Grading and Definition of Terms

Our clarity grading is based on the appearance of the gem to the unaided eye.

Eye Clean
(eye clean) are gems that have no inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. This classification would include gems classified as flawless by other dealers.

Very Lightly Included
(v lt incl) are gems that have very small or minor inclusions that do not affect the beauty or brilliance of the gem. These gems may often appear eye clean to the untrained eye.

Lightly Included
(lt incl) are gems that have visible inclusions that have little affect on the brilliance or beauty of the gem.

Moderately Included
(mod incl) are gems that have visible inclusion which have a very noticeable affect on the brilliance or beauty of the gem. A moderately included gem will still display brilliance. Gems such as emeralds and alexandrites often are moderately included.

Heavily Included
(hv incl) are gems that display numerous inclusion that greatly affect the brilliance and color of a gem. Heavily included gems are offered when they represent an extreme rarity or an affordable value in a normally expensive gem.

Terms such as Transparent, Translucent, and Opaque are used to describe cabochons with the clarity terms listed above when feasible.


Color grading is based on tones and hues. Tone grading is as follows.

is used to describe a gem that displays no color face up. On rare occasions these gems may have a slight tint of color when viewed table down.

Very Light
(V Lt) color describes a gem with just a tint of color. Some sources us the term pale for very light.

(Lt) color displays a stronger with greater saturation..

(Md) color displays a middle tone. This is often a very desirable color.

Medium Dark
(Md Dk) is most often the most desirable of colors for a gem. Rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are considered the best color when the tone is medium dark.

(Dk) color will lose intensity or definition of color approaching black although the color is still discernable.

Very Dark
(V Dk) color appears black in reflected light and requires light to be transmitted through the gem to determine the color.

Intense is used as a modifier when the color saturation is such that the color is very vivid. Terms such as neon and electric are often used to describe intense color.

Hues are described with modifying hues listed first followed by the dominant hue. Bluish Green describes a color that is green dominant with blue modification. On some rare occasions more than one modifier may be present particularly in dichroic and pleochroic gems in which case all modifiers will be listed such as Yellowish, Bluish Green which describes a gem with dominant green tone modified by both yellow and blue.

Color Change gems are described with their natural or daylight color first followed by the artificial light color. A fine alexandrite's color may be described as Md Bluish Green/Dk Purplish Red indicating it displays a dominant medium green with blue modifiers in daylight changing to a dominant dark red with purple modifiers under artificial light.