Do gemstones have inclusions 1

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  • Hardly any gemstone has a flawless and completely intact crystal structure. In most cases, deposits of foreign minerals, fine cracks or crystal defects can be found, which are referred to as inclusions in technical terminology. Often they cannot be seen with the naked eye, but only with the help of a microscope.
    The shape, type and amount of inclusions allow conclusions to be drawn as to which gemstones are involved and which deposits they originate from. It is true that no two gemstones can be found whose inclusion pattern is identical, but they can be similar to one another.

    The different varieties of inclusions of precious stones

    Inclusions can come in different forms. One possibility is that they are minerals trapped in the crystals, another is that they are caused by growth defects.

    In addition, inclusions can be formed by filling small empty spaces with gases or liquids - but stress cracks that have remained hollow are also included, they can either be located within the gemstone or extend to its surface.
    Inclusions are a typical feature of emeralds
    Cat's eye effect in the tiger's eye due to inclusions

    Inclusions - annoying or desirable?

    In most cases, inclusions are not welcome in gemstones and there are several reasons for this: they can have a negative effect on color, brilliance and durability. If a gemstone has many large inclusions, there is an increased risk of it being damaged.
    There are, however, some exceptions to this general rule. Gemstones like the emerald almost always have inclusions and these make each individual specimen absolutely unique. Here they are not necessarily considered to be impairing.
    There are also cases in which a large number of inclusions evenly distributed over the gemstone creates beautiful figures of light. For example the cat's eye effect, which can occur in the tiger's eye, and the asterism, a star-shaped light phenomenon that can be observed in rare cases with sapphires and rubies.

    Inclusions in diamonds

    For diamonds alone, an internationally valid system for classifying purity was able to prevail. The inclusions are assessed under the microscope at a ten-fold magnification. A diamond is given the highest IF purity (flawless, internally flawless) if no irregularities can be seen.
    There are less uniform rules for all other gemstones - they are generally divided into three categories. Type I gemstones are characterized by their flawless quality; Representatives of this group are e.g. blue topaz and aquamarine. In type II, inclusions can usually be seen, such as in the ruby ​​or amethyst. Type III has a pronounced life of inclusion; the typical representative of this class is the emerald.
    The rating of colored gemstones from Eye Clean (ECLN) to Severely Included is based on this classification, and is the strictest for Type I gemstones.