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Indented Natural Diamonds – Types of Diamond Flaws

Once you get used to diamonds, you also begin to recognize their flaws. Even an imperfection like an indented natural diamond features an eye-catching design. Raw diamonds are shaped and cut into stellar pieces but nearly every cut has some sort of inclusion. But just like freckles, some diamond inclusions are beautiful while some aren’t. Let’s find out more. 

What do you mean by diamond inclusions?

Diamonds are rarely perfect but they’re timeless classics. The materialistic value of imperfect diamonds is low since buyers feel they hold little relevance. Diamonds with flaws are not as desirable as precision cut diamonds. But finding a diamond that includes certain imperfections is hardly a problem as long as those imperfections remain invisible. 

Any flaw that you see in the diamond is known as a birthmark, developed over years and can be deeply set. To a skilled diamond grader, these imperfections are easily visible and this is where you start marking a diamond for its clarity. Natural indented diamonds are not as sustainable as lab grown diamonds, and are also harder to shape. Indented diamonds in particular include a certain part left untouched during the polishing process. 

Indented natural diamonds are rare 

Unlike most flaws that you don’t need, indented natural diamonds are rare and generally left untouched. Such natural diamonds have a slight depression on the inside surface. These openings are not easy to find and usually present along the edge affecting the carat weight of the stone. If you don’t want to compromise the weight of the stone, an indented natural found at the girdle is usually left untouched. While imperfections make every diamond unique, there are some flaws you certainly don’t want to keep. This is because it defines the quality of the stone so avoiding chips and dark crystals is necessary. 

An indented natural isn’t a defect per se but really an original feature of a diamond that makes it incredibly unique. Most consumers don’t want to change an indented natural but if the cavity increases in size, begins to collect dirt and grime, it might be time to get it cleaned and reshaped. 

Diamond Flaws – What’s worth keeping?

When the girdle of the diamond is heavily bearded, it means it’ll have a fuzzy and grey-like appearance. Hair-like lines are imperfections that extend from the girdle and into the surface of the diamond. These imperfections come to light when your diamond is being cut and shaped. 

Should I avoid cavities?

In raw diamonds, cavities are deep inclusions that arise on the surface usually once the stone is completely polished. This large cavity happens when a natural indented diamond gets dislodged, creating an opening that is quite visible and exposed. But while removing a cavity is a great solution, it also reduces the weight of the stone. 

Is a chipped diamond worth the cost?

You’ll want to avoid chips – absolutely! Caused primarily by continuous wear and tear, a chipped part of the diamond surface creates an opening that exposes your diamond to external damage. A chip is a shallow opening as compared to a cavity and may also be present around facet junctions or on the culet. It isn’t a natural dent but a manmade imperfection that occurs when the diamond is mined and is left exposed to accidental knocks.

indented natural

What is a clouded diamond?

This is where you’ll come across a cluster of crystals that are placed together in a certain part of the diamond. If this cluster gets too big, it gives your diamond a hazy appearance that affects reflection and hinders carat weight. When the pinpoints are close to each other forming a cloud of inclusions. They are generally not visible to the eye however when the cluster increases in size it affects the light performance thereby reducing the sparkle. 

What are crystals in my diamond?

A crystal inclusion is a mineral crystal found inside the diamond and looks like a bubble. They appear in many colors: colored, white or black and sometimes even transparent. When the crystals are colorless, they are barely visible. But the darker they are, the easier it is to detect the imperfections. They directly affect the diamond’s brilliance especially if the crystal inside is another diamond. Crystals can either be needles or knots:

Needles are the common most imperfection, long and narrow, usually shaped like a rod. This imperfection is visible under magnification and this needle like clustery is usually white or transparent. When needles appear as clusters, they have a damaging effect on light transmissions. 

Knots are deep inclusions that are very visible to the naked eye and affect the gem’s durability. This kind of crystal causes a depression or indentation on the surface of the diamond, and may extend further after the stone is polished and cut. Knots resemble raised indentations that turn up on a facet’s surface. 

Are pinpoint inclusions too visible?

Visible at 10x magnification pinpoint inclusions look like small white dots or black crystals lodged inside the diamond. Since this imperfection is diamond friendly, it rarely affects clarity or brightness of the diamond. 

diamond rings

What kind of imperfection is a feather?

Feather is a minute fracture that occurs inside a diamond. It depends on how you’re viewing the imperfection. It can be transparent and almost invincible to the eye but it majorly appears white and featherlike. This imperfection affects the durability of a diamond especially when it reaches the girdle. In simple terms a feather is an internal crack and when it reaches the surface, it can easily lead to heavy dents. 

There are extra facets in my diamond. 

If a raw diamond can have multiple cracks or ridges, it can also have extra facets. But this may happen after your diamond’s been polished and cut. During the cutting process, multiple facets might form for e.g. a round cut diamond that includes 58 facets may end up with 59 facets after shaping. If the extra facet is dramatic and highly visible, it can affect the light transmission and upset the natural symmetry of the facets. 

What is graining?

Graining are imperfect creases or heavy reflections inside a diamond. It gives the stone a white hazy appearance often resembling streaks. Grain lines are colorless but might look like milky reflections resulting from irregular growth patterns. Natural disruptions cause grain lines to occur primarily during the formation process. 

How to avoid twinning?

Twinning wisps occur in a diamond that isn’t fully formed so when growth happens, it does so in a different direction. This imperfection is a combined mish-mash of crystals, feathers, pinpoints and clouds. Twinning happens inside a diamond that has an irregular shape and this affects the clarity of your stone. It isn’t necessarily good or bad but if the inclusions are condensed, they give your diamond a clouded look. 

diamond clarity

Diamond Clarity – What’s important?

All diamonds are not alike, especially if you’re choosing a raw diamond versus a lab grown gem. Inclusions are like fingerprints and fewer they are, the more rarer the diamond becomes. Higher clarity diamonds are ones that have fewer imperfections, therefore are easier to cut and mold. When you want to determine the clarity of a diamond, you’ll need to consider size, number, nature and position of the imperfection. Since diamonds are not pure the most natural indentations are the easiest to ignore. Diamond clarity refers to the absence of imperfections and so a high clarity graded diamond will be far more expensive compared to a lesser stone. 

GIA Diamond Clarity Scale

  • Flawless (FL)
  • Internally Flawless (IF)
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 & VVS2)
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 & VS2)
  • Slightly Included (S1 & S2)
  • Included (I1, I2, I3)

To a layman, a diamond with S1 clarity might look similar to a VS1, but these stones are entirely different on the inside. Once you understand the imperfections, you can figure out the actual value of your diamond and determine its quality accordingly. 

Diamond Inclusions – Good or Bad?

Most of these diamond imperfections are visible to the eye while others go unnoticed. Even though some imperfections are beautiful and mesmerizing, you certainly don’t want a diamond that looks clouded. VVS diamonds have exceptional clarity and this is measured on the basis of the color, placement and count of imperfections. Clarity of a diamond can be increased either by laser drilling or fracture filling. Fewer the inclusions, the rarer the diamond is! 

While indented natural diamonds are harmless dips found inside the diamond surface, other imperfections can affect radiance, durability and brilliance of the diamond. You wouldn’t mind diamond inclusions because they help identify which diamonds are unique – helps differentiate between lab grown and mined diamonds. 

Such key inclusions become blueprints unique to your diamond’s interiors and these imperfections help identify one diamond from the other. Once you become familiar with your diamond’s inclusions, you know exactly how to polish and cut the stone. Whether you’re dealing with laser lines or feathered cracks, natural inclusions map out a stone’s origins.


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