What’s the worst placement for an inclusion or flaw in a diamond?
The worst spot for an inclusion or flaw to appear is right in the middle of the stone, underneath the table.
That’s the area (window) in the stone where there is no hiding the imperfections with brilliance, sparkle or a prong or the mounting.
It’s upright, highly visible, and just by glancing at the stone, there is no way not to see it.
So let me show you a few diamonds that have inclusions that stand out, and are not so desirable.
P.S. All these magnified diamonds are real and sold by James Allen (among every other clarity and color of diamond). They are one of the few jewelers online that will show you high quality, microscopic pictures of the real stones (not sample images). It’s pretty impressive.
Take a peek…
Once you see an inclusion like that in this cushion cut, you will always see it. It’s staring you right back and saying “Look at me!“.
Step cut stones like this emerald cut diamond have a hard time hiding flaws and inclusions because of their lack of brilliance and sparkle. When buying an emerald cut stone, you’ll probably want a better clarity of diamond (like these diamonds here). The flaws are too obvious in a lower clarity stone.
This 1.05 brilliant cut diamond has a scattering of inclusions, and one good sized chuck of carbon in the center. People will notice that before they’ll notice the sparkle.
This 1.08 diamond has a fairly huge flaw right underneath the table. While it’s not dead center, it may as well be. The size of this black inclusion really grabs your eye.
This stone faces up pretty well. Except for that black spot right in the center of the stone. No amount of brilliance or sparkle can hide that flaw. You’ll always wipe the stone with your finger to try to get rid of the mark. It won’t help. It’s in there for life.
This stone has an interesting, but still distracting black flaw in the center that looks similar to an insect. Will your fiance want to see that every time she looks down at her beautiful engagement ring? Probably not.
View the diamonds first.
Because every diamond is different and some stones have flaws that aren’t so much of an eye-sore.
Like the stones shown below, for example. They are pretty much the same quality as the stones above. Some are even better. But what I tried to accomplish is finding similar clarity, color and carat weight stones, that were close to the same price range. So you can see alternatives to what you could get for the same about of dough.
These still have flaws, and many still have visible flaws (all I clarity diamonds do), but they face up better and aren’t so distracting.
Take a look…
That’s not a bad looking cushion cut. It’s still in the same price range as the one on top, but this diamond clarity is higher, it’s an SI2. That makes the inclusions much harder to see. Even under 20x magnification (as shown), they look pretty good and suddenly you see the diamond and not the flaws.
This emerald cut diamond is also a step higher in clarity, SI2. But, as you can see, even an SI2 in a step cut has eye-visible flaws. Small, but still apparent. You’ll need to go up into either SI1 or higher (VS is a better choice), to get a stone where no flaws are noticed with the bare eye.
This diamond, 1.02 brilliant cut, is still an I1 clarity. And it has just about the same amount of inclusions as the ones above. But what makes this stone better is the fact that the flaws are more off to the side, underneath the crown facets. The facets tend to mask them and hide them better. Off to the side, and not straight down, is the better placement for inclusions.
This 1.02 carat diamond is an interesting choice, because it still has flaws straight down in the stone. But, even though it has both black and white inclusions, they don’t stand out as much. The reason? They are not dead center, and they are smaller, so they blend in with the background and shadows of the stone more. You almost don’t see them.
Now we get into the better looking I clarity stones. For an I clarity diamond, this stone rocks. There are just a couple of small black spots in the stone (look at 7:00 halfway between the culet and the girdle), but they aren’t distracting in the least. This stone looks great. Faces up well. And is a steal for the price. Great find.
This stone is hard to believe that it’s even an I clarity stone. Just look at it.
What a beauty!
Most of the inclusions are off to the side and small. They are spread around and really don’t grab your attention like the big black flaws do. I like this diamond. It’s rare to find an I clarity diamond that could almost pass for an SI2. Almost. The good thing is, the visible inclusions in this stone that are under the table are white inclusions. Little feathers that blend in. :)
Wrap it up
These last 6 diamonds are much better purchases for the same kind of money. But no matter, view the diamond first with your eye (no loupe or magnification), to see how it appears. And then scope the stone with a microscope to see what’s really inside.
Are the flaws obvious?
Can you see debris with the eye?
Are they distracting to the beauty or brilliance of the stone?
All in all, it does come down to the viewer.
Only you can decide if the visible flaws bother you
Some people don’t mind them and are happy to save the money on these rocks.
Other’s will upgrade into SI1 or VS stones. That’s for you to ponder.
Is it worth an extra thousand to get into a better clarity?
Or can you simple put a prong over the flaw and hide it?
See, when it comes to diamonds, it’s always a balance of “money” or “quality“.
There’s always that fine line.
What will you sacrifice?
14k Wheat Chains
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