Gem FAQS > What Is A Gemstone and About Grading and Classifying Gemstones > Clarity Gradings

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Clarity is the easiest grading aspect of a gemstone but usually the most misunderstood. Inclusions are not flaws unless they materially affect the beauty or durability of a gemstone. Inclusions are important in that they allow us to determine where a gem is from and if it is natural and has been treated by man in some way.

Inclusions are what makes a star sapphire in that the star is formed by light striking the tiny rutile needles. These same rutile needles will also tell us if a sapphire has been heated; unbroken needles mean no treatment.

Gemstones are loosely grouped in to three clarity types by GIA based upon how they are commonly found.

Type I- Usually found inclusion free like diamonds-

Type II- Usually found eye-clean like sapphire and ruby.

Type III- Usually included to the naked eye like jadeite.

Last updated on June 14, 2009 by Francis M Lynch