Inclusions & Blemishes

Diamond Inclusions: Needles | Rare Carat

Diamond needle shown on GIA certificate

Needle as represented by GIA report

Welcome to the next installment of our diamond inclusions series! We’ve covered all manner of inclusions thus far, from cavities to feathers and everything in between. Today, you’ve come to learn all you ‘needles’ to know about needles!

Before we move on, though, please make sure that you have looked at our wonderfully insightful introductory blog post on all things inclusions here, then get back immediately.


What are Needles?

Needles are part of the same family as other crystal inclusions, such as pinpoints and clouds. They are all in the same crew. While pinpoints are tiny ‘dots’ of crystals and clouds are ‘clusters’ of crystals, needles are elongated crystal inclusions. They can look like tiny streaks of light inside the diamond, or mini whitish ‘rods’ inside the stone, like this:

Round diamond against a gray background with red circle around a diamond needle with arrow pointing to it.

Needles are very common inclusions, so don’t be surprised if you come across them on a diamond grading report. The good news is that a few tiny scattered needles are usually fairly innocent. Generally speaking, they only become an optical/clarity problem when they decide to band together in a cluster… this is when you risk a cloudy/hazy situation on your hands (similar to what happens with clouds). This is rarer with needles.

We suggest that if you see a few needles plotted on the diamond grading report, you should request a 10x magnified photo or video. If you find it impossible to spot them in the magnified photos, you probably won’t notice them when the diamond is set in a ring and displayed on that finger.

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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.