Diamond Inclusions

Diamond inclusions are characteristics that occur inside a stone. They are usually called flaws, because their presence means the diamond is not perfect.

Inclusions are like fingerprints, a characteristic that gives us all a special signature. Getting to know your diamond inside and out makes the stone a more personal possession—and will help you describe and identify the gem if it is ever lost or stolen.

Some inclusions affect a diamond’s clarity, making it less brilliant because they interfere with light as it passes through the stone. Other types of diamond inclusions can make a gemstone vulnerable to shattering.

There are few perfect diamonds, and the ones that are perfect are quite expensive, so the diamonds we buy all have varying amounts of internal and external flaws. Most jewelers tell us not to worry about diamond inclusions if they do not affect the stone’s strength or seriously impact its appearance.

Types of Diamond Inclusions

Crystals and Mineral Inclusions

Diamonds can have tiny crystals and minerals imbedded in them, even other diamonds. Many cannot be seen without magnification, but a large chunk or grouping of crystals that detracts from a diamond’s appearance lowers its clarity grade, and its value.

There are times that a small crystal can add character to a diamond. A diamond with a small garnet imbedded in it would be a great conversation piece–and a personal choice for someone whose birthstone is a garnet.

Pinpoint Inclusions

Pinpoints are tiny light or dark crystals in diamonds that appear by themselves or in clusters. Larger clusters of minute pinpoints can create a hazy area in the diamond, called a cloud, which affects the diamond’s clarity.

Laser Lines

Laser lines are not a natural diamond inclusion. These vapor-like trails are left behind when lasers are used to remove dark inclusions from the diamond. The machine-made trails look like tiny strands of thread that begin at the diamond’s surface and stretch inward, stopping at the point where the inclusion was removed.

Feathers

Feathers are cracks within the stone that resemble, well… feathers. Small feathers do not usually affect a diamond’s durability unless they reach the surface on the top of the stone, a location that’s prone to accidental blows.

Cleavage

Diamond cleavage is a straight crack with no feathering. A cleavage has the potential to split the diamond apart along its length if it is hit at the correct angle.

Small cracks that are not visible when a diamond is viewed in a table-up (face up) position do not seriously affect clarity ratings.

Girdle Fringes, Bearding

Girdle fringes, or bearding, are hair-like lines that can occur around the girdle during the cutting process. Minimal bearding is usually not a problem, but extensive fringing is often polished away or removed by recutting the diamond.

Grain Lines, Growth Lines

Grain lines are created by irregular crystallization that takes place when a diamond is formed. Colorless grain lines do not usually affect diamond clarity unless they are present in large masses. White or colored grain lines can lower a diamond’s clarity grade.

Always shop for diamonds at a jewelry store you trust and find someone who can answer your questions about the diamonds you are considering. Ask the jeweler to show you each diamond under magnification and explain its characteristics to you.

Read Surface Blemishes on Diamonds for more information about flaws that can affect diamond clarity and strength.

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Round Cut Signature Diamond – Blue Nile

Blue Nile refers to its top-of-the-line diamond cuts as Signature Cut diamonds. The jeweler says the Signature cut represents the top 1% of diamonds when you base diamond quality on cut. Expect to pay more for Signature cut diamonds, which are available as the round diamond on this page and as three more cuts you’ll see on the following pages: Princess, Asscher and Emerald. Schematics on each page illustrate the cuts.

For more information, read Blue Nile’s explanation of available cuts.

Buy Direct | Blue Nile

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Jewelry at Fashion Week

Valerie Bertinelli was one of the celebrities who walked the runway during the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fall 2009 Fashion show during New York City’s Fashion Week kickoff. She wore a gown by Christian Siriano and topped the strapkess neckline with a bold bib necklace.




Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images for IMG

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Rubber Stamped Glass Pendants

When a friend of mine invited me over to her house to trying rubber stamping, I thought that sounded like a fun afternoon. And it was. We stamped up a storm! I admitted to her how stamping on paper made me feel like an instant artist. Then she started explaining to me how you can stamp on all kinds of stuff like plastic, fabric, glass…..glass? Yipes! I was hooked. So, I went back to my studio and whipped up a bunch of glass pendants for us to practice on.

You’ll need:

Glass pendant blanks
*Heat gun
Stamp
Embossing powder
Pigment ink
Paper towels
Piece of scrap paper
1 Q tip

*A heat gun is used for embossing and looks kind of like a blow dryer, but it heats up much hotter. This is the most expensive piece of equipment you would need for this project. They run between $20-30. However, if you do want to try this and you don’t have a stamp buddy like I did, one tip is to check in your Sunday paper for coupons from craft shops. My local Michael’s has coupons for 40-50% off one item in the paper every few weeks. An embossing gun is also helpful for getting bubbles out of resin before it sets, so it is a useful tool if you like making mixed-media jewelry.

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