What Are Inclusions In Diamonds?

For many, the decision to purchase a diamond is a major milestone. Not only do diamonds symbolize everlasting love, but they also represent a major financial commitment. Therefore, you're probably thinking your diamond has to be 100% perfect.

Believe it or not, there is almost no such thing as a perfect diamond. Technically flawless diamond specimens are so rare that most professional jewelers will never see one in person, as they make up less than half a percent of all diamonds on Earth. That doesn't mean that you cannot find a near-perfect diamond, but realistically, any diamond you shop for is going to have some kind of inclusion.

What Is An Inclusion?

The term "inclusion" refers to any imperfection or flaw that can be found within a stone. Most inclusions are naturally occurring as a result of extreme heat and pressure during its formation within the Earth. While some diamonds have large inclusions that can be seen by the naked eye, most inclusions are tiny and only detectable under 10x magnification. Jewelers can determine a diamond's value through careful inspection of the type and size of its inclusions, which define its clarity. Clarity grades range from FL (flawless) to I3 (heavily-included).

Common Inclusions

  • Pinpoints: These appear as tiny black or white dots that look like pin-pricks within the diamond, and are the most common form of inclusion.
  • Feather: Often transparent, feathers are small whitish fractures or cracks that can catch light. These are fairly common, but can affect a diamond's durability if they extend to the surface.
  • Cloud: This broad term is used to classify a dense cluster of pinpoint crystals that create a hazy appearance. If the cloud is small and diffused, it probably won't affect the diamond's overall brilliance.
  • Graining: Faint lines or streaks may be caused by irregular crystal growth at the atomic level and is known as graining. If severe, it may look like milky creases that reflect light.
  • Cavity: Similar to our teeth, cavities in diamonds are small holes, indentations, or empty pockets within the structure. If your diamond has a cavity, a dentist cannot help you.

Do Not Be Afraid Of Inclusions

The art of diamond clarity classification can be extremely intricate, and it's important to remain realistic when setting expectations for your own purchase. Remember that nearly all diamonds will have some kind of inclusion, and the large majority of inclusions can only be seen under a magnifying lens such as a jeweler's loupe. Embrace the fact that every diamond is unique, and even their included flaws do not diminish their beauty. Be sure to consult with the diamond experts at Greis Jewelers for more information on finding the ideal Cut, Carat, Color, and Clarity of your future diamond purchase.