It is generally accepted that nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defects in bulk diamond are bright sources of luminescence. However, the exact value of their internal quantum efficiency (IQE) has not been measured so far. Here we use an implementation of Drexhage's scheme to quantify the IQE of shallow-implanted NV defects in a single-crystal bulk diamond. Using a spherical metallic mirror with a large radius of curvature compared to the optical spot size, we perform calibrated modifications of the local density of states around NV defects and observe the change of their total decay rate, which is further used for IQE quantification. We also show that at the excitation wavelength of 532 nm, photo-induced relaxation cannot be neglected even at moderate excitation powers well below the saturation level. For NV defects shallow implanted 4.5 ± 1 and 8 ± 2 nm below the diamond surface, we determine the quantum efficiency to be 0.70 ± 0.07 and 0.82 ± 0.08, respectively.