Gem Inclusions

When I started out in the study of Gemmology at Gem A, inclusions in gems were a total mystery. Especially the two phase inclusion of gas bubble in a liquid cavity:)  I have captured a few moments of its activity, it is the feature video on my homepage. It was one of the first things I posted as I started the blog.

Gem inclusions are endlessly fascinating. Truly an aspect of the wonders of God. Some are absolutely stunning. But all make the stone unique, tells a story, and are very useful in identifying the gemstone.

Aside from their beauty, their interior view can reveal a number of things such as: the country of origin, the environment during its growth, whether natural or synthetic etc


Inclusions are known as:

Protogenetic: the presence of mineral particles prior to the growth of the host crystal.

Syngenetic: inclusions that formed together with the host crystal – most two phase inclusions of a gas bubble in liquid filled cavities

Epigenetic: inclusions that formed after the full growth of the crystal.


The photographic images taken of them with the use of the microscope are called photomicrographs and micrographs.

As a gemologist, its important and useful to become familiar with various inclusions found within gemstones and their particular locality. It becomes easier to identify.

While on a trip to London I picked up a copy of The PhotoAtlas of Inclusions in Gemstones Vol 3 by Eduard Gubelin & John I Koivula – an invaluable book to all gemologists and labs. That was one unforgettable trip… we flew to London to see the Olympics 2012 and also my family. Needless to say it was an incredible experience! However the day we were to return to Sri Lanka, we found ourselves stranded due to the volcanic ash from Iceland!! Airports closed, we desperately looked for ways to return. Thank God it was a matter of days when the airport reopened!

It was during those extra days I began looking through the magical pages of the PhotoAtlas of Inclusions in Gemstones Vol 3. The images were staggering and it’s organised according to gemstone and origin.

I am always on the lookout for an opportunity to look at and capture inclusions of gemstones that I get my hands on. I post my favourite gem inclusions on the blog. When magnified, the colour looks pale and watered down. I haven’t tried to photoshop the images in an attempt to reproduce the actual color. Instead I show them as they are, in their magnified form and state.

I hope you enjoy them as I do:)  and also learn from them too xx

*for more about the image above, click here.

*to learn a bit about me, I’m here

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