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  : Colored Gem Clarity Grades

Colored Gemstones and Clarity Grades

When it comes to gemstone value, color is the most important issue. The next most important factor is clarity. Gemstone clarity refers to the presence (or lack) of inclusions that can affect a gemstone's appearance and overall durability. Most gemstone dealers will assign a clarity grade based on how visible inclusions are, and whether or not they can be seen with an unaided eye or only under magnification (jeweler's loupe).

Since different gemstone types and varieties have certain natural characteristics in regard to clarity and inclusions, some of which are actually desirable, there is no official grading system that can be fairly applied to all gemstone varieties. Therefore, it is important to understand how gemstone clarity is evaluated.

Transparent, faceted gemstones are broken down into different clarity groups based on their type or variety before they are evaluated and assigned an overall grade. This is because each gemstone type and variety has a different range of what is considered to be 'normal' in regard to clarity and inclusions. In fact, GIA, one of the leading international gemological labs, doesn't even have an IF (internally flawless) grading for colored stones. GIA groups each colored stone variety conveniently into one of three clarity types as follows:

Type 1 Gems: These gemstones are often found to be virtually inclusion-free. Gem-quality specimens are normally 'eye clean' and stones with visible inclusions are rarely used for jewelry.

Type 2 Gems: These gemstones are usually included. Some 'eye clean' gemstones can be found, but are not nearly as common in occurrence as type 1 gem types. Stones with minor inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye are often used for jewelry. These include sapphire and ruby.

Type 3 Gems: These gemstones are almost always included. Even gemstones with noticeable inclusions are often used for jewelry, particularly emerald and watermelon tourmaline.

Cabochon gemstones and gems that display optical phenomena such as asterism (the star effect) are graded differently than faceted gemstones. The clarity for these types of gemstones is described as follows:

Transparent: Transmits light without serious diffusion; may have rutile or other inclusions.
Translucent: Allows some light to pass to pass through.
Opaque: Does not allow any light to pass through.

The chart below details the clarity type assigned for most of the different gemstone varieties available today. Depending on the nature of the stone, the assigned clarity grade is based on what is considered to be normal with regard to inclusions.

Please note: This chart should not be regarded as final and official. It is based on the combined opinions of GIA and gemselect.com and may vary from specimen to specimen. There are always exceptions when it comes to colored gemstones, since each gemstone is unique.

Gemstone Type Clarity Type Clarity Comments
Alexandrite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Alexandrite is rarely found in large sizes, making inclusions hard to see in small gems.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Almandine Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Asbestos inclusions are common. Almandine is typically cleaner than most other garnets and is usually eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Amblygonite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are especially rare.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Amethyst Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Many stones are heated to enhance clarity, making eye clean stones more readily available.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Ametrine Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Many stones are heated to enhance clarity, making eye clean stones more readily available.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Andalusite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Rutile inclusions are sometimes desirable.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Andesine Labradorite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Rutile inclusions are sometimes desirable.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Apatite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Greens and yellows are usually cleaner. Neon eye clean stones are hard to find, especially over 1 carat.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Aquamarine Type I

Usually eye clean.

Some stones exhibit long rod inclusions, a trademark of beryl gemstones.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Axinite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Most gems exhibit obvious veils and various other types of inclusions. Eye clean stones are quite rare.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Azotic Topaz Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Usually the cleanest colorless stones are coated to produce this type of treated topaz.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Benitoite Type III

Almost always included.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Beryl Type I

Usually eye clean.

Golden beryl and heliodor only. Red bixbite, emerald and green beryl are type III gems.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Calcite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Cassiterite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are very rare even in small stones.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Chrome Diopside Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Horsetail inclusions are desirable. Most stones are included but still eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Chrome Tourmaline Type I

Usually eye clean.

VVS grade stones are eye clean with very small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification. VS grade gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. SI1-SI2 grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.
Chrysoberyl Type I

Usually eye clean.

Applicable only for yellow and green chrysoberyl.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Citrine Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Many stones are heated to enhance clarity, making eye clean stones more readily available.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Clinohumite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are very rare for gems that weigh over 1 carat.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Color Change Diaspore Zultanite? (or Csarite?) Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones in large sizes are especially rare.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Color Change Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Usually a form of malaya grossular garnet, color change garnet tends to be more included than many other garnet varieties.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Color-Change Sapphire Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Heating can improve clarity.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Danburite Type I

Usually eye clean.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Demantoid Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Grossular and mixed grossular garnet gems tend to have more inclusions than many other garnet varieties, but horsetail inclusions are desirable in Russian demantoid garnet.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Diopside Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Though included, most are eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Emerald Type III

Almost always included.

Most good quality emeralds are in the I2 to I3 grade and exhibit numerous obvious inclusions visible to the naked eye.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Enstatite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Goethite and hematite inclusions can result in a sub-metallic luster that is often desirable.

VVVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Epidote Type II

Most gems are usually included.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Fluorite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Although included, most gems should be eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Goshenite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Usually eye clean and one of the cleanest beryl types.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Grossularite Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Grossular and mixed grossular garnet gems tend to have more inclusions than many other garnet varieties.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Hackmanite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Streaks and veins of calcite are common.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Hambergite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Hessonite Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Hessonite tends to have more inclusions than other garnet types, as does most yellow to orange and pink garnet.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Hiddenite Type I

Usually eye clean, like other forms of spodumene.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Idocrase Type III

Almost always included.

Checkerboard cuts often hide inclusions well.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Imperial Topaz Type I

Usually eye clean.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Iolite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Large stones are rarely eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Kornerupine Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Small stones are typically eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Kunzite Type I

Usually eye clean, like other forms of spodumene.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Kyanite Type III

Almost always included.

Eye clean stones are extremely rare.

VVVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Labradorite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Tiny desirable inclusions result in its attractive metallic schiller.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Malaya Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are very rare in large sizes. Needle-like cluster inclusions are very common.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Mali Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are rare in large sizes.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Morganite Type I

Usually eye clean.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Mystic Quartz Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Usually the cleanest colorless stones are chosen to produce this type of treated quartz.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Mystic Topaz Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Usually the cleanest colorless stones are chosen for this type of treated topaz.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Orthoclase Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones can be found in quality specimens.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Paraiba Tourmaline Type III

Almost always included.

Mozambican paraiba is often cleaner than Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Peridot Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Most gems should be eye clean though large gems may appear cloudy.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Prehnite Type III

Almost always included.

Often cut into beads or cabochons, due to heavy inclusions.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Pyrope Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Pyrope is one of the cleanest garnets. Most gems are eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Quartz Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Heated and other forms of treated quartz are usually eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Rainbow Moonstone Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Inclusions can be desirable since they add to the sheen.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Rhodochrosite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Rhodolite Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Rhodolite tends to be cleaner than most other garnet varieties.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Rhodonite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Rubellite Tourmaline Type III

Almost always included.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Ruby Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Fine rutile silk inclusions can increase value in ruby. Even treated ruby is rarely eye clean. Ruby tends to be less clean than sapphire.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Rutile Quartz Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Rutile increases value while gas, clouds and feather inclusions tend to decrease value.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Rutile Topaz Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Inclusions are actually limonite and not rutile.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Sapphire Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Fine rutile silk inclusions can increase value in sapphire.

Heated and other forms of treated sapphire exhibit enhanced clarity.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Scapolite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are rare, especially in stones weighing over 1 carat.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Smoky Quartz Type I

Usually eye clean.

One of the few forms of quartz that is usually clean.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Spessartite Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean spessartite garnet gems can be hard to find in large sizes, like most yellow to orange garnet stones.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Sphalerite Type III

Almost always included. Eye clean stones are extremely rare.

Inclusions can result in increased fire and dispersion.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Sphene

Type III

Almost always included. Eye clean stones are extremely rare.

Inclusions can result in increased fire and dispersion.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Spinel Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are common.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Spodumene Type I

Usually eye clean, like other forms of spodumene.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Sunstone Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Glittery and copper inclusions can be desirable.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Taaffeite Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are very rare.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Tashmarine Diopside Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Though included, eye clean stones can be expected.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Topaz Type I

Usually eye clean.

Applicable to blue, white and imperial topaz only.

VVS stones have small inclusions that are difficult to see under magnification.

VS gems have inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under magnification. May or may not be eye clean.

SI-I grade gemstones have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye.

Tourmaline Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Green tourmaline is usually eye clean. Blue, red and pink tourmaline is usually included.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Tsavorite Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Tsavorite tends to be cleaner than most other garnets and is often eye clean.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Uvarovite Garnet Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Eye clean stones are rare, especially since uvarovite is rare.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Watermelon Tourmaline Type III

Almost always included. Eye clean stones are extremely rare.

VVS gems have noticeable inclusions under magnification, but are usually eye clean.

VS stones have inclusions that are obvious under magnification, and may or may not be eye clean.

SI to I gems have prominent to obvious inclusions that are visible under magnification and to the unaided eye.

Zircon Type II

Most gems are usually included.

Blue and white zircon is type 1 and is usually eye clean. Orange, yellow and red zircon is usually included.

VVS gems are usually eye clean with minor inclusions that are easy to see under a loupe.

VS stones tend to have visible inclusions that can be seen under magnification and sometimes also with the unaided eye.

SI to I gems have inclusions that are obvious under magnification and to the unaided eye.

  • First Published: November-19-2014
  • Last Updated: February-25-2015
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Colored Gemstones
Size and Weight

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

Size Comparison Chart