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Inclusion Types

What some see as a flaw, others will see as full of character; let Durham Rose help explain how to view these clarity characteristics commonly known as ‘Inclusions’


What Is An Inclusion?

It takes tremendous heat and pressure to convert graphite into diamonds. Over time diamonds form and as they do the environment could change slightly or other small changes might occur which could cause diamonds to have what we call ‘clarity characteristics’ or inclusions. These help to determine whether the diamond is natural or lab grown depending on the types of inclusions, as well as identifying individual stones.

Inclusions can be internal or external characteristics on the stone. These can be due to the environment in which they form or the way in which they are cut.

Types of Inclusion

To help our more curious clients learn more about diamonds we have compiled a list of the types of inclusions you might see looking through a microscope.



Very small feathers that extend from the girdle surface into the stone; can result from the cutting process.



A tiny area of impact accompanied by very small, root-link feathers; typically occurs at a facet junction.



An angular opening created when part of a feather breaks away or when a surface-reaching crystal drops out or is forced out during polishing.



A shallow opening caused by damage to the stone’s surface that typically occurs at a girdle edge, facet junction, or culet.



Many tightly grouped pinpoints that might be too small to distinguish individually but together have a hazy appearance.



A mineral crystal contained in a diamond.



General trade term for a break in a gemstone, often white and feathery in appearance.


Grain Center: 

A small, concentrated area of crystal distortion; can be white or dark, and might have a thread-like or pinpoint-like appearance.


Indented Natural:

A portion of the rough diamond’s original surface that dips below a polished diamond’s surface.


Internal Graining:

Lines, angles, or curves that might appear whitish, colored, or reflective, or affect transparency at 10X magnification; caused by irregularities in crystal growth.


Internal Laser Drilling: 

Laser drilling within a diamond that creates a surface-reaching feather, or expands a pre-existing feather around a dark inclusion so that it reaches the surface. The feather then provides access for bleaching to decrease the visibility of the inclusion.



A white or transparent diamond crystal that extends to the surface after fashioning.


Laser Drill-hole: 

A tiny, surface-reaching tunnel produced by a laser light beam.



A thin, elongated crystal that looks like a tiny rod at 10X magnification.



A very small crystal that looks like a tiny dot at 10X magnification.


Twinning Wisp:

A series of pinpoints, clouds, or crystals that forms in a diamond’s growth place; associated with crystal distortion and twinning planes.


If you enjoyed reading about the different types of diamond inclusions, you can read more on how they affect the clarity grades awarded to diamonds in our Diamond Knowledge section.
“Inclusions; What is an inclusion? Let Durham Rose extend your knowledge on stone inclusions and what they really mean in terms of clarity.”
Images courtesy of GIA

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