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Difference between Crystal Face and Cleavage Plane

Difference between Crystal Face and Cleavage Plane

When it comes to gemstones, there are various classifications that gemologists use in order to understand and grade them. One of these is the difference between a crystal face and a cleavage plane. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what these terms mean and discuss the differences between them.

What is Crystal Face?

Crystal faces are the flat surfaces on a crystal that form during its growth. Crystal faces are determined by the Crystal System, which is the shape of the overall crystal. For example, a cubic crystal will have six square faces, while an octahedral crystal will have eight triangular faces. While crystals can have any number of faces, they typically have between four and six.

Crystal faces can be smooth or rough, and they play an important role in the way light is reflected off of a crystal. Crystal faces can also be used to identify a particular type of crystal. When viewed under a microscope, different types of crystals will exhibit different patterns of faces. As a result, gemologists often use Crystal Faces to help identify unknown crystals.

What is Cleavage Plane?

Cleavage planes are planes of weakness along which a mineral may break. Cleavage is distinguished from fracture, which is a break that does not follow a plane of weakness. Cleavage usually occurs parallel to certain crystallographic planes. The direction of cleavage can be used to help identify a mineral; for example, the two main types of mica have different cleavage directions.

Gemologists use the term “cleavage” when referring to the breakage of diamonds and other precious stones along their crystallographic planes. This type of breakage is different than curving or irregular fractures, and it often results in a smoother surface. As with all aspects of diamond evaluation, the quality of the cleavage must be taken into account when assessing the value of a stone.

Difference between Crystal Face and Cleavage Plane

Crystal faces are the external surfaces of a crystal that have been polished or ground down so that they are flat. Cleavage planes are internal surfaces of a crystal that have been naturally formed by Crystal’s structure. Crystal faces will often exhibit Crystal’s symmetry, whereas cleavage planes will not.

Crystal faces can be found on all sides of a Crystal, but cleavage planes will only be found on certain sides (depending on Crystal’s structure). Crystal faces are typically used for aesthetic purposes, whereas cleavage planes are often used for industrial purposes (e.g. cutting or grinding).


Cleavage planes and crystal faces are important considerations when machining a part. The cleavage plane is the surface along which material will break or fracture, while the crystal face is the flat surface of a crystalline solid. In order to achieve optimal results, it is important to understand the difference between these two terms and select the appropriate tooling and machining parameters.

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