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DIAMOND Proficiency

Diamond Inclusions

Learn about inclusions, what they are, how the are formed, and if they affect diamond cost.


Diamond Inclusions

What is a Diamond Inclusion?

To understand inclusions it is essential to understand how diamonds are formed. Natural diamonds are created when carbon is subjected to immense heat and pressure deep within the earth. In contrast, lab-grown diamonds are produced in a vacuum chamber filled with hydrogen and methane, activated by energy sources such as microwaves. Consequently, internal characteristics known as "inclusions" and external characteristics known as "blemishes" may arise.

During the process of diamond formation, small crystals can become trapped, and irregularities in atomic structure can emerge as a crystal develops. The clarity of a diamond is determined by assessing the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as their impact on the overall appearance of the stone. It is crucial to note that no diamond is entirely pure, but the closer it is to purity, the better its clarity.

Diamond Clarity

Clarity is evaluated by determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how they affect the overall appearance of the stone. It is important to remember that no diamond is perfectly pure when determining what is the best clarity for a diamond. However, the closer it comes to purity, the better its clarity.

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Types of Diamond Inclusions

The small marks and flaws found within diamonds are given the umbrella term ‘inclusions’, but there are many different types of diamond inclusions, caused by different phenomena.

  • Crystal - a minuscule diamond (or other mineral) within the diamond; sometimes coloured
  • Pinpoints - tiny white or black crystals, appearing like a pinprick within the diamond
  • Needle - an elongated, thin line of crystal
  • Cavity or chip - usually caused by stressing a weak point during diamond cutting, a cavity in the surface
  • Feathers - an internal crack or fissure, appears light and feather-like, sometimes transparent without magnification
  • Clouds - a cluster of pinpoint inclusions, which can make a diamond appear milky or hazy
  • Knot - a small crystal that breaches the surface of the diamond, like a tiny bump on the surface
  • Graining - like you might find in wood, long streaks or lines that can look like scratches within the diamond, usually more visible from certain angles of the diamond
  • Twinning wisp - these show the moment a diamond stopped then restarted growing; often two amalgamations of pinpoints, needles, feathers and cloud inclusions that point to separate phases of growth

Grading diamonds is done from the top down, so when they are set in your ring you will see the marks you see when viewed under magnification. A diamond's clarity is graded under 10x magnification, so even those not visible to the naked eye are taken into account. Diamonds are graded according to their clarity based on their flaws, which are displayed on a diagram.

How do Inclusions affect Diamond Price?

There are benefits to having inclusions in a diamond. The most significant benefit is that diamonds with inclusions are much less expensive than flawless diamonds. However, if the inclusions are large or severe enough to be seen without magnification, or if they obstruct light reflection, they may detract from the beauty of the stone. Inclusions are natural and some people appreciate the presence of inclusions as they indicate the stone's history and natural origins. Counterfeit or imitation diamonds will not have inclusions, so any flaws in the stone can help determine its authenticity. Our recommendation is to search for diamonds with minor inclusions graded between VS2 to SI1 for the best balance between value and beauty.

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What are Rustic Diamonds?

In the world of diamonds, there is a captivating allure that goes beyond the traditional clear and colorless stones. Enter the realm of rustic diamonds - a truly extraordinary and unconventional choice for those seeking a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. Rustic Diamonds celebrate inclusions and color unlike the focus on clarity of traditional diamonds.

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