External Flaws or Blemishes

A small natural - These usually occur on the girdle and look like a rough, unpolished area. They appear to be scratch lines or small triangles called trigons. Often naturals, are polished and resemble an extra facet, especially if they occur below the girdle edge. A natural is a remnant of the original skin of the diamond, and is often left on the girdle showing that the cutter tried to cut the largest possible diameter from the rough.
  • Nick - This is a small chip, usually on the girdle, and can be caused by wear, especially if the girdle has been proportioned on the thin side. Sometimes a nick or chip can be seen on the edge of the facets where they meet. If small, the bruised corner can be polished, creating an extra facet. This usually occurs on the crown.
  • Girdle roughness - This blemish appears as crisscrossed lines, brighter and duller finishing, and minute chipping. This can be remedied by faceting or repolishing.
  • Pits or cavities - Pits or holes on the table facet, especially if they are deep, will quickly lower the grade of the stone. Removing pits involves recutting the whole top of the stone, and can also shrink the stone's diameter.
  • Scratch - A scratch is usually a minor defect that can be removed with simple repolishing. Remember, however, that in order to repolish the stone, it must be removed from its setting, and then reset after it has been polished.
  • Polishing lines - Many diamonds exhibit polishing lines. If they appear on the pavilion side and are not too obvious, they do not lower the value. In some small diamonds these scratch lines can be obvious, and are usually the result of a badly maintained polishing wheel.
  • Abraded or rough culet - The culet has been chipped or poorly finished. This is usually a minor flaw.
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