After lots of silver hallmark photography, it’s time for some gemstone pictures! Everything from peridot lilypad inclusions, an optical illusion, and a hearts and arrows diamond!

Firstly, inside a peridot. Sometimes they contain inclusions which look exactly like a lilypad. It can be hard to see, as peridot have high birefringence, so split light into two rays, giving them a rather ‘sleepy’ look under a microscope. This image is as best as I can make it, but there is a clear oval inclusion, with a centre point

Lilypad inclusion at the lower part of the image

Next, we focus on another inclusion in the peridot. Given the nature of the stone, and how it bends the light rays, from some angles we can see an inclusion through three different facets at the same time.

Watch as the inclusion is visible in firstly one, then two, then three facets, than back to one again. All that is happening is that the gem is being slowly tilted.

One inclusion visible

Now we see two images of the same inclusion

Now it’s visible in three facets! (Remember, there is only one inclusion)

And back to one!

Next is a lovely Hearts and Arrows diamond. Hearts and arrows is a type of cutting style that appears to show 8 hearts and 8 arrows, in a circle. It relies on high symmetry and precise cutting. The diamond in these images is a 0.75ct stone.

This is the diamond

You can see highlighted below the 8 arrows, and in the next image one of the hearts highlighted.

Arrows highlighted in red

One of the hearts

Next, a quick look inside a flawless diamond! Excuse my terrible cropping, I must practise more!!!

Flawless diamond

The next image is a diamond that looks flawless at first, but focussing on the bottom left corner shows a tiny inclusion!

Very pure diamond

Tiny crystal visible in the corner, near the claw

Finally, a inclusion in a sapphire. In general, clarity is only truly important in a diamond; when it comes to coloured gemstones, we worry less about the inclusions, and more about the colour and visual appeal of the gem. In this case, it is a three carat sapphire, of wonderful bodycolour and captivating liveliness, so an inclusion is a minor detail.

Sapphire with inclusion

And, to prove the point that inclusions can be good, my new favourite image! I noticed this while going through my archive; it is a small (about half a carat) yellow diamond in a ring. (The lighting makes it slightly green, but in normal light it is a lovely yellow). When you look at the stone from a particular direction, the crystal in the centre is in the shape of a loveheart!!!! Awwwwww…..

A heart in the centre!!

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