Inclusions & Blemishes

Diamond Blemishes: Lizard Skin | Rare Carat

Lizard Skin

When you are planning to ask someone to marry you, there are so many little questions you might ask yourself before you pop the big one; “when should I ask?”, “what should I wear while I do it?”, “who should I tell beforehand?”, “where will I ask the question?”. All of these are legit questions, and things that are FUN to think about! Plus, the answers to these little questions will reflect what sort of person you both are and what sort of relationship you have. For example, while someone might answer; “after 8pm, dress shirt, best friend, fancy shmancy restaurant” – another might be thinking; “while shoveling nachos into our mouths, laundry day t-shirt, not a damn soul (mind ya business), while on sofa watching Suits”. ALL AWESOME CHOICES.

Yes, planning your proposal is fun and the outcome is unique. Unfortunately folks, the types of questions you gotta ask yourself (and others) before you buy a diamond are not quite so cute. For instance, you’ll want to know how much you should spend (we can actually help you out with that, click here), what sort of diamonds you should avoid (HINT), and what the hell ‘clarity’ even means. We can help you with that one too! In fact, we are currently doing an ENTIRE blog series on what sort of inclusions a diamond can have, and how they might affect the optical value/clarity of that particular stone. We work hard, so you can eat nachos. You’re welcome.

Today we are going to give you some deets on a particular blemish called ‘lizard skin’ (no JK, mega LOL). If you’d like to get up to speed on all the other inclusion/blemish blog posts first though (and we recommend that you do), then click here, which will magically transport you to the introductory article of this whole series. Start there and work your way back here… unless you reeeeeally want to learn about lizard skin, then come back here to me immediately.

All done? Great. Let’s get some skin in this diamond game. (you guys, that joke was terrible. Even I cringed at that one. Let’s move on quickly)

So, what is lizard skin on a diamond? First and foremost, it is the absolute funniest sounding diamond inclusion/blemish in my humble opinion. I want a diamond with lizard skin!!!! But not really. And neither do you, ya hear?

Diamond lizard skin magnified


‘Lizard skin’ is basically a strange bumpy looking surface that is found on a facet of a diamond caused by the stone being polished in the wrong way. Did you know that diamonds are like wood in that there is a right and wrong way to ‘sand’ them? #MINDBLOWN

Most of us know that you are supposed to sand wood with rather than against the grain – although I have no idea how I know that. On second thoughts it’s probably because of Aidan in Sex and The City. Thanks Aidan! Diamonds are the same as wood in that sense, as they need to be polished in a certain direction. If not, weird friction causes a bizarre looking lizard skin to appear on the facet which is being polished in the wrong way. Hard Pass.

The bad news is that this lizard skin can look like a hot mess. But the good news is that it can be polished out really easily, and does not affect the durability of the diamond in any way. It will mean that you have to get the diamond (or at least the offending facet) re-polished so that the lizard skin effect can be buffed out. This is an extra cost that you will have to keep in mind when you come across one of these bad boys. I mean, it’s not a deal breaker you guys, but do you really want a diamond that would fit in well with these dudes?

Actual lizard skin

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Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Dr. Rian Mulcahy
Rian is officially a Diamond PhD - just ping us if you’d like to read her fascinating 200-page thesis, titled Facets of Value: An Investigation into the Formation of Worth in the Diamond Market. She has consulted various firms all along the pipeline, from the rough diamond market to the recycled diamond industry. She holds an MA in Globalisation and Development from University College Cork and a PhD in the Sociology of Diamond Valuation from the London School of Economics.