Diamonds flaws could be described as inclusions that hinder the beauty same as the black image in beautiful full moon. These are inside as well as outside the gemstone and there presence always pinches because these flaws make the dazzling stone imperfect.
Why Diamonds Flaws are unwelcome
The flaws holds back the overall alluring look of the gemstone. Diamonds are known for its awe-inspiring sparkling when any ray of light passes through it. The light could be natural sunlight or incandescent light. The inclusions present in the gem obstruct its sparkle effect making it not so attractive. More the flaws in the stone less desirable it becomes therefore, flaws are always unwanted. Moreover, the monetary value of gem reduces if it has more number of blemishes.
Why Flaws Crop up?
Flaws appear due to the presence of impurities in the chemical composition of the gemstone. The most common impurity causing flaws in Diamond is Nitrogen. The total percentage of Nitrogen in the composition is 1% of the total mass. Also it can crop up at the time of gemstone processing.
Types of Flaws
– There are several types of inclusions found which can be divided into two broad categories viz. external and internal. External flaws are on the outer surface of the gem while the internal flaws are within the structure of the stone. External flaws can be natural or can be formed later but an internal flaw mostly exits naturally during the formation of the gemstone.
The different kind of external flaws are –
Scratches: These are referred to as thin lines on the surface. It is mostly formed when the stone undergoes the different steps of gemstone processing like cutting or polishing. There are very less chances that it happens naturally.
Fractures: Cracks within the stone structure that are unparallel to the cleavage plane are called as fractures. It makes by and large the appearance of the gem fragmented as it has no shape. These days with modern technique the cracks can be filled to improve the clarity but it is still visible.
Extra facets: These are formed when the raw stone is being processed at cutting stage. In order to remove the natural inclusions the stone is cut that result in the extra facets (sides). It is done to enhance the clarity. This external flaw does not spoil the clarity but due too many facets the look of Diamond is deteriorated.
Pits: These are referred to tiny gaps on the stone’s outer surface. Pits are very small and it can be seen with only magnifying glass. In spite of being undersized it devalues the stone’s clarity.
Carbons: The chemical composition of Diamond contains 100% carbon. Therefore, when at the time of natural formation the crystallization sometimes remains incomplete which results to some black carbon dots on the surface of the gemstone. These dots can be categorized as graphite, pyrrhotite and pentlandite. It affects the clarity to the large extent.
Cavity: It is formed when gemstone cutter cuts the raw stone too much to remove the big crystal inclusion. It looks like a deep opening in the stone.
: Diamonds possess more internal flaws than the external. These are visible less with the naked eyes. The different varieties of this category are –
Crystal and Mineral: Sometimes, during the natural occurrence small crystal or mineral lumps are left within the stone. These are so tiny that can’t be seen without enlargement through the magnifying glass. It impedes the clarity of the stone and also its value in the monetary terms.
Needles: The crystal or mineral inclusions in the shape of long thin needles are referred as needle flaws. In few cases, these can be of different colour that is clearly visible in the colourless Diamond. These affect the clarity but can also in special cases give a different attractive look to the gemstone. It is the only flaw which can be looked up because of its colour.
Pinpoint: These are the most commonly found Diamond flaws. These are the small crystals that occur during the natural formation. It is very difficult to remove these imperfections as it is very tiny. Too much cutting in order to remove this flaw variant might lead to the total loss of the stone.
Cloud: A different image is created when more than three pinpoint inclusions appear next to one another within Diamond. The image can look like a cloud, circle or any other formation. This is known as cloud inclusion. In the grading reports it is mentioned as tiny red dots.
Laser Lines: These are formed at the time of gemstone processing and are not natural. Lasers are used to remove the dark blemishes from the diamond and during the process few vapour like traces are left. These traces are the thin lines like thread hence called as laser line inclusion. Stone clarity is deeply affected by these lines.
Grain lines: These inclusion crops up in the diamond at the initial stage of formation. The reason is same as other inclusion that is improper crystallization. It can also appear at the time of polishing due to the disproportion in the hardness across the gemstone. It is very difficult to remove these lines during the cutting stage. If these flaws are colourless then it does not blots the clarity else the coloured grain lines certainly reduces the clarity.
Knots: The minuscule crystal lumps left back after the crystallization and reaches the outer façade of the gemstone then these are referred as knots. These are totally undesirable as it not only worsen the clarity but also the sturdiness of Diamond. Under the adequate light these knots are clearly visible.
Feathers: As the name suggests these inclusions are the referred to fissures that group together and looks like feather. It is usually seen in the gemstone. Normally, it would not disturb the clarity but if the length increases towards the stone’s surface then it might result in the breakage of Diamond as the hardness is affected badly.
Cleavage: These flaws are positioned parallel to the crystallographic planes of the gemstone. It is also a straight line inclusion. It does not emerge naturally rather a sturdy blow results in deep internal damage in the structure of the stone which leads to cleavage flaws. Diamonds with this imperfection should not be purchased in any case because it is sure to break along its length in future.
Intergrowths: This imperfection is formed when two or more other types of flaws are twisted together at the time of Diamond formation. For example pinpoint, needles, cloud or feathers form together leading to the formation of white band inside the stone. These are regular in fancy shaped Diamonds.
Girdle Fringes: These are also known as bearding or dig marks. It is formed when the raw stone is cut during the processing. These are thin lines like hair that assemble around the diamond’s girdle. Its presence is abided till less in number else more lines reduce Diamond’s brilliance.
These flaws are unquestionably not a positive feature of the gemstone but presence of few flaws is appreciated to some extent as they give a different look to the gem. When buying women’s best friend “Diamond” one has to be very cautious about these not-so friendly flaws. Be cautious, All the Best!!