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Sapphire Buying Guide

The most highly valued blue sapphires are velvety blue to violetish blue, in medium to medium dark tones. Preferred sapphires also have strong to vivid color saturation. The saturation should be as strong as possible without darkening the color and compromising brightness.

sapphire buying guide

Blue sapphires can range in size anywhere from a few points to hundreds of carats, and large blue sapphires are more readily available than large rubies. However, most commercial-quality blue sapphires weigh less than 5.00 carats.

Look at different colors of sapphire side by side to understand the range of qualities available. Dark colors like navy or midnight blue, and less saturated colors like grayish blue or straw yellow are more affordable than vivid colors.

The quality of the cut can make a big difference in beauty and brilliance. Your sapphire should sparkle in a lively way, reflecting light back evenly across the entire gem. Poorly cut gems are much less marketable and sell at a discount.

The definition of padparadscha has always been debated. GIA has studied the history of the term and its modern use and indicates on a Colored Stone Identification & Origin Report when a sapphire, in our opinion, meets the criteria to be described as padparadscha.

Every mine produces a wide range of quality. For gems of exceptional quality, an independent determination of origin adds to value. For sapphire, Kashmir receives the highest premium, although Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka and Madagascar also produce top-quality gems.

Blue sapphire has long symbolized honesty, sincerity, and faithfulness. When a king wore a sapphire ring, it meant he was pledging to be a just ruler. During the Middle Ages, Cardinals and other high church officials wore blue sapphires to symbolize their vows to their faith. Blue sapphire also symbolized heaven and the reward of faith and its celestial association continues still today.

Sapphires are valuable so they have long been coveted by jewel thieves too. In New York, the 563-carat Star of India star sapphire, in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History was stolen in an infamous 1964 burglary carried out by Jack Murphy, AKA Murph the Surf, and two other men. The huge sapphire was recovered several months later.

Sapphires have been mined since 500 BC on the beautiful island once known as Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka. The island was the origin for the valuable gems given by King Solomon to the Queen of Sheba in the Old Testament. Sri Lankan sapphires are ancient Roman rings dating from the third century BC. Marco Polo visited Sri Lanka in 1292, writing about its streams filled with sapphires and other gemstones.

In 1881, blue sapphires were discovered in Kashmir at an elevation of 13,000 feet near the village Sumjam in the Himalayan mountains. Kashmir sapphires have a saturated velvety blue color with a silky clarity that seems to intensify the color. Because Kashmir sapphires from this famous deposit were only produced for a short period, they are rare. Sapphires with an independent laboratory report confirming Kashmir origin from Gubelin, SSEF, or the GIA command a premium in the market.

Another famous source for blue sapphire is Burma, also known as Myanmar. Burmese sapphire is generally cleaner and darker in tone. Burma is famous for producing the best rubies and its sapphires too command a premium when origin is confirmed by an independent laboratory report.

In recent years, most fine color natural sapphires have been produced from mines in Madagascar. Blue sapphire is also produced in Montana in the United States as well as Australia, Cambodia, Tanzania, and Thailand.

And blue sapphire is also lovely cut in a smooth domed cabochon shape instead of being faceted. Some cabochon sapphires, known as star sapphires, will display a phenomenon known as asterism, a six-legged star that moves across the dome of the cabochon with the light.

Most blue sapphires have been heat treated after they are mined in order to bring out the maximum blue color. You should assume that your blue sapphire has been heat treated unless you have a lab report that says there is no evidence of heat treatment.

Long associated with royalty, sapphires are some of the most popular (and expensive) gems in the world. Our sapphire buying guide will help you evaluate their quality and pick the best gem for your jewelry.

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

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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.

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

The color quality of a sapphire depends in three parameters; hue, tone and saturation. These parameters are used in conjunction to determine color quality of a sapphire. A velvety to violetish blue sapphire with a strong saturation without compromising the brightness, in medium to medium dark tones can command a higher value. 041b061a72


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