Diamond Flaws

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Diamond Flaw Types


A diamond with a fissure or break that is not parallel to its natural cleavage plane is called a “fracture.” Oft times irregular in shape, a fracture makes a diamond look like it is chipped. To camouflage a fracture and increase the diamond’s clarity score, the diamond must be enhanced usually by the process known as “fracture filling” which uses a glass-like resin (with an identical refractive index) to fill the void. Diamond fractures


On occasion, the diamond cutter may leave the original surface of a diamond untouched and unpolished in order to conserve as much of the diamond’s original weight as possible.  “Naturals” is a reference to this practice. Naturals are usually left on or near the girdle of the diamond. An “Indented Natural” is a flaw that dips below the polished diamond’s surface.


Chipped diamond


Chipping is the breaking off of a small piece of diamond on or near its surface. Chipping is usually caused by a minor impact. The impact could, for example, be the result of the diamond hitting a granite countertop or the jeweler overtightening one of the setting’s prongs.


Natural diamonds are very seldom perfect.  They have defects, impurities and voids.  Many diamonds have Nitrogen in them as an impurity and some have Boron. Described here are some of the internal flaws that can be present in a diamond:

Mineral and Crystal Inclusions

Small crystals, minerals or even other diamonds can be found inside a diamond. Many inclusions of this type are minor and are invisible to the naked eye, however, some large inclusions that are visible can affect a diamond's value. Mineral and crystal inclusions can be in the form of bubbles, needles or grains and are described below:

Pinpoint Inclusions

Small crystals usually the color white can be found inside a diamond. Manifesting themselves as small points of light, they are the most common of all flaws found in diamonds. Most pinpoint inclusions have little effect on a diamond’s clarity, are not visible with a 10x jewelry loupe (magnifier) and are not usually graphically identified in diamond reports.

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