Garnets, other than quartz, are considered one of the most abundant gemstones on the planet. Different types of garnets have certain inclusions which are characteristic of them. And then there are inclusions which are available commonly in gemstones. In gemmology, we find that garnets exhibit inclusions a lot more just because of the abundance of the gemstone type. So it becomes more that more stones from the mines mean more inclusions to look at.
Nevertheless, quite a large amount of garnets in the collection we have in rough have inclusions. Our lapidarists cut those inclusions out of the stone in the cutting process, to yield a final product suitable for fine jewellery. (And those of course stick to the principles of the 4C’s.) In this stone, initially under the loupe, the inclusion looked more or less like a dark dot appearing to mar just under the girdle of the stone. But under the microscope, it looks like a whole other world.
Crystal Inclusion Characteristics
When I looked at this inclusion my initial thoughts were on how we were going to explain what is going on. The first realisation comes in a way to show that this inclusion is in fact a cluster of inclusions. The main component is the crystal inclusion which is in the centre of the image above. It is neither completely euhedral(having completely fully formed faces) nor anhedral(not having fully formed faces). Therefore in between those two terms, it is subhedral. I can see around two or so properly formed faces and two faces where it is not. From the shape of the crystal itself, it is most probable that this is another garnet crystal, as it is cubic in shape.
Right around this cluster is a halo tension fracture, which in ordinary terms looks synonymous to a shockwave. The beauty of this inclusion also comes from the fact that the it looks to be that the whole cluster of inclusions looks like a meteorite which has landed in the ocean.
To the left of the main inclusion is another crystal inclusion. This time it is more defined than the first, making it a euhedral crystal inclusion. Also accompanying the main inclusion, to the right is a fingerprint inclusion. From this perspective the highlight of the cluster of inclusions are the crystals within the stone.
When one looks at an inclusion, it is quite important to put it into the context of a 3D Gemstone. Here is another perspective of the same gemstone inclusion cluster. This time we can see the fingerprint inclusion much clearer. The tiny fluid particles within the fingerprint shining much brighter than the garnet.
The crystal inclusion itself that we saw in the picture above looks very fragmented in this microscopy image, as there are multiple layers of the crystal inclusion itself. This shows the importance of rotating the gemstone each time we observe an inclusion.
I hope you enjoyed looking at this inclusion from different perspectives! Until next time. Ciao!