In the realm of gemstones, diamonds hold a distinctive place with their enchanting sparkle and everlasting appeal. They are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle under extreme pressure and temperature, which often leads to the presence of internal characteristics, also known as inclusions. These inclusions, akin to birthmarks, are often unique to each diamond, giving them a unique fingerprint. Among the multitude of inclusions, one stands out with its idiosyncratic appearance and impactful features – the “feather.”
Introducing the “Feather” Inclusion
Often described as a fracture within the diamond’s structure, the feather inclusion is distinctive and fascinating. Its name is derived from the characteristic appearance that resembles the delicate plume of a feather. These are usually internal fissures within the stone and may sometimes reach the surface, but not always. A diamond with a feather inclusion can range from near perfect to heavily included, depending on the size and location of the feather.
Formation of Feather Inclusions
Feathers are usually the result of strain on the diamond crystal during its formation process, deep within the earth. This strain can cause the crystal structure to rupture, creating a minute space within the diamond. These spaces often remain empty or get filled with a foreign material. The arrangement and spread of these fissures reflect light to give an appearance akin to a feather, thus giving them their name.
The Aesthetic Impact of Feather Inclusions
Feathers can add a distinctive charm to a diamond. They can sometimes create unique light reflections or patterns within the stone that can contribute to its overall beauty. It’s important to note that not all feathers are created equal. Small, inconspicuous feathers may not affect a diamond’s beauty significantly. However, large or numerous feathers may impact the stone’s transparency and brilliance.
Feather Inclusions: Their Role in Grading Diamonds
Feather inclusions play a critical role in the grading of diamonds. These inclusions are assessed based on their size, number, position, color, and relief. Their impact on the diamond’s clarity grade is determined by these factors. Diamonds with small, few, or light-colored feathers that are located towards the edges may still receive high clarity grades. Conversely, diamonds with large, numerous, or dark-colored feathers that are centrally located will likely receive lower clarity grades.
Potential Durability Concerns with Feather Inclusions
One potential concern with feathers is their possible impact on a diamond’s durability. If a feather reaches the surface of the diamond or is located near the girdle (the thinnest part of the diamond), it may pose a durability risk. Careless handling or forceful impact may cause the feather to extend, potentially leading to a chip or break in the diamond. Therefore, diamonds with such feathers should be set and handled with extra care to minimize this risk.
Feather Inclusions and the Diamond Buying Process
When considering the purchase of a diamond, understanding feather inclusions can be beneficial. Diamonds with small feathers that do not affect their brilliance or pose a durability risk can still be a good choice for buyers. They may even add uniqueness and character to the diamond. Furthermore, these diamonds can often be found at a lower price point than diamonds of the same carat weight and color but higher clarity grades.
The feather inclusion is a unique and intriguing aspect of diamonds. Its formation, aesthetic impact, role in diamond grading, and potential durability concerns make it an essential characteristic to understand for both industry professionals and diamond enthusiasts alike. A feather inclusion can add charm and individuality to a diamond, but it’s crucial to consider its implications on the diamond’s clarity, value, and durability. Therefore, it’s always recommended to consult with a knowledgeable gemologist when purchasing a diamond with a feather inclusion.