Professional Jeweler Archive: Natural Sketches

September 2001


Natural Sketches

Some inclusions stimulate the imagination

Did you steal any time this summer to lie in a hammock, stare at the clouds and let your imagination run wild? Could you see a fluffy white version of Mickey Mouse’s ears? A ballerina? A favorite aunt?

No one at Lazare Kaplan International, the large diamond company in New York City, has time to stare at clouds – or admits to it – but they are finding unusual figures in some of the millions of carats of diamonds they facet every year.

“Our first such diamond was ‘The Baseball Player,’” says Vice President Serge Boro. “Back then Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were the big baseball stars. I felt this inclusion best represented Mickey Mantle, but there were discussions in the office it could have been Mays. Who really knows?”

Within a few years, “The Ballerina” and “The Dolphin” joined “The Baseball Player,” and Boro quickly realized a collection of interesting inclusions had been born. “Our criterion for adding to the collection is that everyone who looks at the inclusion through a microscope agrees on what they see.”

Gemological Sales Tool

The collection is instructive as well as interesting, says Boro. “Our retail clients borrow the collection to show their customers, who love to see if they can make out the images we describe. They even return to stores with their own diamonds to see if they have any interesting inclusions,” he says. LKI once sent the collection on a Far East tour and had trouble getting it back from Japan, where customers wanted to buy the diamonds. The collection isn’t for sale.
The collection also has helped to destigmatize inclusions. “When people realize each inclusion is unique to that stone, much like a fingerprint is, they are more willing to accept it,” says Boro. “As long as the inclusion is not detrimental to the beauty or durability of the gem, it should be accepted and romanced as something natural and unique.”

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

All photos of the Lazare Kaplan International collection of unusual diamond inclusions are between 10X and 40X and were taken by Robert Weldon.

The Baseball Player

The Dolphin

The Ballerina

The Palm Tree

The Feather

The Arrow

The Pterodactyl Flying

Smokey the Bear

The Squirrel

The Stick Figure

The Turtle

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications