What Are Inclusions In Diamonds?

Inclusions are marks or imperfections within a diamond that can impact a diamond's sparkle and clarity overall. Most inclusions are barely visible to the eye and can only be seen under magnification, like a diamond loupe. Inclusions in diamonds and gemstones are common, but it is important to work with a jeweler who can educate you and come up with solutions to stones with certain inclusions that do not affect a diamond’s sparkle and which can be covered up with prongs or a good setting.

What exactly are diamond inclusions, and what are some of the most common found? Read our guide to  diamond inclusions.

What Are Diamond Inclusions?

A diamond inclusion is a speck, cloud, feather, or mark within a diamond. These marks can be either internal or external. Natural inclusions form when a diamond undergoes extreme heat and pressure. Inclusions are “flaws,” but it is extraordinarily rare to find a diamond that fits the price range, and desired size and color without any inclusions. Inclusions make each diamond unique. 

How Are Diamond Inclusions Graded?

Diamond inclusions are identified by gemologists and institutes, such as the GIA, who have created a rigorous diamond clarity scale to classify the range of inclusions seen in diamonds and precious stones. Gemologists consider the size, location, and type of inclusion to determine the clarity of each diamond.

Gemologists first look at the size of the inclusion to help them determine the impact the inclusion will have on a diamond's clarity overall. Gemologists then assess how many inclusions a diamond has. Once the amount of inclusions has been found, the inclusions' location is considered. Inclusions near the bottom of the diamond usually won't decrease a diamond's value more than those found near the top. Next, a gemologist determines the type of inclusion a diamond has (a feather, cloud, or speck, among others). Evaluating each inclusion of a diamond allows gemologists to ultimately classify its overall ‘clarity.’ The clarity is one of ‘the 4 C’s’ of diamonds (cut, color, clarity, carat weight) and will affect the value of the diamond. 

What Are The Most Common Diamond Inclusions?

There are about fourteen different types of inclusions found in diamonds. The following are the top three most common inclusions found within diamonds:

Pinpoint Inclusions

One of the most frequently found diamond inclusion is the pinpoint inclusion. This inclusion is characterized by very tiny black or white marks within a diamond. These marks are round, like pen marks. They are usually so small that they can only be seen with a magnification lens.

Crystal Inclusions

A crystal inclusion is a mineral within the diamond that can be either colorless or range in color from red to green. These inclusions can be visible to the eye depending on how large the inclusion is, but they can sometimes be pleasant, as it can add a lovely hue to a diamond's sparkle.

Needle Inclusions 

Needle inclusions are long, needle-like shape marks. They are usually thin and colorless, making it difficult to see without a magnification lens. They only cause clarity problems in a diamond if they are grouped together in clusters.

Again, inclusions can affect a diamond's overall clarity. Having a jeweler who knows the intricate features of diamonds can make all the difference!


When it comes to diamonds and jewelry, it’s important to work with a jeweler you trust. Since 1948, Landsberg Jewelers has been helping clients make memories by sourcing and educating about diamonds, gemstones and jewelry. Our goal is to help you find your dream jewelry at the best price! To learn more about diamonds, or to get expert help and advice today from our jewelry and diamond professionals, contact us

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