It’s always a good idea to inspect a diamond under a loupe or jeweller’s microscope before you buy it. This will help you to avoid any potential problems and defects that may not be visible with the naked eye. Let’s take a closer look and see what you should be looking for when inspecting a diamond with a loupe.
Types of Harmful Inclusions to Check For
For example, black dots which are simply areas where carbon hasn’t crystallized, apart from being an optical flaw, do not present any real danger to the structure of diamonds. While the inclusions like cracks and lines may be really dangerous.
If they are big enough, they can weaken the stone’s internal structure.
Avoid diamonds with long lines inside them, especially the ones with lines that reach the surface of the stone. Such inclusions make the stone even more prone to damage, meaning the diamond will crack if hit hard enough.
Always check the surface of the diamond for chips. If the stone has chips it’s more vulnerable to stress and in case of strong hit it may just split along the cracks.
Make sure to check the certificate of the stone. It should contain a diagram of the diamond showing all the visible inclusions. This will help you to check if the flows showed on it match the ones you can see under a loupe. This is also a good way to identify if the certificate describes the same diamond you have.
Tips to Spot Signs of Clarity Enhancement
Inspect the diamond for signs of clarity enhancement such as laser drilling or fracture filling.
Laser-drilled diamonds have tiny channels inside them visible under magnification. These channels used to have an inclusion inside which was dissolved with heat or acid. You will be able to see small hollows that have remained after the flaw was removed.
Sometimes these hollows are filled with a glass-like substance in a process called fracture filling. The filled substance reflects the light differently from the rest of the diamond and it’s easy to spot with a loupe.
The drilled channels in a clarity-enhanced diamond are not critical unless they are numerous. In this case, they may weaken the internal structure of the stone, especially if the flaws removed took up a lot of space.
Fracture-filled diamonds are more problematic. The filling can melt and crack if the piece of the jewellery is repaired using heat.
Check the Diamond’s Laser Inscription
Many certified diamonds come with a laser inscription. An inscription is a unique number or combination of numbers and letters that serves as an identifier for the stone. It is usually laser inscribed on the diamond’s girdle.
To verify the identity of the diamond, look at the stone’s girdle under magnification. The unique ID number should match the one printed on the certificate. This way you can be sure the diamond you are going to purchase is the same as the one described in the grading report.
Cover image credit: Laurent Boeki Productions