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S. C - Texas
Member of the
Florida Society of Goldsmiths
The Gemstone Clarity Scale helps to explain gem clarity issues!
Very Good - Eye Clean &
Loop Clean using 10x Loupe Magnification
The clarity of a gemstone refers to how clear that gemstone is to your eye. I use a 10X power loupe to grade the gemstones on my website. This means that if I grade a gem VVG Eye clean/loupe clean, that gem is clear as a bell. A VG graded gem will have very, very, slight inclusion, but you will have to use a 10X (10 times your eyesight!) to see it.
An “eye clean” gemstone will command a higher price; it will be much more valuable than a gem that has imperfections.
My clarity scale is the measure that I use on my website to grade all the gems by the severity of blemishes or inclusions that the gemstone may have or have not.
What exactly are Inclusions in a Gemstone? Click on the link below-
What Makes a Gemstone Rare and Valuable?
Color would be the first factor I would look at to set a value on a gemstone. The more intense and vivid the color of the gemstone, the more valuable that gem will be. Stronger colors generally command a higher price, but not always. The customer’s individual color preference, wanting a Light Pink rather than a Hot Pink would be a deciding factor.
Rarity is the gem’s scarceness, as when the mine is exhausted and closed and there are no more. Rare can be a gem being unusual, like a Color Change Garnet. An example of a Rare, Unusual, Scarce, Collectable, Color Change gemstone is Zultanite. Zultanite is mined only in one remote region of Anatolia, Turkey. When the mine is depleted, Zultanite will be invaluable, this gem is a great investment stone.
Click on the link to learn more about Zultanite-
Cut would depend on how well the gemstone has been faceted. An excellent polished, well proportioned, faceted gem will be worth much more than a dull, lopsided, uneven, cut gem.
Shape can play a factor too. A Princess Cut gemstone is worth at least 5 to 10% more than a Round Brilliant because of the popularity of the cut. You have to then take in consideration the other factors, Rarity, Clarity, Color, Carat Weight……all these factors = Value of the gemstone.
Clarity is the measure; the degree a gem is free of inclusions or clarity characteristics. Inclusions are tiny natural birthmarks that nature leaves in the gem and is also a part of the gems identification.
Certain gem species, like an Emerald always contain clarity characteristics, so that would be considered in the evaluation of the Emerald’s value.
What are Enhancements - Treatments of Gemstones?
Mother Nature usually starts a gems treatment. When gems were formed in the earth many years ago, they were exposed to the earth’s heat and some gems to the natural radiation in the ground. Today, most of the Sapphires, Rubies and other gemstones are routinely treated to heat, radiation or some other treatment to enhance their color or clarity. Treatment to gems is a common practice and the treatment used has to be disclosed to the buyer. If no treatment has incurred to a gemstone and it is natural, the value of that gem goes up tremendously.
A treatment of a gemstone is any enhancement to that gem that improves the appearance, be it the color, clarity or phenomena of that gemstone. Treatments are a fairly common practice and you can enjoy the fine beauty and clarity of a treated gem for many years.
Treatment of gemstones has been around since ancient ties. The tomb of Egypt’s Pharaoh Tutankhamen (who died in 1325 BC) had treated gems found in it. 2,000 years ago a Roman book was written about several treatment methods that are still in use today.
So there is nothing wrong or unethical with a treated gemstone, as long as it is properly disclosed and the customer knows what they are buying. Treatments are vital to the jewelry industry making beautiful gems and jewelry more affordable to customers.
Natural: No treatment or procedure other than faceting and polishing.
Unknown: No known treatment specified or aware of.
Heat: A sophisticated heat procedure to affect the desired color and or clarity.
HPHT: High pressure - High Temperature is used to improve a gemstone’s color.
Irradiation: Neurons, gamma rays or beta particles (high energy electrons) are used to enhance a gemstone’s color.
Diffusion: Using chemicals with high temperatures to produce color confined to the surface of the gem.
Oil/Resin Filling: Surface-breaking fissures in a gemstone are filled with colorless oil or resin to improve the gem’s appearance.
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