Friday, May 21, 2010

I love Inclusions

Of course I had to talk about my favorite topic in the mineral world: Inclusions.
What was once considered a flaw, nowadays has a totally different meaning. Flaws not only can be beautiful but add a unique characteristic to a stone. A long time ago, nobody cared for gems that were not flawless. An Aquamarine had to be clean, free of "impurities" to be considered good. The same for Diamonds, Amethysts and all the Quartz varieties. The only gem to have its value enhanced by inclusions was Amber. As time passes and the world evolves, some people started to realize that inclusions are a whole world inside a gem. They can tell stories that trace to millions of years ago. How the stone was formed, what happened along the way, even how the weather was like back then.
The piece below is a Quartz with water inside. Isn't  it amazing to think that the water has probably been there for millions of years?


The uniqueness of inclusions is also a very appealing factor to me. You can cut a million Amethysts that look all exactly the same, but an Amethyst with Cristobalite inclusion? each one will be different.  

I also love to see uncut crystals . The one on the top is an Aquamarine with a Quartz crystal inside. The Quartz is very visible through the top and side faces. 
One of the reasons we cut gems with inclusions is to make it visible. Sometimes, the inclusion is in the center of a large crystal that has a crusty face, or is too big, so you can barely see it or it's just inside an ugly piece of rough or a very damaged crystal. Cutting it, not only makes it visible, it also makes it more aesthetic, because you have control of the position of the inclusion in the gem. What side should face up? Should it be in the center or in on one side? How big should the gem be?
It is nice to have a good balance between the overall size of the gem and the size of the inclusion. You don't want a huge gem with a tiny little inclusion in the middle. The inclusion will not look so tiny if it is inside a small gem. The other option to cutting a gem, is to polish the crystal keeping it's natural shape. This is particularly good for phantom-like inclusions.  A phantom, is a layer or more of inclusions, that follow the host crystal growth shape. Sometimes, the individual crystals are visible, sometimes they are so tiny and packed together that you only see a layer of color inside, like a smaller crystal inside a crystal. This is very common with Chlorite, but I have seen a huge variety of minerals presented in a phantom form. Another great point for loving inclusions is that, by being inside a Quartz or any other host, crystals that are too soft or delicate are preserved in a very good state.  An example is the rare oxide Ankangite. It is rarely found as a specimen, yet it was found recently inside Quartz. Thin long needles that would never survive being mined, are frozen, untouched, inside a Quartz "window". Or a Phlogopite inside Topaz preserved undamaged FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS.  We are not talking about the latest iPad model, that will be obsolete in months. It is something that has been on earth way before we were. Really, are you in love yet?
(I really wish I had documented better all the inclusions that I have sold in the past. My most memorable ones were a polished Quartz with bicolored Tourmalines with water bubbles running through them, a Quartz sphere with an Amazonite crystal, surrounded by Schorl needles that looked like lashes on an eye, and a gorgeous large polished Quartz with an Anatase that was so intensely blue, it looked like a Sapphire.)


  1. I love your stones and I love you! :o)

  2. The uncut crystal is so intriguing...totally fascinating at how it was formed into this unique shape unlike anything else. Makes me think of world's far beyond our own. Of course the cut and polished inclusion is equally as fascinating. Something I would have fun just holding and tilting over and over time and time again just as you have here in this cool video presentation. You rock! No pun intended ha ha Great job...