How To Identify Cracks Vs Inclusions In Gemstones

By Gemexi Team | Loose Gemstones
  • Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020
How To Identify Cracks Vs Inclusions In Gemstones

One of the most disturbing problems that customers usually face is when they buy gemstones; they are not able to discriminate between a crack and an inclusion. While the visual dissimilarity between the two is not visible to everyone, the scope of either’s presence can have an impact on gemstone’s benefits’ in the longer run. Additionally, the way an inclusion emerges can differ from one stone to another. However, some ideas about the basic nature of inclusions and cracks can help the customers to know the worth of a gemstone and provide them a better understanding of gemstone’s overall quality.

What are inclusions?

Inclusions are natural impurities in the gemstones and they gradually develop, meanwhile the stone is being developed in nature’s womb. Some of these impurities are pretty essential and add personality to gemstones, by increasing their worth for humans. For example, the presence of an insect trapped in an Amber stone can increase its worth tremendously. Likewise, thin golden crystals of rutile can improve the value of Quartz, thus the presence of inclusions means that the gemstone is genuine and not an artificial stone synthesized in laboratories. However, not only the nature but location, volume, and density of inclusions can also weaken the stone’s strength in the long run. Due to this reason, there is a single rule in the gemstone trade, which is ‘lesser the inclusions, better is the excellence of gemstone’.

How to acquaint if it is a crack or inclusion?

Visually, particularly to a bare eye, both crack and inclusion can come into sight as similar. But if you know where and how far you have to look into it, it can help you in differentiating between the two. There are some of the main identifiable differences between inclusions and cracks. Nonetheless, since each gemstone is only one of its kinds and has an intricate gemological composition, it takes a skilled eye and sophisticated tools to classify either one.

1. Surface reach

One rule that goes for cracks is that they start from inside of gemstone and end up on its surface. Whereas, inclusions generally lay inside the loose stones and do not change their positions and spots.

2. Development

Inclusions are inbuilt to gemstones; they are natural because of the formation that happens right when the gemstones are being developed in nature. On the other hand, a crack can be an inclusion gone crooked, appearing on a much later stage. So that if you did not see the imperfection before or missed it due to less visibility, chances are it is a crack that became visible later in the gemstone.

3. Location

While both cracks and inclusions can emerge anywhere on the gemstone, but a crack generally finds its way where the structure or gemological composition of the stone is weaker. Typically, outer edges around metal (the case of jeweled gemstones) are the places where cracks appear.

4. Causation

No exterior force or pressure can root inclusions whereas exterior pressure, regular wear & tear or coarse handling of gemstones (like heavy cutting or negligence) can cause cracks. Cracks can emerge on the outer surface or inner part of the gemstone. Some natural or physically brittle gemstones are more expected to crack sooner than the other gemstones like Pearl, Red Coral and Emeralds.

5. Character

Inclusions are attributes in nature and may be different in structure, appearance, and composition whereas a crack does not have these traits like in Yellow Sapphire or other sapphires, inclusions would become visible as white line (Silk) while a crack may imitate rainbow-like spectrum, not because of any precise character but due to exposure of light.

Hold the Loose gemstones and try to observe inside and see from end to end, and then gradually turn it around in a forward and backward direction and look at what you can discover inside it. Then adjust the side of the loose stones and repeat the procedure for them. The impurities originate in the form of spots and lines inside a gemstone are generally not very severe. This much amount of impurity is satisfactory if you are keen to buy a gemstone in a medium to higher price band.

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