Diamond Education: How to Spot Inclusions in a Stone Before Making a Purchase

June 18, 2023

Every diamond is unique, and one of the factors that contribute to this uniqueness is the presence of inclusions. Inclusions are natural imperfections that occur within a diamond during its formation process. They can significantly impact the clarity, value, and overall quality of both natural and lab grown diamonds. Therefore, it's essential to understand how to spot these inclusions before making a purchase.

Understanding Inclusions in Diamonds

Inclusions are imperfections or substances trapped within a diamond during its formation process. They can vary in size, shape, color, and position, and can include minerals, gas bubbles, cavities, or fractures. Inclusions not only influence the beauty and brilliance of lab diamonds but can also affect their value.

Types of Inclusions

§ Crystals: These are mineral deposits found inside the diamond. They can be other diamonds, garnet, sapphire, or other minerals.

§ Feathers: These are small cracks or fractures within the diamond that may affect its durability.

§ Clouds: Clusters of tiny pin-point-sized spots that can give the diamond a hazy appearance.

§ Twinning Wisps: Zebra stripe-like patterns consisting of pinpoints, clouds, feathers, or crystals on two adjoining planes.

§ Carbon Spots: Black specks or spots caused by traces of carbon.

In addition to these internal inclusions, external marks or blemishes on the surface of lab diamonds can also affect their clarity grade.

Grading Diamond Clarity

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has established grading standards for assessing diamond clarity. The scale ranges from Flawless (no visible inclusions) to Included (very obvious inclusions that affect the diamond's brilliance). To determine a diamond's clarity grade, gemologists examine the size, nature, position, and number of inclusions. This grading is for both lab grown diamonds as well as natural diamonds.

It is generally recommended to choose a diamond with a clarity grade of VS2 or better. However, there are diamonds with lower grades that have less visible inclusions. When selecting a diamond, it's crucial to examine magnified photos and videos to assess the visibility and impact of specific inclusions.

Impact of Inclusions on Diamond Value

Inclusions can play a significant role in determining the value of a diamond. While some may see them as imperfections, inclusions contribute to a diamond's unique character and natural beauty.

Identifying Inclusions in Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds have gained popularity as an affordable and ethically produced alternative to natural diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are created using methods that mimic the natural formation process, resulting in diamonds with the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined ones.

Like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds can also exhibit inclusions. However, these inclusions may differ from those found in natural stones. For example, lab-grown diamonds often contain metal inclusions from the growth solution used during their creation.

Tips for Spotting Inclusions

When assessing a diamond's clarity, it's crucial to identify any inclusions that may influence its value and beauty. The following tips will help you effectively spot these natural imperfections:

Use a Jeweler's Loupe: A jeweler's loupe is a small magnifying glass that allows you to view a diamond at 10x magnification. This is an essential tool to spot any visible inclusions.

Examine under Different Lighting Conditions: The visibility of some inclusions may vary depending on the lighting conditions. Inspect your diamond under various light sources like natural sunlight and indoor lights.

Seek Expert Guidance: A professional gemologist can help you identify and understand the impact of specific inclusions within your diamond.

The Importance of Selecting Reputable Retailers

When buying a diamond, whether natural or lab-grown, selecting a reputable retailer is essential. Rare Carat stands as a reliable source for diamond engagement rings, providing impartial guidance and comparing over a million diamonds from trustworthy retailers to aid in cost savings. With complimentary gemologist assessments on GIA-certified diamonds and an extensive 4 Cs Diamond Buying Guide, Rare Carat remains dedicated to assisting you in making the most informed decision possible.

The Role of Inclusions in Diamond Buying

Understanding inclusions is an essential aspect of the diamond-buying process. Being able to identify various types of inclusions can help you make an informed decision about the quality and value of your diamond. Whether you opt for natural or lab-grown diamonds, always ensure that you purchase from a reputable retailer like Rare Carat to guarantee the best possible experience and results.



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