Diamond Flaws – Small Things to Look Out For

When a person buys a diamond, he or she is making one of the costliest purchase of their life. There are many things a person must look out for before buying a diamond. Along with the basics like price, cut, color and clarity, there are two main things that must be considered.

There are two things that must be considered; exterior and internal flaws. These are tiny flaws that can only be looked under a microscope. Following are the flaws explained in detail:

Exterior Flaws

  • Blemishes

Present on the stone’s surface, they can occur naturally. They are mostly caused during the cutting and polishing process.

  • Scratches

These can be caused either naturally or when the diamond gets scratched by a hard surface or falls on the ground. With proper polishing, minor scratches can be removed however, the deep ones do not go away.

  • Extra Facets

Extra facets are specific cuts that are done to remove blemishes. Sometimes they are also done to enhance the beauty of a diamond. This does not affect the diamond’s clarity.

  • Fractures

Referred to as the breakage in diamond, these are irregular in shape and gives the diamond a chipped look.

  • Pits

Pits are small holes on a diamond that can only be viewed under a microscope. They reduce the diamond’s clarity.

  • Nicks

Nicks are the chipped surfaces on the parallel plane of a diamond. They can be repaired by putting in extra facets. However, extra facets can reduce the beauty of a diamond.

Internal flaws

  • Mineral / Crystal Inclusions

There are diamonds that have small diamonds or crystals present in them. They vary in structure and size and can affect the clarity and life of the diamond. These shapes are often in the form of grains, bubbles or needles. Some are like other diamonds and add to the beauty of the diamond.

  • Pinpoint Inclusions

This is one of the most common flaws in the diamond. These are minute crystal like structures in white color found inside the diamond. These are mostly over looked as they cannot be seen by the naked eye.

  • Needles

Thin and long needles, crystal in nature, can only be seen if the diamond’s color is bright or if the crystals are big. Sometimes the needles give the diamond a unique look.

  • Cloud

Too many pinpoint inclusions can create a haze, more commonly known as a cloud. Although they are not that much visible but if they cover a large area of the diamond, they affect the diamond’s clarity. The presence of cloud is usually shown on the grading report with tiny red dots.

  • Knots

When the crystal inclusions reach a diamond’s surface, they are called knots. Under proper lighting, these knots can be viewed. Knots affect the durability of a diamond.

  • Feathers

These are feather like designs in the form of a crack present in the stone. This does not affect the diamond unless the feather covers a major part of the stone or has stress points that might break the stone. With age, the cracks may increase ultimately resulting in breaking of the stone.


Bearding or also known as ‘dig marks’, is caused when the diamond is not cut properly. The mark looks like a hair strand. Extensive bearding causes the diamond to lose its brightness, which is why it is recommended that these diamonds get regularly polished.

The diamond flaws mentioned above are not necessarily bad. In fact, sometimes these flaws add to the beauty of a diamond and make them distinctive. However, it is necessary that when you purchase a diamond, get it examined thoroughly under a magnifier. These small points will help you in buying a beautiful, unique and precious diamond that will last a lifetime.


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