The Role Inclusions Play in Colored Gems

InclusionsMany people may hear “visible inclusions” and immediately get scared off. While this may be justified for diamonds, the colored stones market holds a completely different set of standards. This is because diamonds and colored stones owe their appeal to different factors; the most prized diamonds are high in clarity and display optical brilliance, while the most prized quality in colored stones is the overall display of color.

Natural emeralds and rubies are good examples of prized gem specimens that will almost always come with inclusions. They are classified by the GIA as a Type III in their clarity grading system, which means that these stones are commonly included and most of the inclusions can be seen with the unaided eye. Visible inclusions will neither detract from the overall beauty nor affect price significantly if the stone presents a good color. People with a penchant for rubies and emeralds or even colored gems in general will expect to see some inclusions.

Inclusions also play an important part in identifying natural and synthetic stones, and will show whether the stone in question has undergone any enhancements. Gemologists and jewelers rely on inclusions to detect any dyes, fillers, or coatings that may have been used, as well some tell-tale inclusions confirm that the stone is manmade instead of natural. Not all enhancements have a negative impact on the value and durability on a stone, a topic we will discuss in a later post. However, the key to buying colored stones are knowledge and disclosure. It is always best to buy from a trusted jeweler who can get your gems certified.

Monica Tsao, co-founder of Secret Sapphire in Yaletown, is a graduate GIA Gemologist and jeweler who also offers independent jewelry appraisals and validation of stones. Her field of expertise is colored stones, for which she went through several years of training as a buyer. You will know exactly what you are getting with us!