Sapphire Buying Guide

Sapphire Buying Guide

Sapphire: The "celestial" sapphire, symbol of the heavens, bestower of innocence, truth, good health, and preserver of chastity, is reserved today as the birthstone of September.

Occurence: Other important sources of Sapphire now include Thailand, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and Kenya. The wonderful, rich color of Sapphire combined with its high brilliance and wearability make it an unusually fine choice for any piece of jewelry. This guide defines the five essential characteristics of sapphire quality. By understanding these characteristics, you'll be able to shop with confidence. Print this helpful list and take it with you when shopping so you can choose a beautiful piece of sapphire jewelry.

Sapphire Color: The finest sapphires are considered to be the blue variety-especially those from Burma and Kashmir, which are closest to the pure spectral blue. The Ceylon sapphires are a very pleasing shade of blue, often on the pastel side.

Sapphire Clarity: Clarity refers to the absence of internal flaws or inclusions. Type and placement of flaws are also very important. Sapphires also contain inclusions and even quality sapphires are lightly included. Dark sapphires show less inclusions and light sapphires show more. Jewelry industry prefers moderately included sapphires and that's what we offer.

Sapphire Saturation: Saturation (color purity) is the brightness or vividness (dullness or drabness) of the color. It refers to the degree to which the hue is hidden by brown or gray. Colors with minimum amount of brown or gray are described as vivid or strong. For color purity GIA uses saturation and AGL uses intensity. Saturation can be "highly pure" and "slightly brownish or grayish".

Sapphire Education

Sapphire Cut: Cut effect the depth of color seen in the stone and influence the liveliness projected by the stone. A good cut will enhance stones natural beauty to the fullest. A poor cutter make may make the same stone less desirable, because a poor cut will significantly reduce the vividness and alter the depth of the color (saturation), usually producing a stone that is too dark. We offer well cut sapphires in our rings, earrings and bracelets.

Sapphire Size: The common unit of measurement for stones is weight, expressed in carats and decimal parts thereof. Also, remember again not to confuse weight with size. Some stones weigh more than others because stones have different density. Size of stone which can be diameter, or length and width is expressed in millimeters. Our stones are not cut deep to gain weight but are well cut sapphires offering you maximum size.

Sapphire Enhancements: Heating sapphire is a practice that is accepted by the jewelry industry. Sapphires that are not heated are very rare and demand very high prices.

Sapphire's Value: Sapphires which are well cut, cornflower blue colored and have minimum inclusions are most valuable.

Judging Sapphire Color: Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gemological Institute (AGL) divides color into three components: hue, tone (lightness/darkness) and saturation (color purity). This provides a more precise and accurate description of gems. Evaluate gemstone color taking into consideration hue, tone and saturation. Pure, vivid colors are far more desirable than dull, muddy ones. Look for a rich blue color sapphire with a light shade in sapphire rings.

Sapphire Factors

Sapphire Tone: Refers to the depth of color (light or dark). The lightest possible tone is colorless. The darkest is black. Tone is another word for the degree of lightness or darkness. Judging the tone of a stone is difficult because it does not display a single, uniform tone. To judge the tone of a stone, examine it face-up and look for areas of light and dark. Sapphires can have tones: "light-medium," "medium," "medium-dark," and "dark". We prefer sapphires with medium tones and that's what we offer in our rings, bracelets and earrings.
Sapphire Hue: Refers to the basic colors of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, purple and violet. All sapphires exhibit some other colors (hues) in addition to their basic blue color. To determine the hue, look for the dominant color in the face-up view. When you move the stone in different directions you see the different colors. Australian sapphires have a tint (hue) of green.

Important Factors: Both intensity and tone of color can be significantly affected by the proportioning of the cut. In other words, a good gem cutter working with a fine stone will be able to bring out its inherent beauty to the fullest. A poor cut will significantly reduce the vividness and alter the depth of the color (saturation), usually producing a stone that is too dark. In sapphires a shallow cut might bring more color saturation than a deeper cut. Some stones are cut deep for additional weight and tend to be dark in color. Inclusions are generally more apparent in light- to medium-color sapphires. Since sapphires generally embody some inclusions, look for a sapphire with a darker tone, as the inclusions will be effectively hidden in these darker gems.