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Sapphire's Buyers Guide: Identifying Qualities & Prices

 We will be covering everything you need to know before purchasing a sapphire! If you are looking to buy a sapphire you can check out our personal inventory here. Get a better sense of the different qualities, colors and price points. We also offer gemstone sourcing services for custom design and engagement rings, simply send an email to info@fineandflux.com

 

What Colors Do Sapphires Come In?

green sapphire gemstone oval cut

Sapphires are a natural gemstone that comes in a wide range of colors! From the most known and most popular blue sapphire to shades of orange, green, yellow, pink, violet and even Black and white! This is why they are one of the most versatile gemstones. The only color that sapphires do not have is red. Once a sapphire's shade turns from pink to red it becomes a ruby. Ruby and sapphires are in the same family of gemstones however rubies are generally of a higher value then sapphires. The common saying in the jewelry industry is " if your a buyer, you want to buy as a sapphire if your a seller you want to sell as a ruby" because the prices will very based on specimen!

 

What Are The Most Expensive Sapphires?

 

Ceylon Blue sapphire gemstone oval cutThe most expensive sapphires are Padparadscha sapphires. They can be recognized by their striking 2-toned color scheme. They are a beautiful mix of pinks and oranges. This specific color combination is very rare and because of it's scarcity it is reflected in it's prices. It is also a great example of bi-colored properties seen in sapphires. Bi-colored means that a stone can have more then one color within it. Of course the padparascha sapphire is the most prized of combinations, however other sapphires can also have bi-colored properties such as yellow and greens or blues and greens for example.

Next in line for the most valuable sapphires, we have velvety blue to violetish blue, in medium to medium-dark tones. These sapphires will be at the top of the list in terms of highest price per carat. The highest qualities have a strong saturation of color with ought being too dark. Once the sapphire's color becomes too dark to see or "inky" the quality and price will drop quickly. These beautiful rich blues are the most common colors we think of when sapphires come to mind!

Are Sapphires A Good Engagement Ring Option?

 

 

custom Blue sapphire engagement ring

Yes absolutely! Sapphires are in the top tier of valuable gems, next to rubies and emeralds. They are also a 9 on 10 in terms of hardness, which is perfect for a ring you will be wearing everyday! The wide range of colors and cuts makes for a very personal choice. The wide ranges of hues and colors give each stone a unique personality, which is often loved in comparison to the neutral diamond. Sapphires are also a gemstone that can be bought at relatively any price point, depending on quality and carat weight. So there is an option for everyone! If you are looking to create a custom sapphire engagement ring, send us an email and we can get started on sourcing the gemstones for you!

Colorless Sapphires A Diamond Alternative

 

White sapphire halo engagement ring in white goldIf you are looking for a diamond alternative which is still a natural gemstone, white sapphires are your best bet! Natural diamonds have a certain price tag attached to them and if your not willing to hit that bench mark then white sapphires are a great alternative to consider. They are colorless like a diamond, almost as durable and honestly most people wont be able to tell the difference! We always recommend going the natural route vs opting for synthetic stones.

We've made made white sapphire engagement rings for clients and they absolutely love them! Like this 2ct pear cut halo engagement ring. Had it been in diamond it would have been at 5X the price! The only thing to keep in mind is of course nothing sparkles quite like a diamond but in terms of quality/price they are stunning!

Are There Ethical Sapphires?

 

Ethically sourced white sapphire ascher cut

Ethically sourced sapphires do exist! If you are looking for a gemstone with a clean origin report then sapphires should definitely be considered! Sapphires can be found all over the world including in the united states. Automatically if you are buying gemstones from a first world country like the US, Canada or Australia, you can be sure they're work conditions and environmental guidelines are of a higher standard. so you don't have to worry about some of the less conventional practices seen elsewhere. Montana sapphires from the US are a perfect example of top quality ethically sourced sapphires. Montana sapphires are also known for they're beautiful ranges of blues and greens, amongst other colors. However do keep in mind any time a gemstone comes from an ethically sourced mine, the prices can be upwards of 10% more. If you are looking for an ethically sourced gemstone, simply send us an email and we will be happy to help!

Sapphire Cuts & Styles

Lilac purple sapphire elongated cushion gemstone

Sapphires like diamonds can come in any cut. The choice of what shape you like is of course entirely personal so we will be going over some basics to consider. A general rule of thumb is the more depth (thickness from top to point) the darker the stone will be. The opposite applies as well. So if you have a stone of darker, less desirable quality, it could be interesting to have it re-cut to remove some of the depth, brightening it up. Some cuts such as ovals will naturally have deeper underbelly's then say a radiant cut, so when working with a lot of darker colored rough this should be kept in mind!

Sapphire Treatments 

Often gemstones and diamonds will receive treatments to enhance their quality. When buying a sapphire you want to make sure you ask what treatments your stone has undergone. Because not all treatments are recommended due to their unstable and often undesirable long term effects. We will break down the 3 most common treatments; Heat, radiation & Glass filling.

Heat treatments are the most common. It is exactly as it sounds, the sapphires are heated at very high temperatures in order to enhance the color of the stone. They can either brighten or darken the sapphire in order to get the most desirable color. These treatments are very common and non-menacing towards it's integrity. When a sapphire is heated it is still considered natural. However the price for a heated sapphire in comparison to one with the same color naturally (untreated) would have very significant price differences. Which is why it's not such a bad thing!

Radiation treatments are used to enhance the color of a sapphire. However unlike heat treatments this therapy is not recommended and would render your sapphire to no longer be considered "natural". It is a treatment that is not stable. This means that over the years it's color can start to fade, leaving you with a color you no longer love. 

Glass treatments are used to mask the inclusions within the sapphire. This occurs because once the lead glass fills in the inclusions (cracks for example) it gives the illusion that there isn't any at all. So a once less desirable sapphire is now marked at a much higher value. However these kinds of treatments can have negative impacts on the structure of the stones and can cause them to shatter. If someone sells you a glass filled gemstone they are obliged to tell you. 

 

 How To Identify Fake Sapphires

trillion cut green sapphire

So the first thing we recommend is to look for inclusions. Most natural gemstones will have inclusions. If a gemstone has no imperfections through the stone it may be glass. These imperfections also wont be the same. For glass replicas you may be able to see tiny bubbles when looking with a loop. Glass will also feel oddly heavy when holding it in your hand.

However synthetic stones have greatly evolved over the decades. The creators of these look-a-like gems have mastered the "natural" look of inclusions, refractions and density of natural gemstones. This is why we always recommend having your stones evaluated by a third party before purchase, especially for higher quality pieces. Trusted non-profits such a GIA are a great place to have them certified. The process ranges from 1-3 weeks.

 Sapphire's the October Birthstone & They're Meaning

Hot pink sapphire pair for earrings

Sapphire's are the birthstone for the month of September. So if the recipient of this jewel is a September baby, using a sapphire could add a personalized touch! 

Sapphires have always been seen as a sign of richness and opulence. It is also associated with loyalty and intellect.

 How To Create A Custom Sapphire Jewel?

If you are looking to create a sapphire jewel or engagement ring, send us an email at info@fineandflux.com and we will be happy to source the gemstone for you. You can also view some of our collection of sapphires here.

 

 



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