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Surface Inclusion?


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Complete diamond newbie here. I just purchased an engagement ring through a diamond retailer, and I'm a little concerned. I bought a non-certified diamond (concern 1) that looked absolutely gorgeous in the store. I was able to compare it to other diamonds with GIA certifications, and it compared extremely well. I was able to get this diamond for half the price of similar spec'd certified diamonds (concern 2.)


Well I brought the ring home this weekend and under different light immediately noticed a tiny dot/spec on the surface of the stone. You can only see it when the ring is tilted a certain direction so that it's not reflecting any light. It's very very small, but visible to the naked eye. I immediately went back to the store and spoke to my saleswoman, who looked at it an declared it to be an inclusion that reached the surface. Is this even possible? If it's on the surface of the stone, is it not automatically a blemish? She assured me it wouldn't lead to any structural issues down the road.


Even with the inclusion I'm pretty happy with the diamond I got. The price was out of this world, and I'm thinking because of this visible flaw that's the main reason why. But I would love a little advice on what I may be dealing with here from someone else. Thanks a bunch.

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It's perfectly possible to have inclusions that reach to the surface. Feathers, cavities (knots), crystals and carbons can all be partly included. Whether this is likely to lead to issues or not requires inspection of the stone.


Beware of one thing: whatever you got, you did not get more than you paid for: the cost for a lab report can be below $100, and the cost for a GIA report is around $100 (GIA fee structure: www.gia.edu/lab-reports-services/fees_payment/lab_fees/Lab-Fee-Schedule-Diamond-US.pdf). If by spending around $100 the vendor could have doubled the "value" of what she was selling, don't you think she would have? You have a diamond you like, and that's important. You may have paid a fair price for it - but comparison with stones awarded "similar" grades by GIA is not the way to determine it.

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People tend to use the word 'inclusion' to describe pretty much every feature of diamonds, including what GIA would call blemishes. That said, if it extends into the interior of the stone,it's an inclusion. Feathers, crystals, twinning planes all can break the surface.


Breaking the surface does not, of itself, present a durability risk and failure to break the surface doesn't avoid it. It just depends on the details. 'Materially affects the beauty or durability of the stone' is one of the standards for I-1 so if we're talking about a stone graded above that, the folks at GIA have deemed it to NOT be material in terms of durability. Others may not agree but that's a good place to start.


Happiness is another good place to start, and possibly a good place to end. That's the point of this stuff after all. I'm inclined to agree with Davide that comparing specs on diamonds can be tricky but it's not the whole of the issue either. It's a rock. It's a symbol. Buying what you love and being happy with it is not an unreasonable plan.

Edited by denverappraiser
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