Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring Buying Guide.
Sapphire are both traditional and in-vogue diamond choices for engagement rings. They can cover “something old” or “something new” yet will really wow when brides need “something blue.” Sapphires are rare, beautiful, durable, and… expensive. While you’re shopping for sapphire engagement ring stones, some knowledge of this pearl’s optical and physical properties, grading standards, and varieties could save you some time and money.
Are All Sapphires Blue?
Sapphires arrive in a great variety of blue colors, from the brilliant sky blue of a cloudless day to the royal blue of dusk to the inky navy of night. Any blue sapphire engagement ring is sure to turn into an enduring classic. Nonetheless, sapphires also come in every color under the sun, aside from red.
The term sapphire encompasses all non-red jewel quality corundum. (Red jewel quality corundum is considered ruby). Colorless, unadulterated corundum consists of aluminum and oxygen and can’t form if silicon is present. Silicon ranks as quite possibly the most abundant component in the Earth’s crust, so this makes corundum relatively rare. Trace elements give corundum gems their color. Chromium makes rubies red. Iron and titanium create blue sapphires. Variable levels of these and other elements create other colors, including green, yellow, orange, and pink. These non-blue sapphires are sometimes called “fancy sapphires.”
Blue is the most profoundly valued color of sapphire and has the strongest popular association with this gemstone. While shopping for sapphires, assuming that you experience the expression “sapphire” with no color description, it most probably refers to blue sapphire. Blue sapphires set the color standard for blue gems of any kind. For example, the most valuable tanzanites are often described as “sapphire-like” in shade.
On the off chance that you want a sapphire engagement ring but would favor another color besides blue (or a significant cost drop), consider a fancy sapphire stone. Of these, endlessly pink-orange padparadscha sapphires rank as the most expensive.
The Romance of the Sapphire Engagement Ring: Then and Now
The September birthstone, sapphires have many symbolic associations and have quite been popular as engagement ring stones among honorability and celebrities. While still an unfortunate soldier, Napoleon splurged on a ring set for Josephine with an inverted pear-cut sapphire and an upstanding pear-cut diamond, each stone just one carat in size. This ring style, known as “You and Me,” was incredibly popular during the eighteenth hundred years.
Duchess Kate’s engagement ring consists of an oval 12-ct Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds. In the 1980s, Prince Charles picked the middle stone with Lady Diana and had it set in a ring. Prince William, their son, presented the ring to Kate Middleton in 2010. It has since become one of the most famous engagement rings on the planet.
Other celebrities with notable sapphire engagement rings include Penelope Cruz and Elizabeth Hurley.
What Difference Does a Sapphire’s Source Make?
Although sapphires are found all over the world, their origins have a great impact on prices. The most important locales include Kashmir, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, Madagascar, and Montana.
These sources are so notable for producing quality sapphires that any sapphires from these regions automatically hold a certain prestige. In any case, not all of the sapphires from these regions demonstrate the characteristics of the top stones. Furthermore, just because a trader refers to a sapphire with a regional name doesn’t mean it comes from that locale. For example, a “Ceylon sapphire” may simply indicate the stone shows attributes typical of sapphires from Sri Lanka. Always ask pearl dealers what they mean when they use such regional descriptors for sapphires. Sapphires from Kashmir, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka could cost more than stones of equal quality from other sources simply because of the prestige attached to these locales.
Our sapphire buying guide describes the qualities associated with the most notable sapphire sources. Notwithstanding, remember that even reputable gemology labs can disagree on the source of a particular sapphire.
If all you want is a beautiful sapphire, overlook the regional descriptors and evaluate the stone based on its conditions.
American consumers who want local, ethically sourced, untreated sapphires should consider stones from Yogo Gorge, Montana. These show beautiful “cornflower” blue color even without heat treatment. For those who want to involve themselves in the engagement ring creation process from beginning to end, some Montana mines allow tourists to scavenge for stones nearby for a daily charge.
What are the Best Money Saving Options for Sapphire Engagement Ring Stones?
Classic blue sapphires, from rich royal blue to cornflower blue, hold considerable value. Not surprisingly, sapphires often get heat treatments to enhance this color. Regardless of whether heated, stones with these sought-after colors will generally be expensive, especially in large sizes.
On the off chance that you have your heart set on blue yet need to stay within a spending plan, consider the following options.
Lab-made sapphires will appear to be identical to the naked eye as top-notch natural stones yet at a fraction of the cost. Synthetic sapphires are real sapphires. They’re just created in laboratories from the same materials under the same conditions tracked down in nature, just greatly accelerated. These stones have the same optical and physical properties as natural stones.
On the off chance that you’re determined to purchase natural sapphires, you should familiarize yourself with synthetics to make sure you’re not purchasing lab-created stones for natural prices. Then again, on the off chance that your main focus is obtaining a quality sapphire, especially a blue sapphire, at a discount value, synthetics are a decent choice.
For more information on synthetic sapphires, look at our sapphire buying guide. For more information on the processes used to synthesize gems, see our article on identifying synthetics.
Sapphire doublets usually consist of a thin slice of natural green sapphire stuck to a synthetic blue sapphire. Despite how this may sound, doublets are harder to identify than most consumers imagine, significantly under a microscope. The synthetic blue base will color the whole stone blue, while the natural green sapphire top will contain natural inclusions. This will make the stone appear natural when examined from the top.
Usually, the easiest way to see on the off chance that a sapphire is a doublet is to examine the stone from the side with backlighting. The top will appear green and the base blue. Nonetheless, a thinly sliced green sapphire top may still be challenging to see. Gas bubbles may also form in a flat sheet between the two stuck parts of the doublet, so you can search for these, as well. Finally, if the base half of the sapphire is excessively clean and contains bent striae, while the top contains natural inclusions, the stone is most certainly a doublet.
Doublets make affordable synthetic stone options. Notwithstanding, they truly do have special care needs because of their paste layer. If you want to avoid doublets, make certain to examine the stones before they’re placed in ring settings.