Sapphire is one of the Big 3 of jewellery gemstones - the other two are ruby and emerald. Sapphire is a durable stone that’s the best known blue gem, as well as being available in most colours.
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What to look for
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 colour saturation. The saturation should be as strong as possible without darkening the colour and compromising brightness.
Sapphire Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Tips & Advice
1. Work with a jeweller to understand the difference that colour makes.
Look at different colours of sapphire side by side to understand the range of qualities available. Dark colours like navy or midnight blue, and less saturated colours like greyish blue or straw yellow are more affordable than vivid colours.
2. Don’t compromise on cut.
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.
3. Ask about the type of treatment a sapphire has undergone.
A large amount of the sapphire on the market, both blue and fancy colours, has been treated to alter its colour by heat or by lattice diffusion. Sapphire treated by lattice diffusion often has vivid colour but is less valuable than heated sapphire. When in doubt, get a lab report.