Step 4: Gem Grading

Lesson 8

Don’t underestimate the importance of clarity, one of the Four Cs of gemstone grading. For faceted gems, basic clarity grading involves evaluating qualities such as transparency, inclusions, and blemishes. Additionally, opaque and translucent gems have different standards. Clarity grading is an art. No two gems are alike. Each stone presents a unique set of properties to balance. Since clarity involves so many variables, experts frequently disagree (but rarely by more than one grade).

However, before delving into definitions and techniques, you need to understand how discussing clarity affects gem sales.

Clarity Grading and Gem Sales

Many customers will likely ask you about a gemstone’s “flaws” and “imperfections.” And so they should. However, keep in mind that negative words can create obstacles. How you describe a stone’s clarity can make or break a sale. Each customer has different needs. Try to turn clarity into a positive sales element. Instead of implying a gem has deficiencies, make a point to use the term “inclusions.”

Emphasize the Positive

For example, years ago jewelers adapted the French word jardin for “garden” to describe inclusions in emerald gems. Sounds much better than “flawed,”…