When purchasing gemstones, the most important thing you have to consider is determining their value. Most people think that grading gemstones are the same as grading diamonds. However, this is not true. The standards for grading gemstones are different from that of diamonds. Hence, it is important for you to know about determining the value of these stones before purchasing them.
For grading diamonds, there are strict scales and standards created by GIA (Gemological Institute of America). But these standards may not be applicable for gemstones. Most people confuse the four C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat) of diamond quality for gemstones. Even though these terms are also important for gemstones, their grading standards can be quite different.
Color and Clarity
Even if clarity is a significant factor for gemstones, more importance is given for their color. Small inclusions can be tolerated in these stones if they do not diminish the beauty of the stones.
Many jewelers use the clarity grading of diamonds for describing the clarity of gemstones. But these may be confusing for the customers. Therefore many gem associations recommend the use of different clarity standards for these stones, including “very slightly included”, “eye clean”, “almost loupe clean”, “loupe clean”, etc. These grading standards are formed based on whether the inclusions are visible for the naked eye or are seen under a loupe at 10x magnification.
Weight and density
Even though both diamonds and gemstones use the carat system for expressing weight, they are not the same in terms of carat sizes. A diamond has a different specification than a gemstone, as the density of diamonds and gemstones will vary. For instance, a ruby is a gemstone that has more density than diamonds; therefore a 1 carat ring with ruby will look smaller than a 1 carat diamond ring. Hence, the one carat diamond ring price will also be different from that of a ring with ruby.
GIA grading system
Recently, GIA has introduced a system for helping the customers to understand the clarity of different gemstones. The gemstones are classified into three categories based on this system. The classification is as follows:
These gemstones are almost loupe clean. They will be mostly inclusion-free and even if inclusions are present, they will be really tiny such that they can be viewed only under a 10x magnification.
Type 2 stones will have inclusions; however, they will not be usually visible with the naked eye.
Gemstones included in this category will have visible inclusions that can be easily spotted with the naked eye.
These classifications will help the customers to understand the value and quality of the gemstones they are buying. Even though these standards are not as efficient as the diamond grading system, they still help to categorize colored gemstones based on their clarity.