Clarity is an important factor in evaluating emeralds and refers to the presence or absence of inclusions or internal characteristics within the stone. Here's some information about emerald clarity:
- Inclusions: Emeralds are known to have inclusions due to the geological conditions in which they form. These inclusions can include fractures, fissures, and other internal features. It's rare to find an emerald without any inclusions, and most emeralds will have some degree of internal characteristics.
- Garden Effect: The presence of inclusions in emeralds often gives rise to what is called the "garden effect." This term describes the appearance of visible inclusions that resemble garden-like patterns within the stone. The garden effect can vary in intensity, ranging from sparse and scattered inclusions to densely packed ones.
- Impact on Clarity Grading: Clarity grading for emeralds is different from that of diamonds. Due to the inherent presence of inclusions, emerald clarity grading takes into account the overall transparency, visibility, and impact of the inclusions on the stone's beauty. Clarity grades for emeralds typically include categories such as Eye Clean, Slightly Included (SI), Moderately Included (MI), and Heavily Included (HI).
- Eye Clean Emeralds: Eye clean emeralds are highly valued as they appear free from visible inclusions to the naked eye. These stones have excellent transparency and allow light to pass through without significant obstruction or interference.
- Oiling and Clarity Enhancement: Many emeralds undergo a common clarity enhancement technique called oiling. This involves filling surface-reaching fractures or cavities with colorless oil or resin to minimize the visibility of inclusions and enhance the stone's clarity. Oiling is an accepted practice in the emerald industry, but it's important to disclose any treatments when purchasing or selling emeralds.
- Importance of Transparency: While emerald inclusions are common, the overall transparency of the stone is still crucial. High-quality emeralds have good transparency, allowing light to enter and exit the stone with minimal obstruction. Transparency contributes to the stone's beauty and helps maximize its brilliance and color display.
When evaluating emerald clarity, it's important to strike a balance between the visibility of inclusions and the overall beauty of the stone. Ultimately, personal preference, budget, and the overall appearance of the emerald should guide the choice of clarity grade that suits your preferences and requirements