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Factors Affecting Inclusions in Gemstones

Jan 9, 2008
Understanding factors that effect inclusions in gemstones is extremely important when choosing any type of stone. This article explains how size, contrast and many other factors can have an effect.

Size
Minute and minor inclusions are small in size and hardly visible. Obvious inclusions are easily observable. Prominent includes are hard to miss at all.

Contrast
Also known as color or relief, contrast refers to the difference between a gem and included crystal. Inclusions, based on their contrast levels, may be barely noticeable or a distraction.

Number
Inclusions may appear individually or in clusters and clouds. Keep in mind however that the degree of distraction carries more weight than the number of inclusions present.

Location
Inclusions located at the center of a gemstone or under the table are less desirable than those occurring near the girdle.

Grading System for Gemstone Clarity
VVS 1 and 2 Eye-Clean and Extra Fine Something more than 10x magnification eyepiece is necessary just to make the inclusions in a gemstone visible.
VS 1 and 2 Slightly Included and Fine Quality
Tiny pin-prick inclusions are visible under careful scrutiny but their presence does not affect the overall appearance of the gemstone.

Although the inclusions are easier to see, they still does not detract too much from the overall appearance of the gemstone.

S2 Moderately Included and Good to Medium-High Quality
When held closer than arms length, the gemstone will show inclusions that are easily visible.
Included 1, 2, and 3; Heavily to Severely Included and Low to Medium Quality.
Inclusions here are either highly visible or worse, they virtually draw attention to themselves.

Levels of Transparency in a Gemstone
Transparent gemstones are those which you can see right through. Their internal features are clear and defined. Semi-transparent gemstones on the other hand may appear a bit hazy and blurry. Not all of its internal features may appear distinct.

The internal characteristics of translucent gemstones are vague and not that easy to see. Semi-translucent or semi-opaque gemstones, on the other hand, simply provide even greater challenge for the individual to see through it.

Lastly, opaque gemstones do not show internal characteristics at all.

When evaluating the transparency and clarity of a gemstone, make sure to clean it first as dirt and oil can reduce transparency. Use a microscope if possible. Lastly, loose gemstones are easier to evaluate because settings can conceal inclusions located at the gemstones pavilion.

Once you are armed with the correct knowledge and head off to make you purchase, you will feel more at ease knowing you understand some of the important factors listed above. Parting with huge sums of money can be a scary affair but knowing you are spending wisely makes the experience a whole lot easier.

Keep in mind that you are within your rights to ask as many questions as you desire and can handle and study a gemstone as much as you wish before you purchase it.
About the Author
Allen Jesson writes for several sites that specialize in Vintage Engagement Rings. and Antique Engagement Rings, Providing you with product reviews, information and guides that are essential when purchasing any type of Engagement Ring. .
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