SAPPHIRES

All gemstones are categorized into mineral species based on their chemical composition. Sapphires are part of the group known as Corundum, where the red corundum is well-known as Ruby and all other coloured corundum are Sapphire. Measuring at 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, Sapphires are relatively hard and tough, a great choice for daily jewellery. (For reference, diamonds measure at 10 on the Mohs scale.) 


The quality of a sapphire is based on the 4 C’s,Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat weight, like diamonds, but with different requirements.

We have put together this guide to help explain everything you need to consider when purchasing a Sapphire. All gemstones are graded using the combination of these characteristics to assess their value and are priced at the US dollar rate of the day. This means that our quotations are time-sensitive and subject to change.
 

Fun Fact: Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 5th and 45th anniversaries.

Cut 

This category refers firstly to the shape of the sapphire i.e. Round, Oval, Pear, Princess, Marquise, Emerald, Radiant, etc. This is purely dependent on personal preference and design aesthetic! Secondly, the cut grade of a sapphire refers to how well it is cut and depends on things like symmetry, proportions, as well as the quality of faceting and polish. Here we look at how the cut affects sapphires characteristics of colour zoning – areas of different colours in a gem and pleochroism - the appearance of different colours in different crystal directions.

These characteristics can dictate the value of sapphire as they can change the overall appearance of the sapphire.


 


Clarity

The Clarity grade of a sapphire refers to the absence of fissures and inclusions.

Looking at how they affect the transparency or brightness and durability of the stone. The price of a sapphire can drop substantially if the inclusions threaten the stone’s appearance and durability.

Inclusions can increase the value of some sapphires, which makes them unique specifically, the reflections from tiny, needle-like inclusions on a cabochon cut sapphire orientated in several directions causing what is known as the star effect or asterism. 

The finest quality star sapphire is semi-transparent, with just enough silk to create a well-defined star. Too much silk can lower the stone's transparency, resulting in a dull colour, hence decreasing its value.


Below are images of the most common inclusions found in Sapphires:

            Feather                                          Fingerprints                                    Silk                                 Colour Zoning

 

It is important to note that inclusions need not be seen as a negative characteristic unless they affect the overall beauty of the stone.

Inclusions are what make your stone unique, and are also evidence of mineral formations from billions of years ago, proving that it is natural.
 


Colour 

The colour grade of sapphire refers to the presence of colour and the intensity of its hue, tone, and saturation. We also look at the uniformity of the colour considering sapphires characteristic of colour-zoning - areas of different colours in a stone. Sapphires come in various colours that are graded differently. In general, the more intense and uniform the colour is, the more valuable the stone.

Here is an overview of the different sapphire colours and how they are graded:

Blue Sapphires
Colour evaluation is based on the presence of a velvety blue to a violetish blue colour in medium to medium-dark tones. Sapphires with these qualities command the highest prices per carat. Less valuable blue sapphires might also be grayish, too light, or too dark.
Padparadscha Sapphire
Colour evaluation is based on the presence of a light to medium pinkish orange to an intense orange-pink hue. Padparadscha sapphires are one of the most valuable variations of sapphire.
Pink
Colour evaluation is based on the presence of the colour; light red (pink) to light purple tones with weak to intense colour saturation which falls out of the colour ranges for ruby or purple sapphire.

Purple Sapphire
Purple sapphires always have purple as the dominant colour. They range from medium to dark tones of reddish-purple to violetish purple hues with weak to vivid colour saturation.
Yellow Sapphire
Colour evaluation is based on the presence of the colour; light to dark greenish yellow to orangey yellow hue with weak to intense colour saturation. The finest yellow sapphire is yellow to orangy yellow with vivid saturation.
Orange Sapphire
Colour evaluation is based on the presence of a yellowish orange to reddish orange colour. The finest orange sapphires are intense, pure orange to red-orange hues with medium tone and vivid saturation.
Green Sapphire
Colour evaluation is based on the presence of a combination of yellow and blue colours. Uniformly green sapphires that are saturated in colour are rare and many collectors prize them.
Colourless/White Sapphire
Based on the absence of colour in gem-quality sapphires - a chemically pure and structurally perfect sapphire has no hue, however, they can exhibit a cloudy white hue.
 
 

Carat 

Carat weight refers to the size of a stone. The value of a sapphire increases with its carat weight, as it gets bigger (and heavier). The price per carat for a fine quality sapphire goes up significantly as it increases in size. 

However, it is worth noting that a high-quality sapphire with a lower carat weight can hold more value than a big sapphire with a higher carat weight but lower quality due to factors like cut or clarity and colour.

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Bonus 'C' Character 

The Four C’s are the most traditional guide for determining the quality of the sapphire. These measures will always hold value. We believe in sapphires having an appeal of character that is not included in the four C’s.

Therefore, it is particularly important to view a few options of sapphires before purchasing. Sometimes more colour or character forms part of the stone’s appeal.

Even though sapphire is the third hardest substance on earth, they are not indestructible. It is a tricky concept to wrap your head around, but a sapphire can still crack or chip due to blunt force or a hard blow (one should be particularly careful with heavily included sapphire).

Therefore, we always recommend that you take special care of your sapphire jewellery to ensure its signature sparkle.

 

Upcycling

We love working with family jewels and heirlooms. Creating new pieces containing old stones is our forte! We happily accept gemstones brought in by clients for their own pieces.

We will, however, always test the stones brought into our studio before accepting them, to determine whether they are genuine.
 

Care

Even though sapphires are the third hardest substance on earth, they are not indestructible. It is a tricky concept to wrap your head around, but a sapphire can still crack or chip due to blunt force or a hard blow (one should be particularly careful with heavily included sapphire).

Therefore, we always recommend that you take special care of your sapphire jewellery to ensure its signature sparkle.
 


Our Recommendations:


·Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals.

·Avoid wearing for rough activities like gymming, hiking, or swimming where it is at risk of being knocked or scratched.

·Only ever clean your jewellery with warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush. For any specific cleaning measures, we will make recommendations or ask you to visit the studio.

·Store your sapphire pieces somewhere SECURE, in its box, and apart from other jewels.

·Bring your piece into the studio once a year for us to give it a proper professional clean and inspect it for any weakness in the settings or traumas.


Below are a few examples of Sapphire pieces we have made in studio:
 
Sapphire pear shape rose gold cluster diamond halo eternity ring engagement wedding band fitted  claw setting Peacock teal oval sapphire rose gold diamonds engagement ring claw setting Sapphire diamond cluster ring yellow gold engagement ring heirloom claw settingPink Sapphire Oval Ring rose gold white gold diamonds pave set engagement ring