing an IF Clarity Diamond Ring

dainty diamond engagement ring featuring a diamond on each shoulder.

If you’re planning to buy an IF clarity diamond ring, these are some of the things you need to consider.

When people shop for diamond rings, they normally want to see the diamond in person. If the diamond is GIA-certified, and if you buy from a reputable jeweler, there won’t be a need for this. Internally flawless diamonds won’t have any eye-visible inclusions. So as long as you’re shopping from a reputable company, you don’t need to be afraid to order an internally flawless diamond online.

Not all jewelry stores will have IF diamonds. Some jewelers only sell IF diamonds in their stores, so you might not be able to find them online. If you can’t find IF diamonds on their website, you can always ask them directly. It might take you some time to find the perfect internally flawless diamond, so don’t give up quickly.

To know exactly what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to do some online research. Maybe you’ll find something else that is more appealing. You’ll be able to find the diamond you want faster.

If you want to buy a loose diamond, you’ll have to know exactly how to set it. To avoid overcomplicating matters, it’s better to buy a pre-mounted diamond.

IF clarity diamonds come in various settings, like solitaire, halo, and three-stone settings. Make sure to choose a setting that accentuates the ring’s clarity and brilliance. Solitaire settings are always a good option, but if you want that wow effect, halo-style settings are the way to go.

Talk to a Diamond Expert

Expert jeweler in the Estate Diamond Jewelry Showroom.

IF diamonds have no visible inclusions under 10x magnification, and come in at second place on GIA’s clarity scale. What makes them so special and desirable is their rarity, as they only account for 1% of all the diamonds ever found in the world. If you’re buying an IF clarity diamond for someone, they’re truly lucky.

For those who might need some help picking out the perfect IF clarity diamond, feel free to fill out the form below. We’ll be happy to help you find the diamond ring of your dreams.


About Afshin Shaddaie

Afshin moved to New York City in the 1980s, and a few years later, he began his career in the fine and rare jewelry scene. He teamed up with Michael Khordipour, and they've been curating vintage jewelry ever since. He also regularly contributes to Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, The Knot, and Insider. Afshin constantly travels to international shows and private viewing events in the hope of finding rare vintage rings that will be important enough to make an impression. He is available for appointments at our New York showroom when he's not traveling. In 2019, Afshin authored his book called The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on vintage jewelry and antique diamonds. His favorite jewelry era is Art Nouveau, and he loves rare Italian jewelry from the 1950s - 1970s. The Natural Saltwater Pearl is his favorite precious jewel.