Emerald is one of the most valuable and strikingly colored gemstones. If you are thinking about buying engagement rings and other jewelry pieces, emerald makes a wise investment. But while emerald jewelry pieces are always charming and appealing, not all loose emerald stones are as valuable. Aside from considering emerald cut, carat and color, you also need to learn about emerald clarity.
Picking the best loose emerald Tuerkis gemstones is not as simple as picking the largest perfectly cut stones. Although the cut and size of the gemstone influences its beauty and value, emerald clarity dictates the quality and rarity of every piece. Clean emerald is considered rare and highly valuable because this gemstone often has many inclusions. Yellow and black spots, hole, fissure and dichroism are common imperfections of loose emerald stones. Also, older jewelry pieces with this stone may acquire micaceous, cracks and other form of damage over the years. These inclusions degrade the purity of gemstones. Hence, clean and clear stones assume higher value.
Gemstone inclusions are not just imperfections. They serve as the emerald’s fingerprint, which distinguishes it from diamonds, sapphires and rubies. While minimal inclusions translate to higher value, the presence of inclusions also determine genuine gemstones from synthetic or imitations.
The absence of inclusions does not automatically render a gemstone valuable as “perfect” gemstones initially suspected as imitation or synthetic. Hence, this issue is resolved by measuring or determining the clarity of the stone. In the case of loose gemstones, clarity is measured using a small magnifying glass called “jeweler’s loup”, which deliver up to 10-power magnification. Gemstones are formed under unique circumstances, which mean that they usually are created from unique combinations of trace minerals. This explains the differences in the color and identifying marks that loose emerald gemstones acquire.
Emeralds are actually classified into certain types, which is based on the presence of inclusions. The Gemological Institute of America use the scale VVS to I3 with loose emerald gemstones. Very, very slightly included (VVS) refer to emeralds with easily identifiable inclusions, which are often seen only under 10-power magnification. Very slightly included (VS) refer to those with obvious inclusions, visible to the naked eye. Slightly included (Sl1) types refer to those with prominent and numerous inclusions that can be seen in the naked eye. Slightly included (Sl2) refer to those with very prominent inclusions. Included1 (I1) refers to those with inclusions that are obvious to the naked eye. Included2 (I2) gemstones usually refer to low-value gems because of severe inclusions. Lastly, Included3 (I3) types are gemstones with obvious inclusions that degrade appearance as well as durability.
For loose emerald gemstones, the VVS or I1 group usually gives the best clarity and highest value. Minute inclusions or minimal imperfections are observed in SL1 and I4 group. If you are looking for engagement rings and other emerald pieces with higher clarity, liveliness and overall brilliance, you can choose from the pieces classified under these groups. In truth, emeralds are highly included gemstones. Hence, they may undergo clarity enhancement to minimize the flaws and increase resistance to cracking and breaking. Clarity enhancement is traditionally done using oil (cedar oil) to fill the fissures, holes and other inclusions in the gemstone. In some cases, materials like epoxy or resin is used on gemstones that are particularly vulnerable to high temperature.