Everything You Need To Know About Inclusions

Perfectly flawless natural diamonds are extremely rare. Most of those that we see at the jewelers’ are those that have an imperfection of some sort. And although imperfections do little to curb the sentimental appeal of a diamond, they do impact its value.

Two of the most common types of imperfections are blemishes and inclusions, both have a direct impact on the diamond’s clarity grade. Blemishes are superficial while the inclusions are internal flaws. The latter is usually formed during the crystallization phase due to the distortion of the crystal lattice.

Inclusions are Important

Diamond Inclusions

Diamond Inclusions

Every natural diamond (except Flawless and Internally Flawless grade diamonds) has inclusions that are unique to it. It is one of the most fool-proof ways to identify your diamond amidst others. It also helps you differentiate between natural and lab-grown diamonds.

All you need is a diamond plot – an official document issued by the GIA or other certifying bodies that contain a detailed report on the structure of your diamond. These certifications also contain an elaborate record of each inclusion and blemish on your diamond, revealing the tale of your diamond’s individuality and uniqueness.

Types of Inclusions

According to its shape, expert graders have identified some of the most common types of inclusions found in diamonds. They’re classified as:

Pinpoints: As the name suggests, pinpoints appear as tiny dots. They can be positioned anywhere in the diamond. They’re easier to ignore given their inconspicuousness.

Needles: These manifest themselves as thin rod-like structures cutting across the diamond. They may be white or colorless. Too many needle inclusions can threaten the integrity of your diamond.

Feather: Feather inclusions take on the appearance of a feather, which may or may not be visible immediately. Large feather inclusions, particularly those approaching the surface, can diminish the durability of the stone considerably.

Cloud: These appear as clusters of pinpoints positioned close together. Large cloud inclusions can severely impact clarity, making the diamond appear hazy instead of sparkly. Small and scattered clouds, however, are not as problematic.

Crystals: During the crystallization of diamonds, presence of minerals can lead to crystal inclusions. Mineral particles tend to get lodged in the body of the diamond. They may or may not be colorless, and will, therefore, impact visual clarity accordingly.

Cavity: Cavity inclusions are rare. They appear as a deep opening in the diamond’s surface and are usually formed when a crystal falls out during cutting and/or polishing.

Graining: Irregular crystallization or crystal growth causes graining, creating reflective lines in the core of the diamond. It alters the appearance of the facets, making the stone appear hazy.

Bearding: These inclusions appear at the girdle if bruting isn’t done properly. By and large, it depends on how the diamond is handled. Severe bearding can reduce clarity.

Twinning Wisps: These occur naturally when a diamond stops growing (probably due to unfavorable environmental conditions) and then begins to regrow after a long period of time. The lattice distorts and grows in a different direction, causing twinning wisps. It may manifest as a mixture of several types of inclusions.

Chip: These inclusions are most likely to occur near the girdle of the stone, primarily due to the wear and tear caused by inappropriate handling and accidents.

Natural: The surface of a natural diamond isn’t smooth. The superficial and internal flaws that appear before polishing are referred to as natural inclusions.

Indented Natural: This type of inclusion typically exists at the girdle. It is the part of the diamond which is left untouched during the polishing phase, primarily because it is unreachable.

Bruise: These inclusions appear as a result of physical damage to the stone. It stays to remind you about the incident that led to its appearance!

Inclusions and blemishes directly lower the value of a diamond irrespective of their size or position. However, a skilled artist can design jewelry strategically in a way that doesn’t highlight the imperfection. There are ways to disguise inclusions as works of art!

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