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Colored Gemstone Clarity Grading | GemSelect

Gem dealers, jewelers and gemologists grade and evaluate colored gemstone clarities differently from that of diamonds. When it comes to colored gems like rubies, sapphires, emeralds and aquamarine, clarity standards differentiate greatly from one another. Each gem type has a unique composition, and for this reason, the colored gem grading system lacks a single universal sanction.  As many of us are aware, to apply the same diamond clarity standards to colored gems would be a mistake and it would likely result in buyers missing out on many of the finest specimens. With colored gemstones, color is the king and inclusions are tolerated, in fact for some, inclusions are revered.

Clarity plays a crucial role as one of the Four C's when grading a diamond; the remaining three are Color, Cut and Carat weight. The colored gem trade has no universal clarity grading system like GIA's International Diamond Grading System, but however, GIA does utilize a clarity ‘type’ rating system that can help consumers understand the different clarity standards based on 3 different gem types:

Type 1 Gems
Type 1 gems usually found virtually free of inclusions in the market. High quality specimens of Type 1 varieties would have only microscopic inclusions that could only be detected using a loupe with 10X magnification. So when selecting a Type 1 gemstone, a buyer should expect the stone to be near loupe-clean. Type 1 gems include gems such as aquamarine, yellow beryl, morganite, chrysoberyl, danburite, smoky quartz, kunzite, blue topaz, white zircon, blue zircon and tanzanite.

Type 2 Gems
Type 2 gems are typically found with inclusions and high quality specimens would be eye-clean, rather than almost loupe-clean as with Type 1 gemstones. Type 2 gemstones include apatite, alexandrite, corundum (sapphire and ruby), fluorite, diopside, garnet, iolite, most quartz varieties (such as ametrine and amethyst), spinel, peridot, most tourmaline colors (with the exception of green and watermelon) and red, yellow and orange zircon.

Type 3 Gems
Type 3 gems are almost always found with significant amounts of visible inclusions. Even high quality specimens will have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. Type 3 gems include emerald, red beryl, sphalerite, benitoite, kyanite, idocrase, prehnite, sphene and watermelon and rubellite tourmaline.

These functional grading terms tell you what you can expect to see when viewing different gemstone types. They do not, however, distinguish whether a particular stone is a low or high grade specimen. For that you need to consider other attributes of the said gemstone, especially color and cut. Additionally, it should always be considered whether or not the particular gem is a high grade specimen of any specific type. The GIA clarity guidelines for colored gems can help you understand whether or not some inclusions should be expected, even with high grade colored gemstones.

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1 comment :

  1. Thank you for your helpful information and tips about colorful gemstones. The social networking site which you have provided is also valuable for me. Basically, customer can find out their selected and needful glossy gemstone from some well known stores. Gemological Insurance Appraisers can provide your choice able gemstone including different type of luxurious color.

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