Gemstone Clarity Guide: How to make the Best Decision?

The gemstone clarity chart is the most useful guide that a buyer can lay hands on. The clarity is important deciding factors in the buying of gemstones. Other factors like cut, color and carat. Of course, carat is the first thing to check during the buying process, clarity and color too play a very important role. While many buyers get confused between clarity and color, both terms are distinct and must be studied in detail before transactions.

Let us make a quick trip into how to establish the clarity value of a gemstone.

What is clarity of the gemstone?

Clarity is defined by virtue of the presence of inclusion, carbons and blemishes inside and outside the gemstone surface. A high-clarity gemstone will have little or no inclusions. Higher the clarity value of the gemstone, greater price it will fetch.

gemstone beadsThe gemstones are traditionally classified as flawless, transparent, translucent and opaque.

The clarity value is largely established by studying the gemstone with naked eyes or under powerful microscope with minimum 10x magnification. The clarity values are affected by the following types of inclusions and blemishes:

•  Feathers
•  Clouds
•  Lines and faults
•  Nicks
•  Chips
•  Cleavage
•  Grains and bearding
•  Cavity
•  Carbon spots, knots and breaks

How is the gemstone evaluated on clarity?

Gemstone dealers use the Gemstone Clarity chart to establish the quality of clarity. The gemstones are classified under following six clarity categories.

1.  Flawless
2.  Very slightly included
3.  Slightly included
4.  Internally flawless
5.  Included
6.  Very Very Slightly Included

While Flawless is the most valued gemstone clarity rating, the included gemstones don’t often make it to the commercial gemstone market. They are mostly used in jewelry or subjected to severe heat treatment to hide away flaws.

In any way, the dealers have to necessarily mark the gemstones with clarity tag to help customers make the right choice.

Who develops the clarity chart?

The clarity chart is followed all over the world. There are different clarity charts used by different gemstone grading agencies like GIA, AGS, IGI and CIBJO.  The clarity grades for briolette, faceted square, faceted cube, heart-shaped and pear gemstones are tagged between 0 and 10.

Gemstones like diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires with 0 rating are considered flawless; the ones with clarity value of 10 are worst and should be categorically overlooked.

The gemstone clarity grade charts are developed by studying the gemstones under binocular stereo microscope under dark-field illumination.

Can clarity be enhanced artificially?

Yes, gemstones can be engineered to regain better clarity. The most popular technique employed in modern times is the LASER drilling method. It is like blowtorch used to burn out the blemishes and inclusions, and reengineer the gemstone into a fine, flawless item of collection.

Buyers should however stay away from the gemstones that are tagged as fracture-filled or clarity enhanced. No gemstone clarity agency rates a fracture-filled gemstone. Consider these smart tips while buying gemstones.