A laser manufacturing remnant on a polished facet surface.
I know most consumers will be surprised and worried when they find this unfamiliar looking comment stated in a GIA report. However, the statement “a manufacturing remnant is not shown” sounds a lot worse than it really is in real life.
Did you know that this comment is a recent addition to GIA’s clarity grading system? With more and more laser cutting tools being used in modern manufacturing, markings made (remnants) during the cutting process can sometimes be left on a finished diamond.
In the early days, massive confusion was stirred up as people often mistake these laser markings to be signs of clarity treatments. In view of irrational fear by the buying public, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) changed the terminology used to indicate the presence of such laser markings.
This is done to set a clear distinction between diamonds that had undergone deliberate laser clarity treatments and the “residual” effects of using lasers to cut diamonds.
For people who are worried about buying a clarity enhanced diamond by accident, rest assure that any diamond graded by GIA has passed all the necessary tests to identify such treatments. Note that GIA will not issue a lab report for diamonds that had undergone non-permanent enhancement processes like fracture filling.
In the case of permanent clarity enhancements performed via laser drilling, these treatments will be disclosed in the grading report as laser drill holes. Here’s an example of a clarity reference diagram indicating such a diamond.
This diagram is extracted from GIA grading report #1142498546
In contrast, the manufacturing remnant noted in newer GIA reports is usually caused by residual markings of the laser cutting process. You can imagine this as a saw blade (made of laser) that cleaves through a rough stone.
In the process, it leaves behind mechanical markings (or manufacturing remnants) which can take several forms such as small blemishes on the diamond’s surface or internal damage in the crystalline structure.
A manufacturing remnant could also refer to burn marks caused by excessive heat on the polishing wheel. Most of the time, these burn marks can rarely be seen with the naked eyes because they are very faint. In worst case scenarios, they show up as milky patches.
Here are 2 examples with the comment being noted in the lab report…
“A manufacturing remnant is not shown” – GIA grading report #2136629706
“Clarity grade is based on a manufacturing remnant is not shown” – GIA #2136184275
Mind you, these 2 examples are found in the top tier of GIA’s clarity grading scale – with ratings of VVS1 and VVS2 respectively. I can guarantee there’s no way the manufacturing remnants will be visible to your naked eye. In fact, they are so small that even a skilled gemologist would have difficulty in locating them with a 10X loupe.
The bottomline is, a manufacturing remnant is NOT the same as clarity enhancement.
I don’t think you need to worry about them and you can treat them just like any other types of inclusions. Hopefully, this article addresses the doubts you have with manufacturing remnants. If you are still concerned about it, drop me an email or leave a comment with a link to your grading report or diamond.