THE SEASON FOR LOVE - UP TO 30% OFF SELECT STYLES
Save up to 30% on select Lab Diamonds
If you’re shopping for a yellow sapphire, you want to ensure that you’re selecting a quality stone. One way to evaluate the quality is to check the stone’s clarity. Keep reading to learn more about gemstone clarity so you can find beautiful, quality yellow sapphires.
As its name implies, jeweler’s determine gemstone clarity based on its inclusions. Basically, this refers to how clear the stone appears. Clarity grading does vary from stone to stone. Some stones, such as rubies and emeralds, have more inclusions than other gemstones. Other stones, such as amethyst and aquamarine, are usually clear. For diamonds, clarity plays a big role in the quality of the stone because even small inclusions can detract from the sparkle of the cut gem. Regardless of the stone, gemstone clarity impacts its quality.
Gemstones with higher clarity are generally more expensive and have higher value. Remember that clarity is only one aspect of the gem’s quality. So you’ll also want to evaluate the yellow sapphire’s cut, carat, and color. It’s also a good idea to ask if the jewelry knows if the gemstone was treated. Many yellow sapphires are treated for clarity and color, so it’s good to be aware.
Inclusions demonstrate that the stone is a natural gemstone, but some inclusions are distracting. Effective gem cutting tries to cut the stone in a way that it includes the fewest amount of inclusions. Although especially rare for yellow sapphires, some stones are “eye clean,” which means they don’t have any visible inclusions with the naked eye. However, yellow sapphires commonly have natural inclusions that you can see without magnification. Yellow sapphires with fewer inclusions will be the most valuable. Yellow sapphires with too many inclusions are repurposed into beads or another type of gemstone jewelry.
In evaluating a yellow sapphire’s clarity, it’s helpful to see what type of inclusions you’ll encounter, such as needles, feathers, fingerprints, small crystals, and cavities.
Another common inclusion, needles can be larger and distinct, or smaller and look like silk. Like the name, these types of inclusions are long and skinny.
Some feather inclusions are noticeable while others are not. Feathers look like a crack within the gemstone that has a feathery look when viewed from a right angle.
Fingerprint inclusions are commonly seen in rubies and sapphires. They’re a cloudy, net-like hollow inclusion filled with liquid and gas that form patterns resembling fingerprints around the crystal inclusion.
As gemstones form, sometimes other crystals form next to them Crystal inclusions typically look like a spot of another color inside the stone, and are identified by the crystalline structure of the inclusion. White crystals are more desirable because they aren’t as noticeable. You’ll see minute crystals of hematite, zircon, spinel, calcite, and mica within sapphires.
Some sapphires have voids or holes that extend from the surface of a gemstone into the interior. When this is the case, the catities are sometimes filled with glass.
Like other gemstones, sapphires are graded depending on the amount of inclusions in the stone. Inclusions are naturally occurring crystal growths. Even the best natural stones are not expected to be totally inclusion free. If it looks completely clean, you’ll also want to make sure it’s natural versus synthetic. Stones can also have surface blemishes, like scratches or chips, so it’s important you inspect the stone carefully yourself.
Yellow sapphires typically tend to have some inclusions compared to other gemstones, such as amethysts and aquamarines. However, yellow sapphires typically have fewer inclusions than other colored sapphires. Plus, these small inclusions make your stone unique. The best clarity grade for yellow sapphires is perfection, meaning it is completely clear to the naked eye (eye clean). The clarity grades after perfection are VVS (Very Very Slightly included) and VS (Very Slightly included), and then Slightly Included. These gradings acknowledge very small inclusions, but they don’t seriously impair the sapphire’s appearance.
The best clarity grade for yellow sapphires is perfection. This means it is completely clear to the naked eye, and is also referred to as “eye clean.” These are extremely rare. The next clarity grades are VVS (Very Very Slightly included), VS (Very Slightly included) and Slightly Included. These recognize very small inclusions, but don’t seriously impair the sapphire’s appearance.
Generally, the preferred yellow sapphire color is a medium, vibrant, canary yellow. Yellow sapphires can range in color from greenish yellow to orangish-yellow and everything in between. You’ll see sapphires in pastel light yellow and lemon yellow, to a deep orange-yellow.
Yellow sapphires represent divine grace and power. It is a gemstone that’s supposed to keep the wearer safe, and is the gemstone of knowledge, auspicious wealth and loving relationships. Based on the beauty and meaning, their popularity for engagement rings continues to increase.
You can use a microscope or a jeweler’s loupe to look at the stone’s clarity. Some inclusions can be seen with the naked eye, so check your stone carefully. Other inclusions require magnification to examine them carefully. Yellow sapphires have fewer inclusions than other colored sapphires, such as pink and blue.