One of the ways in which we can make a positive identification to gemstones is by their inclusions. Russian demantoid garnets, for example, give us whimsical horsetail inclusions to admire. Emeralds often exhibit concussive-producing jardin (looks like tree branches). And then there’s rutile needles in sapphire or ruby that delight us by creating a star effect when the stones are cut en cabochon instead of faceted. Organic gemstone amber often displays prehistoric insects trapped in its once semi-fluid resin which not only creates a unique stone but opens a window into our primeval past.
Let’s call Them Clarity Characteristics
And if you sell diamonds, you will at some point discuss inclusions with your customer. Of course we can deflect their importance or severity to keep the client engaged with that stone. In those instances, we might toss off a brief “this identifies your stone in case you ever need repair work later on.” And that’s true of course. But we could spend a little time discussing the fascinating aspects of natural inclusions in a stone by spinning the conversation in a whole other way. This is especially true now that LGD have entered the bridal jewelry landscape.
Are Inclusions Ever Ok?
Natural diamond clarity characteristics may include pinpoints, clouds, feathers, chips, graining, indented naturals, twinning wisps, crystal, knots and more. Not all inclusions affect a stone’s beauty. Faint or light pinpoints or clouds for example may set the clarity grade of course, but still not diminish the stone’s beauty. And if an inclusion can be hidden by its mounting all the better. You can help your customers feel like smart shoppers (they are, with your direction) when they buy more affordable stones whose imperfections play no role in attractiveness.
The Same Just Different
Natural diamonds have a distinct set of inclusions that aid in the identification of the stone. Lab grown diamonds (or LGD) also have inclusions as a result of their growth. Sometimes the names of these inclusions are similar because of their appearance. But American Gem Laboratories unpacks the whole thing for us in a very digestible way. On the American Gem Society website, Wade Abel, CG, director of gemological services at AGS Labs, wrote Under the Scope: Natural vs. Laboratory-Grown Diamond Inclusions – What’s Different? He explains that there can be very similar-looking inclusions in natural diamonds and their lab grown counterparts. But they are actually not completely identical. The stone’s inclusions will mandate additional testing in a lab to make an official call.
Wade explained: “Natural diamonds can have inclusions that only occur from natural growth and would not be seen in laboratory-grown diamonds. An example is natural crystals of other minerals that grew alongside the diamond in the earth. Inclusions can be one of the factors that make each diamond unique!”
Sell What your Customers Want
Many retailers are now offering both LGD and natural diamonds. So there should be a way to sell both without ‘bad-mouthing’ one or the other. Pricing will be the big separator for many customers. Younger first time bridal jewelry consumers may not care about the more romantic message implied with earth mined diamonds. Money matters, and that customer is drawn to the look of perfection from LGDs, knowing that no one else can tell the difference. But we’ll always have customers for whom the magnetic appeal of a genuine from the earth diamond will be worth its price. There’s a difference to both products and it’s reassuring that even with similar looking inclusions – they can both be separated.