When shopping for sapphires, it’s understandable that you want the best sapphires in the world. Sapphires are stunning – whether it’s a vintage sapphire ring or a mix of antique and contemporary fused together; there’s not many ways you could go wrong when it comes to buying sapphire jewellery. This guide will help you make an informed decision about whether or not a sapphire is worth your money.
The Four Cs
If you’ve ever purchased diamond jewellery before, you may already be familiar with ‘the four Cs’: colour, clarity, cut, and carat. The same applies when it comes to searching for the best sapphires in the world. Colour is arguably the most flexible point – it’s more important that you find a colour that you like than what is necessarily valued as ‘the best’. Clarity is essential to both cost and value; nobody wants a stone riddled with flaws and inclusions interrupting the natural colour of a stone. The cut of a gemstone is also subjective; the best cut will change depending on the item. Carat is an easy one to cover, the basics being ‘the more the merrier’ – you can’t go too high when it comes to the carat weight of a sapphire (in my opinion).
When it comes to assessing the colour of a sapphire – though it’s ultimately down to personal preference – there are things to consider that impact value. Hue, saturation, and tone will all play a part in the cost of the stone itself.
Hue – the clearest way of explaining the hue of a sapphire is the colour it presents when you observe it. For example a sapphire could have a greenish-blue hue, a pink-orange hue, purple hues etc.
Tone – tone more directly relates to the brightness of the gemstone. Using blue sapphires as an example, a light-toned blue sapphire would present a very faint blue colour, while a dark-toned blue would be nearly black. The most valuable sapphires lie somewhere between these two.
Saturation – while hue and tone are measures of the type of colour present within a sapphire, the saturation measures how much colour is present within the stone. Weakly saturated sapphires will have near-clear, aquamarine-looking gemstones, while strong saturation creates a rich ultramarine.
The richer and more intense the blue of the sapphire, the more money you should expect to part with for the it. The best sapphires in the world, or the ones that cost the most money, are generally:
-Cornflower Blue Sapphires
-Royal Blue Sapphires
Clarity ranges from a stone presenting no flaws visible to the human eye, to looking visibly included and even chipped. Sapphires present a range of clarity values. As can be expected, the clearer a stone, the higher its monetary value. Having a sapphire with an excellent clarity will allow the tone, hue, and saturation to be more clearly visible.
The carat weight of a sapphire will be one of the biggest impacts on a sapphire’s price. Carat weight is essentially an indicator of the size of a gemstone, and the higher the carat weight, the larger and more dense the gemstone. The more carats present in a sapphire, the more valuable it is, but – again – your personal preference for size is more important than the carat weight of any given gemstone.
Sometimes, in an effort to remove any flaws from a gemstone, they are treated with any of a variety of methods designed to create the illusion of a perfect gemstone. Beyond the core of the ‘four Cs’, the treatment of a stone is another element that will impact its price. Untreated sapphires are the ultimate goal, as their natural beauty has not been interfered with, and they are in their ‘original condition’ Some sapphires on the market today have cobalt coloured glass in them to improve their colouring; generally speaking, these will be the cheapest options available when it comes to sapphires that have received treatment.
While there are many factors that impact the cost of a sapphire –as we have outlined above – the only thing that truly matters is what you want. The size, colour, and carat weight of a sapphire is up to you. So, if you’re looking for the best sapphires in the world, look first with your heart, then your head. Good luck!
Bethany Massey – Digital Assistant (Content Creator)
Having graduated university with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing Bethany then joined the AC Silver team as a content creator. Bethany spends her days writing content for the AC Silver blog and other luxury goods/antique blogs.