A Guide to Sapphire Clarity Grading

Sapphires are included! We will not buy a Sapphire if we can’t see any inclusions under magnification, It is probably synthetic

Sapphires dazzle with their incredible range of saturated colors, from classic blue to stunning pink, yellow, and green and the amazing Padparadscha hues. As one of the four precious gemstones, sapphire captivates jewelry lovers around the world. But like all natural gemstones, not every sapphire displays the same level of quality and beauty. Clarity is one of the factors that determines a sapphire’s value and rarity.

The clarity of a sapphire is graded without the use of magnification.

Clarity – We grade our sapphire in the classic sapphires grading the highest is “Eye Clean Sapphire”.
All our “fancy colors” sapphires like pinks, yellow, green etc.

The term “eye clean” refers to gemstones that have no inclusions visible to the unaided eye. Eye clean stones appear flawless when examined without magnification.

In sapphire clarity grading, eye clean generally corresponds to the following GIA clarity grades:

  • Flawless (FL)
  • Internally Flawless (IF)
  • Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)

Sapphires in these top clarity categories have minute inclusions that can only be seen under magnification. When viewed by the naked eye, they appear clean and flawless.

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.

Our Second Grading – 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:

We use for our sapphires the terms “Eye Clean” and SI (slightly included)

Eye clean = No visible inclusions that can change the performance of the gemstone when you look at it with your naked eye .

SI = some visible inclusions (NO CRACKS) with no major influence on the performance of the gemstone.

Type I
Usually, eye clean

Type II
Usually included

Type III
Almost always included

Chrysoberyl, yellow and green
Quartz, smoky
Spodumene, all
Tourmaline, green
Zircon, blue

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


Red Beryl,
Tourmaline: red/pink and watermelon

The GIA system.

Type I

Type II

Type III

VVS Minute inclusions, difficult to see under 10X. Eye clean. Minor inclusions, somewhat easy to see with 10X.  eye-clean. Noticeable inclusions under 10X. Usually, eye clean.
VS Minor 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.
SI1 Easily 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 the unaided eye.
SI2 We don’t trade under SI1 Under our min lowest quality

How Does Clarity Affect Sapphire Quality?

Clarity refers to the presence or absence of inclusions inside a gemstone. Inclusions are tiny natural imperfections that form when the gem crystallizes. With sapphires, common inclusions include mineral crystals, fractures, cavities, color zoning, and feathers. The fewer inclusions and blemishes, the higher the clarity grade.

Sapphire clarity significantly impacts beauty and value. Low clarity sapphires with many visible inclusions appear hazy and dull when faceted. The inclusions also detract from brilliance and color saturation. The finest quality sapphires have high clarity with very few or no inclusions visible under 10x magnification. These eye-clean stones allow light to freely pass through and maximize the vibrancy of the sapphire’s color.


Most of the sapphires are treated it is a practice that is done for more than a 1000 years in Sri Lanka Heat treatment of Sapphires is acceptable procedure and any gemological lab will certified a regular heating. There are other procedures like glass filling and heating with beryllium that are NO! This king of treatment takes a very low no value stones full of cracks (blue sapphires and ruby) and fill it buy adding glass in a very high temperature and sell it as original sapphire (or ruby) Beryllium treatment is adding a beryllium to a low quality color sapphire and change the color from cheap color to very expensive color. A glass filed 5 carat ruby value is no more than $20 (between the traders) almost the same for a Beryllium treated sapphire, the problem is that many sellers sell it as regular gems for thousands of dollars. No respected trader will buy or sell such gemstones My advice- check who is the seller and don’t buy a sapphire without a gemological lab report.

Buy peach sapphire

peach sapphire, Padparadscha

Buy blue sapphire

blue sapphire, Ceylon sapphire, Royal blue sapphire