Tourmaline Clarity


Clarity is one of the most important determiner of a tourmaline’s value.  How clear a gemstone is affects how it can be cut and how well it sparkles.  A tourmaline with very poor clarity will be cut into a cabochon or made into a bead.  It will not hold or reflect light and it will not sparkle.  The difference in value between a tourmaline of poor clarity and one of perfect clarity, (cut, size, and color being equal) can be 20 times.

Terrible Clarity:  This tourmaline has so many inlcusions and internal impurities that it is almost opaque.  Tourmalines with such poor clarity are not uncommon and therefore should never be expensive (under $100). Bad Clarity: This tourmaline had good enough clarity to be faceted, compared to the tourmaline on the left which was so cloudy that it was made into a cabochon. We can see a hint of spakle through all the internal “mist”. Poor Clarity:  This tourmaline is mostly clear, but there are still some specs inside it.  On the left side and bottom, there are some brown inclusions and throughout the stone, there are small white specs.  This level of clarity is acceptable even in fine tourmalines if the color and cut are good. Perfect Clarity:  This is a very special, perfectly clear tourmaline. We cannot see any imperfections inside it at all.  Clarity this good is quite rare in tourmaline, especially in the more valubale colors like blue and pink.  Tourmalines like this can be worth several $100’s per carat.