Moissanite grading can be somewhat confusing because it is often compared to the colour and clarity of diamonds.
While moissanite is similar to a diamond and shares some of its properties, it is not a diamond, it is a gemstone in its own right.
Strictly speaking, moissanite gemstones should not be graded using a scale specifically designed for diamond grading purposes.
But, for the sake of simplicity and for ease of reference, some of the leading global suppliers of moissanite and jewellers still describe the colour and clarity of moissanite in diamond grading terms.
The below information will help with understanding the correct grading terminologies for moissanite.
Most people looking to buy moissanite or diamonds are more familiar with the diamond colour range and the letters referring to colour than the correct gemstone terminologies.
The internationally accepted standard when grading diamonds for colour is using the letters of the alphabet, from D to Z, D being the whitest (colourless) and Z by comparison, the most tinted/yellow.
Terminology For Grading Moissanite Colour
Colourless, near colourless, slightly tinted, tinted.
(Moissanite is also available in yellow, pink, green, cognac etc. although we have found colourless and near colourless to be the most popular and best suited as diamond alternatives.)
Majestic Moissanite™ is sold in the colourless (DEF) and near colourless (GH) range.
Charles & Colvard® is sold in the colourless (DEF) and near colourless range (GH) range.
We are meticulous with the colour grading of the stones we offer for sale and ensure that all the moissanite we supply falls well within these colour ranges.
Diamond clarities are described as Flawless/Internally Flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2 and I3.
Flawless is self-explanatory, VVS1 Is very very slight inclusion and continues down the scale where I2 or I3 have obvious inclusions, which can be seen with the naked eye.
As previously mentioned, moissanite is not a diamond and moissanite should not be graded using the same terms as a diamond, however, the following explanation will provide clarity.
Internationally accepted standards when grading diamonds for clarity are as follows:
- (FL) Flawless. No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
- (IF) Internally Flawless. No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
- (VVS1 and VVS2) Very, Very Slightly Included Inclusions, so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
- (VS1 and VS2) Very Slightly Included Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor
- (SI1 and SI2) Slightly Included Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
- (I1, I2, and I3) Included Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and can be seen with the naked eye.
The generally accepted grading of a gemstone with few or no inclusions is termed ‘Eye Clean’. This means that when viewed with the naked eye, no inclusions are visible. Other terminologies used are very lightly included, lightly included, moderately included and heavily included.
Moissanite is created using organic elements, mimicking nature in a controlled environment. So, some moissanite gems have tiny, needle-like inclusions that may develop during the growing process.
Inclusions in moissanite are not like inclusions within some other gemstones including diamonds. Instead of dark/carbon spots that block light, moissanite inclusions (when visible) are mostly caused by micropipes (the lack of material).
Moissanite Clarity Grading Terminology
Eye clean, very lightly included, lightly included, moderately included and heavily included.
Only moissanite that passes our stringent quality standards is made available for sale. We are meticulously strict with the clarity grading of the stones we offer for sale, to ensure that all the moissanite we supply falls well within the top clarities as described.
Majestic Moissanite™ is available exclusively in exceptional clarities and is eye clean (above are IF-VS), where even with the industry standard 10x magnification, you would be hard-pressed to find any flaws.
Charles & Colvard® moissanite is sold in the following grades:
Forever One IF-VS
Moissanite By Charles & Colvard® (MOI CC) SI-I2