Inside gemstones

When you are looking through the microscope at a gemstone, there are some many beautiful things to see. These inclusions and characteristics that you can see tell you a lot about the stone; some tell you where it formed, or if it is natural or man-made. Some tell you about the condition of the piece. Some do not tell you much, but are beautiful nonetheless!

Here is a collection of images taken from some gemstones we have in the shop, with some thoughts or observations for each one.

Burmese rubyThis is a superb colour Burmese ruby, of very high quality. There are very few inclusions present, except for this one dark inclusion under the junction of the facets.


This next image is an emerald. Almost every emerald contains flaws, called “jardin”. This is a result of formation, and is generally nothing to worry about. The jardin is indicative of the geographic origin of the stone, and also helps to confirm that it is a natural gem.

Emerald inclusions


The following emerald does have a problem, however. Over the years it has become chipped or abraded at the facet junctions. This can be fixed, and is relatively inexpensive to do. The next image shows an emerald with beautiful polishing. It is a 1960s emerald and diamond twist ring by Tiffany’s, with a Columbian emerald.



High quality Tiffany emerald and diamond ring

The next image is great fun! When looking through the microscope, this inclusion looked (kind of) like a mosquito. Is it taken from a natural, unheated Burmese ruby.

Ruby inclusion

This image is just wonderful! towards the middle right of the ruby you can see three straight lines intersecting. They are naturally occurring inclusions. The manner in which they intersect (at 70 and 110 degrees) is 100% proof of natural origin. It is a beautiful effect, and shows how captivating and interesting Nature can be.



This last image of a tiny collection of inclusions in an emerald tell us a lot about the stone. Firstly, they confirm that it is natural, and not synthetic. And secondly that the emerald is from Columbia, the source of the best emeralds in the world.