we grad our sapphire in the classic sapphires grading.

Best – Eye Clean (all our peach sapphire)

Second – Slightly Included – SI

We do not sell sapphires less than SI

 

Clarity Grading for Colored Gems

In the world of diamonds, clarity is one of the four “C’s” that determine value, along with color, cut, and carat weight. Diamonds are strictly graded for clarity on a scale devised by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), from IF (internally flawless) to VVS1/VVS2 (very, very slightly included) to VS1/VS2 (very slightly included), and so on. Even very tiny inclusions can significantly lower the value of a diamond.

Clarity is also important in colored gems, but the standards are quite different. Applying Diamond standards to colored stones would be a mistake, and would result in a buyer missing out on many fine stones. In colored gems, it is a color that is paramount, and inclusions are tolerated if they don’t detract from the beauty of the stone. Indeed for gemologists, the presence of distinctive inclusions in a colored gem is essential to certify the stone as natural.

There is no international standard for grading clarity in colored gems similar to GIA’s International Diamond Grading System. That is why when you receive a colored gem report from major labs such as GIA and GRS, they don’t include a clarity grade on the report.

However, GIA has introduced a clarity type system for colored gems that helps consumers to understand that there are different clarity standards for different gem varieties. The GIA system classifies gem varieties according to 3 types:

Type I
Usually, eye clean

Type II
Usually included

Type III
Almost always included

Aquamarine
Chrysoberyl, yellow and green
Heliodore
Morganite
Quartz, smoky
Spodumene, all
Tanzanite
Tourmaline, green
Zircon, blue

Andalusite
Alexandrite
Corundum, all (Sapphires, Rubies)
Garnet, all
Iolite
Peridot
Quartz, amethyst, citrine, ametrine
Spinel, all
Tourmaline, all but green, red/pink and watermelon
Zircon, all but blue

Emerald,

Red Beryl,
Tourmaline: red/pink and watermelon

The GIA system.

Type I

Type II

Type III

VVSMinute inclusions, difficult to see under 10X. Eye clean. Minor inclusions, somewhat easy to see with 10X. Usually eye clean. Noticeable inclusions under 10X. Usually eye clean.
VSMinor inclusions, somewhat easy to see with 10X. Usually eye clean.Noticeable inclusions under 10X. May be eye visible.Obvious inclusions with 10X. May be eye visible.
SI1Easily noticeable with 10X. Slightly visible to the unaided eye. Usually low relief.Obvious inclusions, large or numerous under 10X. Apparent to unaided eye.Prominent to unaided eye.
SI2We don’t trade under SI1Under our min lowest quality
I1
I2
I3

 

These functional grading terms tell you what you can expect to see when viewing the gemstone. They don’t, however, tell you whether the particular stone is a high-grade specimen. For that, you need to consider other attributes of the gem, especially its color and cut. And you should always consider whether the particular gem is a high-grade specimen of that particular type. The GIA clarity types help you understand whether some inclusions should be expected, even in high-grade stones.

 

Read more about sapphire clarity in my blog