Sapphire is the new diamond!
Sounds confusing? Let’s make this clear for you!
In recent times, there has been a shift to striking colors and bolder choices when it comes to jewelry. But more than that, jewelry is becoming a way to express one’s individuality. And what can be better than a sapphire, which is unique and eye-catching with its bold color?
Modern couples are rewriting the conventional rules with their choices, and a bold, beautiful and exciting sapphire is proving to be the perfect alternative to a diamond. It’s worthwhile to note that while most colorless diamonds look identical, no two sapphires are the same. That is the reason why couples of today’s times are ditching diamonds, and choosing colored sapphires to adorn their engagement ring over traditional diamonds.
What is a Sapphire?
Sapphire is a naturally-formed precious gemstone from the corundum mineral which is a crystallized form of aluminum oxide. It fascinates jewelry buyers with its practicality and aura of romance.
Sapphires come in every color of the spectrum and are an affordable alternative for fancy-colored diamonds.
They come in a wide range of colors and quality variations but are commonly known for their captivating blue color.
Sapphires that are not blue are also known as fancy sapphires. The fancy sapphire colors are pink, orange, yellow, green, purple, violet, white, and more.
With so many choices, it’s fair to say that a sapphire can cater to anyone’s taste!
- Sapphires rank 9 on the Mohs scale, making them perfect for daily wear.
- They are extremely tough and durable.
- Sapphires do not break, chip or damage easily.
- They are perfect for all lifestyles, including day-to-day activewear.
Sapphires are rarer than diamonds in nature. The market for untreated sapphires has continued to rise as more and more consumers are becoming attracted to sapphires.
The rarest sapphire variety is Padparadscha. Star sapphires are cabochon cut sapphires with asterism due to tiny inclusions which reflects a star effect. These are very rare and highly coveted. But since the demand for these sapphires is lower than for the popular blue variety, they are not exorbitantly priced.
How to Buy Sapphire?
Like all precious gemstones, sapphires have a wide range of quality, color, and clarity. Let us see the qualities that you should consider to buy good quality sapphire jewelry.
When buying a colored gemstone, the most important factor one needs to consider is color. The color is what shade the sapphire is. Factors that are critical to the color of sapphire are :
- Hue: Hue refers to the color of the stone that is reflected after the light passes through the stone. In simple terms, hue is the presence of a secondary color in the stone. For example, we would call the stone’s color either blue, slightly green, strong green, slight purple, or strong purple. The best quality Sapphires will only have a primary hue of blue.
- Saturation and tone: Saturation refers to the amount of color present in the gem. It is advised to stay in the medium range as too much saturation will make the stone look dark, while lighter too little saturation will give the gem a grayish appearance. The optimal saturation is moderate to pure vivid.
- Tone: This is the relative lightness or darkness of the color of the stone. Stones that are too dark will not have brilliance, whereas stones that are too light will not show off the color of the stone. Medium to medium-dark is considered to be the optimal tone.
It is almost impossible to find sapphires that do not contain any traces of inclusions or imperfections. Hence, it is fine for a sapphire to have small inclusions and imperfections.
Having said that, a good quality sapphire should be “eye-clean” that is free from any eye-visible inclusions. The clearer a stone, the pricier it would be.
Blue sapphires with extremely high clarity are rare and very valuable.
Cut influences the brilliance, depth of color of the stone, and size of the stone, and as a resulting impacting the overall appearance of the sapphire.
A well-cut sapphire is symmetrical and reflects light at the proper angles to enhance the stone’s luster and brilliance.
It is important to settle for a cut that fully brings out the stone’s color while balancing the best brilliance at the same time.
As a general thumb rule, the price of a precious gemstone increases with its carat weight. Typically, larger gem-quality stones are harder to come by than smaller ones, so they are valued higher.
Sapphires are usually heavier than diamonds. A one-carat sapphire will appear smaller than a one-carat diamond. It is more accurate to measure the size of the sapphire in terms of its millimeter diameter. A rule of thumb is that a one-carat sapphire generally measures 6 mm.
There is a wide range of prices when it comes to buying sapphires. This is due to the quality of the individual stone and the rarity of the stone color. For example, yellow sapphires are found more commonly, while blue ones are a little harder to find making blue sapphires pricier than other fancy-colored sapphires.
Each sapphire is graded on its own to determine its value. Untreated and natural stones are rarer, and therefore have higher costs. No two stones are alike, and therefore the price can be very different.
It is worthwhile to note that a stone’s source also plays a major role in its price. A stone from a famous source such as historic Kashmir mines can command a much higher price than stones from other sources even if they are graded equally in quality. However, the point to be noted is that famous origin can only escalate the price of a high-quality sapphire (and not the low-graded one).
In terms of cost, a high-quality sapphire can cost around $800-1,200 per carat. For more common sapphires, which are fair in quality but not especially remarkable, cost around $400-600 per carat can be expected.
Ring Setting for Sapphire Stones
Blue sapphires are generally paired with small colorless diamonds and especially look gorgeous in a halo and three-stone settings in white metals.
Pairing Sapphires with diamonds double up their sparkle and make them look stunning.
Blue sapphire engagement rings are usually set in white gold or platinum. However, for a more sophisticated vintage look, sapphires can be mounted in yellow or rose gold. The contrast in colors will make the sapphire stand out and be more noticeable but might not go with all color combinations of your outfits.
Where to Buy Sapphires
With numerous shopping websites on the internet, it is a burdensome task to choose the best, safest, and most trusted ones to shop for your dream jewelry.
Like any other precious gem or jewelry, it’s important to shop with a quality seller to ensure the best quality and correct pricing.
James Allen is one of the best places to shop for fine jewelry online. James Allen has revolutionized the way people buy fine jewelry. With 18+ years of experience and a prime focus on customer satisfaction, they provide excellent pricing for their jewelry.
We also recommend buying sapphire jewelry from Etsy and Blue Nile, the two best places which provide you with the easiest, safest and most-trusted shopping experience. They have innumerable options, designs ranging from traditional to modern and unique stones.
With their countless collection of sapphire jewelry and much-needed filters, you will find that perfect piece of your choice, and that too at the comfort of your home.