If you have ever considered buying a diamond, you’ve likely heard of diamond clarity – one of the four major criteria that determine a stone’s quality. Perhaps you are aware that clarity is graded by the number and visibility of the flaws a diamond has in its structure, but how do they develop in the first place?
What Exactly Are Diamond Inclusions?
Diamond inclusions are simply flaws that developed within the stone at the time it was formed.
Inclusions can take many forms, but the ones visible to the naked eye look like knots, dark spots, clouds, small cracks or lines.
These flaws are usually inside the stone and are of natural origin; they cannot be fixed and are perfectly normal.
Note: External flaws, found on a diamond’s surface, are usually called “blemishes”.
How Do Diamond Inclusions Occur?
Diamonds are crystals that formed deep inside the earth under high pressure and extreme heat.
During this process, another crystal or even a smaller diamond can be captured inside the stone’s structure.
These captive crystals look like small dots, and if there are a lot of them in a certain area of the diamond, they can appear as light or dark clouds within the stone.
When your diamond formed (millions, even billions of years ago), it didn’t do so smoothly, and as a result, irregularities formed within the crystalline structure – these flaws look like lines.
During the formation, cracks may also develop, and sometimes, they are visible to the naked eye. In the process, the diamond may also have captured air within its crystals, and this air will now be seen as bubbles.
Can Diamond Flaws Develop After Purchase?
Diamond inclusions are permanent and they don’t appear suddenly or disappear once they have formed. There is no way a new inclusion can suddenly occur within your stone.
If you notice that there is a black dot or a line within your diamond, and you are convinced that you never saw it before, you are probably wrong.
When dirt particles accumulate on a diamond’s surface over time, they block light and reduce the stone’s sparkle, making internal flaws more visible.
It is true that diamonds can develop cracks, but it takes a pretty strong blow to the stone to do such damage, and it will not look like a small inclusion.
Chips and other flaws can develop on the surface of the diamond, but they would be a result of external stress, and since those flaws are not internal, they are not considered inclusions.
Why Flaws Can Be Useful
At first, it might seem counterintuitive that flaws could be of any help, but in some cases, this is true.
Diamond inclusions are unique to every single stone and can therefore help identify your diamond among others.
If you buy a certified diamond, its report will most likely contain a diagram of all inclusions within the stone (this is also called a “diamond plot”).
If for any reason you suspect that the stone in your hand is not your original diamond, you can always tell which diamond is yours by its unique inclusions.
How to Make Sure Flaws Are Not Visible
The best way to ensure no inclusions are visible within your stone is to buy a diamond that has a high clarity grade. Look for diamonds that have no flaws that you can see with the naked eye.
To make your diamond looks as flawless as possible, clean it often. Removing the dirt from your stone ensures that light can pass unobstructed through the diamond, creating brilliance that makes internal flaws less prominent.