What You Should Know About Sapphires
The birthstone for September, sapphires have been linked to royalty and nobility throughout history and are arguably the most widely recognized of all colored gemstones. Capitalizing on their beauty and value, the modern era has seen blue sapphires become America’s #1 selling colored gem.
The stunning engagement ring and matching emerald-cut pendant Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana featured blue sapphires. Found in a wide range of colors, collectively known as “fancy sapphires”, star sapphires can also be found that exhibit beautiful celestial rays of light that glide across the surface of the gemstone.
Colour Is The Most Important Factor In Determining A Sapphire’s Value
Sapphires are identical in every attribute to ruby, except for one key component – their color. Found in a kaleidoscopic assortment of colors that range the entire spectrum, sapphires are broadly split into two named groups:
Blue sapphires only. Graduating in color from light pastel blues all the way through to the depths of midnight blue, the most beautiful blue sapphire colors and the highest values sit in the middle of the blue color range. While the pale blues and darker midnight blues offer the purchase the best value, the rare and captivating cornflower blues offer the consumer unbeatable color with a captivating beauty – but at a premium.
Sapphires of all other colors. The word sapphire, stated without a prefix, implies blue sapphires only. Sapphires of all other colors are assigned a color prefix (e.g. green sapphires, yellow sapphires, purple sapphires) or are collectively termed “Fancy Sapphires”. Padparadsha sapphires and pink sapphires are the most highly valued Fancy Sapphires.
Caring for Sapphires and Fancy Colour Sapphires
The corundum family including ruby and all colour sapphires are the second hardest gem next to diamond. They are a 9 on Mohs Hardness Scale, as well as being tough and stable, making them an ideal Jewellery Gem. You can use an ultrasonic and steamer on all sapphires and rubies, but be sure that they are secure in the setting before doing so.
Colin Nash, Certified Gemologist Appraiser, Nash Jewellers