Blue sapphire necklace

Sapphire is one of the loved of all gemstones– it’s bright beautiful color, extreme durability, and rarity have made it desirable and sought after for centuries. Because sapphire comes in a wide range of quality, it’s cost can range from very reasonable to crown jewel expensive. Here are some valuable tips that will help you buy sapphire the right way and get the most for your money.

1. Before you buy, take some time to learn how gems are graded and valued. Our  explains gem grading in easy to understand terms. We suggest buying at least in the good quality range, grade 5-6

2. To train your eye, you can use a Google search to find images of blue sapphires– use these images to decide what your color preferences are before you shop.  Keep in mind that digital images can be easily modified and are not truly representative of the gemstone.

3. Blue is the most traditional color of sapphire. The preferred hue for a blue sapphire is pure blue with no overtones of violet or green.

violet overtone

The preferred tone is medium to medium dark, about 6 to 8 on a scale on 1 to 10.

light tone, 4-5

The preferred intensity is strong to vivid, with no grayness at all.

pure blue hue, medium dark tone, vivid intensity

See for color grading detail and explanation.

4. Avoid stones with face up color zoning or uneven color. Face up means looking at the stone the way it will be worn.

5. Avoid stones with obvious inclusions face up.

eye visible inclusions, face up

6. Sapphires should be bright and lively. Avoid stones with cutting flaws like poor shape or noticeable windows. A window allows you to see thru the center of the stone face up.

see thru center

7. Oval, cushion and round are the most common shapes for sapphire. Unusual shapes like marquise or heart will give you fewer choices.

8. The best blue colors are sometimes described in terms associated with particular sources known for high value gems. For example, cornflower blue is associated with Kashmir sapphires, royal blue with sapphires from Burma (Myanmar). The use of such terms in a sales pitch does not necessarily mean the gem is from that locale or that the stone is of high quality.

9. High value sapphires represented as being from such famous locales like Kashmir or Burma should be accompanied with a certificate of origin issued by a gemological laboratory like GIA.

10. Important– Most sapphires in today’s market have been color and/or clarity enhanced. These enhancements provide the market and gem fanciers with a greater supply of beautiful gems at reasonable cost. The key is disclosure- be sure your jeweler informs you of any such enhancements and puts it in writing.

11. If you want a high quality sapphire with no enhancement, understand that these stones are much more rare and hard to find. Expect to pay 20-100% more depending on quality, especially for large stones. Be sure the stone has been documented as such by a leading gemological laboratory such as GIA or other lab good reputation.

12. Sapphire is very dense, which means you will have to buy a larger stone by weight to get the look that you want. As weight goes up, so does rarity, so cost goes up exponentially.  A fine 2 carat blue sapphire, grade 8, might retail for 00 while the same quality in 3 ct might be ,000.

Our Rare Gem Specialists are your source for the sapphire of your dreams. Make an appointment with one of our gemologists, or stop by the shop– we’ll be happy to show you what sapphire is all about.

 

 



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