Jennifer doudna

Crack! Fracture! Cleavage! Gletz!

Okay, the last term isn’t as scary as the others, but all of these words are used khổng lồ describe one of mother nature’s most common clarity characteristics.

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The feather.

The dreaded feather.

That notorious, ticking-time-bomb that could cause your kim cương to lớn EXPLODE!

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Phokhổng lồ credit: UnsplashReally?

Some think so. And who can blame them? To skeptics the name “feather” may seem lượt thích a kim cương kinh doanh abatement. A jewelry-industry conspiracy khổng lồ soft-sell what should be disclosed as a crack in the đá quí.

They just want to lớn know. “Is that feather – that crack in my diamond – a cause for concern?”

Yes and no.

Does a crack in the sidewalk trip you up, if you don’t see it? Some yes. Some no. It’s the same with diamonds. Every đá quí is different. Every feather is different. And there are other variables to lớn consider. What’s the shape of the diamond? What’s the location of the feather? What direction does it run? What’s its form size and severity? What other inclusions and blemishes are present? Does the đá quí have internal strain? Is the feather inert or could it expand?

Spoiler alert: There’s a SIMPLE answer for all of this (You can skip lớn “The answer” at the bottom if you’re pressed for time…otherwise I’ll try lớn keep you entertained a bit longer).

Technical definition

According to lớn the khoinghiepbartender.com Diamond Grading Manual

A feather is a separation or break due lớn a fracture, often white and feathery in appearance.

“A break? A fracture? So yes, my kim cương could EXPLODE!

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Image credit: Eduarvì chưng MehlNo. It won’t & here’s why.

Finished diamonds have already been through more intense pressure and friction in sawing, girdling, blocking & polishing than they’ll ever see again during normal wear. Even the relatively gentle final phases cause enough pressure & friction that diamonds turn red-hot on the polishing wheel.

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Photo lớn credit: Pollard Professional Services

Diamonds have enormous value so producers take precautions, especially with challenging crystal types, examining growth-directions, using cross-polarized filters to lớn kiểm tra for internal strain và correlating sensitive sầu areas with the inclusions present prior to polishing.

With that said, diamonds can và bởi break during the cutting process, sometimes violently. This is where the notion of exploding comes from – trauma during initial production, repair or recut. Every đá quí cutter has a favorite ‘exploding diamond’ story. But once the kim cương is finished and mounted there’s no such thing as ‘spontaneous đá quí combustion.’

Then why so many scary words và warnings?

Because feathers of a certain kích cỡ and position MAY pose a risk khổng lồ a diamond’s durability, now or in the future. Not all of them. Not most of them. But they’re out there.

“Breaking” news

A diamond’s clarity grade is key khổng lồ understanding a feather’s implications. The clarity grade is based on kích cỡ, frequency, location, type & visibility of all the diamond’s collective sầu characteristics. With that said, a feather, when present, will frequently be the most influential characteristic or “grade-setting” inclusion. And feathers occur at every grade from VVS1 through I3.

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Feathers in VVS gradesWhether bruted or faceted, hairline feathers at the girdle tend lớn fall into VVS1-VVS2 much of the time.VVS1-VVS2 feathers may even be considered lớn have less impact than pinpoints, needles or clouds.Feathers in VS, SI and I grades

This VS2 feather is a nice example of a benign grade-setter. It’s small, nearly invisible and occurring into the body, away from the girdle, in this 6.03 carat diamond. We can all move sầu along. Nothing explosive to see here.

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See the full khoinghiepbartender.com Diamond Grading Report: 6.03 carat L VS2 EX

SI1 feather

This đoạn Clip shows a nice example of a grade-setting SI1 feather which is also benign và largely transparent. Its central location absolves it of any pressure-release concerns during stone-setting. It’s also less noticeable against the light background than the accompanying, opaque crystals. In fact its mere presence will reduce the price from some higher range lớn the SI1 range for potential buyers. If it’s invisible to lớn the naked eye, this is a fairly friendly feather indeed.

I1 feather

Unlượt thích the examples above, the feather in this diamond could pose a risk lớn the stone’s durability. It’s size và position at/along the girdle could cause it to expand or fracture if subjected to forceful pressure when being phối. An accidental impact in that area during daily wear could also cause expansion or fracture.

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See the full khoinghiepbartender.com Diamond Grading Report: 0.50 carat I I1 VG

“Step on a crack ~ break your diamond’s back”

There is one significant factor after the cutting process which must be considered when handling diamonds with feathers near the girdle. That factor is the professional knowledge and skill of the stone-setter. And where this applies to lớn all diamonds it’s acutely important for shapes with corners & points.

For example, the four corners of a princess shape are placed inlớn different seats at each of the prongs.

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What happens if the stone-setter applies uneven pressure when seating a princess cut with a VS2 feather in the corner? Now there is pressure within the kim cương, caused by the setting itself. A few months later the ring takes a knochồng against a counter, the pressure releases, and…

BOOM!

Poor feather. They’ll blame you. But it wasn’t your fault.

“The Answer”

The first và last word is this: The clarity grade printed on your gemological institute’s đá quí grading report is the most authoritative, expert indication of your feather’s potential behavior.

If we phối aside the human stone-setting interference described above sầu –

A VVS or VS feather should be no cause for concernThe same applies khổng lồ feathers in the SI1 and SI2 range, although the skill of the stone-setter comes inkhổng lồ play with greater frequency in that range. Caution should also be exercised in daily wear lớn avoid trauma which could cause a feather to expvà.Diamonds with feathers graded I1, I2, or I3 should be considered on a case by case basis.

Those grades, I1, I2, I3 (where I stands for “included”) are specifically reserved lớn indicate (1) a serious threat to lớn durability or (2) inclusions so significant that they impact transparency & brightness. It could also be the combination of both factors.

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Example of I3 clarityTreat your đá quí like your car

No one wants lớn experience a fender-bender, but accidents happen. So when “driving” your favorite jewelry, rethành viên that every diamond has cleavage planes as part of its crystal structure. And while they are the hardest known natural substance a knock the wrong way, particularly at the girdle, can cause even a flawless kim cương khổng lồ chip.

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This goes for any đá quí và is why it’s good lớn protect your sparkling diamonds and jewelry with a good insurance policy, just as you bởi vì your sparkly, shiny, autođiện thoại.