A certified gemological laboratory conducts a thorough evaluation of every diamond before making it available for purchase. A prominent focus is placed on determining the diamond's clarity.
The evaluation of lab-grown diamond clarity involves more than simply evaluating its transparency. This involves looking closely at the kind, size, and number of imperfections in a stone. Diamonds with numerous imperfections or larger sizes receive lower clarity ratings.
Clarity grades are denoted by letter grades, spanning from the highest, "Flawless" (F), to the lowest, "Included" (I). In addition to these primary grades, some include numbered sub-categories like 1, 2, or 3, as exemplified by SI1 and SI2. Within this grading system, a higher number correlates with a superior level of clarity.
A FL lab diamond is the perfect diamond, without any imperfections. These diamonds are exceptionally rare and are treasured for their clarity. In fact, D color (colorless) flawless diamonds constitute a mere 0.001% of the total global diamond production, underlining their extraordinary scarcity.
Flawless diamonds are not only free of internal imperfections but also surface blemishes. This pristine condition allows them to radiate brilliance without any interference from inclusions. Even under the scrutiny of a jeweler using a 10x magnification loupe, no blemishes are visible in a flawless diamond. Such gems occupy a unique and highly coveted category, boasting one of the highest clarity grades available.
This makes buyers for D IF diamonds exceedingly rare, particularly when considering that stones just a few grades lower in color and/or clarity can offer equal beauty at a significantly lower cost. There's clearly an emotional element at play when it comes to D IF diamonds, as these premium gems are sought by individuals who demand nothing but the very best, regardless of the associated cost.
Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds also rank among the top two clarity grades for diamonds, second only to "FL" (Flawless). Most people consider IF and FL grades to be virtually indistinguishable, as they both signify diamonds that are essentially flawless.
The GIA defines an IF diamond based on the following clarity criteria: "No inclusions are visible, and only blemishes can be discerned by a trained grader using 10× magnification." This description can sometimes lead to confusion, as it mirrors that of a flawless diamond. An IF diamond would indeed earn the FL grade were it not for some minor feature on the diamond's surface, such as an abrasion, scratch, natural marking, or surface graining. While these blemishes remain invisible to the naked eye, they are sufficient to relegate a diamond from an FL to an IF grade.
Unlike flawless diamonds, internally flawless diamonds may exhibit surface blemishes. Special equipment and meticulous examination are necessary to determine whether a visibly blemished gem still qualifies as internally flawless.
Interestingly, FL man-made diamonds still command prices that are up to 30% higher than IF diamonds, a significant premium, considering that IF diamonds are already quite costly. Surface blemishes can emerge from wear and tear, so a diamond may transition from FL to IF merely due to the act of setting or wearing it. Consequently, most individuals seeking an engagement ring or other jewelry are often unwilling to pay a premium for FL over IF. IF lab-grown gemstones are considered a better value proposition.
When faced with the choice between a flawless stone and one with a VVS clarity grade, there are several factors to consider. A VVS1 lab-made diamond is the closest in clarity to a flawless diamond, while VVS2 diamonds have more inclusions than VVS1 stones. VVS stones feature inclusions that are perceptible under magnification but are generally considered eye-clean. The choice between these two hinges on your tolerance for inclusions that are only visible under magnification. If you're comfortable with such inclusions, opting for the VVS stone can lead to significant cost savings. An expert gemologist can assist in identifying the ideal VVS stone based on your objectives and budget.
You can purchase FL or IF lab-grown diamonds at Labrilliante. We are a manufacturer and supplier of lab-grown diamonds. Our team will help you find the perfect diamond!