|Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) / Colored Gemstone Clarity Grading|
Some of your gemstones are graded for clarity with letters, such as VVS, VS or SI. However, some are just described as transparent, translucent or opaque. Why is that?
The clarity grades of IF, VVS, VS, SI and I1 are typically reserved for transparent to semi-transparent gemstones, where the interior of the stone is visible, and usually only used to grade faceted gemstones. If a gemstone is translucent or opaque, you can't see within the stone to determine inclusions in order to properly grade the material. So for these types of gems, as well as those cut en cabochon, clarity is often graded by terms, such as transparent, translucent or opaque. You will often see this not only for cabochons, but also with certain types of faceted gems too, including opal, fire opal, prehnite, black spinel or black tourmaline.
- First Published: February-20-2006
- Last Updated: August-23-2017
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