Sapphires have been a treasured gemstone for centuries and have been extremely popular for centuries. They were cherished by many ancient cultures such as the Greeks and Persians. Sapphires are also very durable and rank a 9 out of 10 on Mohs Scale – outranked only by diamonds. For this reason, they are also a popular alternative for engagement rings.
Sapphires of the blue variety have also been associated with and worn by royalty for centuries. Princess Diana’s engagement ring featured a 12-carat sapphire and is considered one of the most famous sapphires of our time.
Are sapphires rare?
Stones known on the market as sapphires are not incredibly rare, and are one of the most popular gemstones used extensively in jewelry making. Sapphires are used in many forms of jewelry, such as bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings. It is used both as a centerpiece gemstone in pendants and rings, as well as a secondary stone to complement other gemstones such as Diamonds.
Untreated sapphires of high quality, however, are extremely hard to come by. This is because most sapphires that are mined are of such poor quality that they never enter the gem trade to begin with. Among those stones that do make it into the trade, most are treated in some way or another.
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What Color are Sapphires?
Known mostly for their blue variety, sapphires appear in an array of colors including pink, orange, yellow, green, purple, colorless, and black. These stones make fabulous alternatives to their pricier color diamond counterparts. Although, some types of fancy sapphires can be quite costly as well. That is one of the most attractive aspects of sapphire; the many color choices.
The most desirable color in a sapphire – an intense, velvety blue color – is often referred to as a “cornflower” blue. This term is often used in conjunction with “Kashmir” sapphire to signify the stone that came from that region, but it can be used to describe a sapphire of any origin with that color.
The rare orange-pink variety, known as Padparadschah, can also sometimes be even more valuable than the blue Sapphire.
Sapphires can also present color-changing properties – presenting a different color under natural and artificial light.
Sapphires can also exhibit a phenomenon known as the “star effect”. This phenomenon is caused when inclusions within the sapphire create a star pattern of light on the top of the gemstone. Star sapphires are highly sought after and prized by collectors. Star sapphires are in a category of their own, and due to this unique feature, they are incredibly rare and highly sought after.
Sapphire Quality Assessment
Diamonds are assessed based on four main categories better known as the 4Cs, which stand for color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. These are used to assess colored gemstones, but quite differently. For sapphires, the color of a sapphire takes precedence over everything else. In this way, sapphires are unique because the color, tone, and saturation of a sapphire take priority over other aspects. This included the classic clarity, carat, and cut.
While high-quality sapphires are preferred, the quality is not assessed in the same way it is for a diamond. Inclusions can be present within a sapphire and it can still be considered extremely valuable. It depends on where the flaw is, how visible it is, and compared to the overall appearance of the stone.
How much is a sapphire worth?
A sapphire’s price can range widely depending on a specific set of factors to be evaluated. It truly depends on the quality of the stone, whether the stone has been treated, its colors, its cut, its size, and its shape. A tiny yet high-quality sapphire can cost ten times the price of a much larger stone. Therefore, every sapphire needs to be evaluated individually.
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Which kind of sapphire will fetch the highest price?
Deep blue sapphires of high quality tend to sell for the highest prices, with flawless pink and yellow sapphires coming in as a close second.
Although a sapphire’s color is its most important feature, the cut is a close second. This is because the way in which sapphire is cut affects its color directly. Therefore, the center of a sapphire must be cut in a way that reflects light and color. When the center of the stone is dead and does not reflect light or color, it is known as a window. Sapphires with large windows will be sold for lower prices whereas stones without windows that have full color and light reflection will sell for a higher value.
Lastly, a sapphire can be found in larger sizes, but the bigger the stone, the smaller the chances of it being a quality gem. Thus, the larger and higher quality stone you come across the rarer, and the more expensive it will be.
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