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Inclusion Management and Gemstone Faceting

Inclusion management is one of the most challenging aspects of gemstone faceting. Learn when to remove and when to keep inclusions.

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When dealing with included gemstones, faceters have to estimate two things:

  • The value a gem will lose by leaving in an inclusion
  • The value a gem will lose if you remove an inclusion

You’ll have to make a choice: remove it or leave it.

Despite the impulse to just cut away the inclusion, many times, leaving it in a gem is the least costly inclusion management solution, both in terms of labor and the value of the finished gem. To make your decision, you’ll need to consider the inclusion type and both its visibility and location.

Types of Inclusions

An inclusion is anything that will interfere with the free passage of light. Although these are often solid materials, you may also face fractures and veils — partially healed internal fractures similar to fingerprints. The type of inclusion will make a difference in inclusion management.


Faceters frequently leave fractured areas in emeralds and diamonds. However, this is rarely acceptable in other gems.

Fractures represent a weak area in the gem that’s prone to breakage. In almost every case, you should remove fractures from your rough. You should leave a fracture in a gem only on the very rare…

Donald Clark, CSM IMG

The late Donald Clark, CSM founded the International Gem Society in 1998. Donald started in the gem and jewelry industry in 1976. He received his formal gemology training from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Society of Gemcutters (ASG). The letters “CSM” after his name stood for Certified Supreme Master Gemcutter, a designation of Wykoff’s ASG which has often been referred to as the doctorate of gem cutting. The American Society of Gemcutters only had 54 people reach this level. Along with dozens of articles for leading trade magazines, Donald authored the book “Modern Faceting, the Easy Way.”

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