Home Sapphire 8 Dos and Don’ts When Buying Sapphires:Things You Need To Know

8 Dos and Don’ts When Buying Sapphires:Things You Need To Know

by Madonna

Sapphires, with their captivating colors and timeless elegance, have been cherished gemstones for centuries. Whether you’re seeking a dazzling sapphire for an engagement ring or a beautiful piece of jewelry to add to your collection, choosing the perfect gem requires careful consideration. With a myriad of options available, knowing what to look for when buying a sapphire is essential to ensure you select a gem of exceptional beauty and value. In this article, we explore the key factors to consider when purchasing a sapphire, guiding you through the process of decoding the brilliance of these mesmerizing gemstones.

Here’s What You Need To Consider When Buying Sapphire:


1. Color: The Essence of a Sapphire

The color of a sapphire is the single most critical aspect that influences its beauty and value. While blue is the most traditional and highly sought-after color for sapphires, these gemstones are found in a spectrum of colors, including pink, yellow, green, purple, and more. Each shade has its allure, and personal preferences play a significant role in selecting the perfect color.


When evaluating sapphire color, three main components are considered:


a. Hue:

This refers to the primary color of the sapphire, such as blue, pink, or yellow.

b. Tone:

The tone refers to how light or dark the sapphire appears. A well-balanced tone ensures the gem retains its brilliance and depth of color.

c. Saturation:

Saturation refers to the intensity of the color. Vivid and highly saturated sapphires are more prized, while overly dark or pale stones may be less desirable.

The most valuable sapphires exhibit rich, vibrant colors with no noticeable zoning or color banding. Blue sapphires should have a pure blue hue without any noticeable secondary hues, such as green or purple. For fancy colored sapphires (non-blue), the presence of modifying hues should be balanced and enhance the overall beauty of the gem.

2. Clarity: The Inner Beauty of a Sapphire

Clarity refers to the presence of internal flaws or inclusions within the sapphire. These natural birthmarks are a common occurrence in gemstones and can impact their brilliance and transparency. When considering sapphire clarity, aim to find stones with excellent clarity, where inclusions are minimal and not visible to the naked eye. Such sapphires are classified as “eye-clean” and tend to be more valuable.

Flawless sapphires are rare and command premium prices, but it’s important to remember that minor inclusions do not necessarily detract from a gem’s beauty. In some cases, they can even serve as a unique identifier, much like a fingerprint.

3. Cut: The Sparkling Brilliance of a Sapphire

The cut of a sapphire plays a crucial role in maximizing its brilliance and showcasing its color. An expertly cut sapphire will reflect light beautifully, creating a dazzling play of color across the gem’s surface. The facets of the cut should be symmetrical and well-proportioned to optimize the sapphire’s brilliance.

A poorly cut sapphire may appear dull or lifeless, failing to bring out the gem’s true potential. Avoid stones with cuts that are too deep or too shallow, as these can negatively impact the gem’s light performance.

4. Carat Weight: The Size of the Sapphire

Sapphires, like all gemstones, are measured in carats, with one carat equal to 200 milligrams. Carat weight directly affects the size of the sapphire, with larger stones generally commanding higher prices. When considering carat weight, also assess the overall quality of the sapphire, as a larger but lower-quality gem may not be as desirable as a smaller, higher-quality one.

5. Origin: The Distinctive Character of a Sapphire

The origin of a sapphire can also influence its value and desirability. Certain regions are renowned for producing sapphires with distinct qualities and colors. Some of the notable origins include:

a. Kashmir:

Known for their velvety blue color and exceptional clarity, Kashmir sapphires are among the most highly sought-after in the world. However, due to limited historical mining, these gems are exceptionally rare and command extraordinary prices.

b. Myanmar (Burma):

Myanmar has been a significant source of sapphires for centuries. The Mogok region is famous for producing beautiful blue and pink sapphires of exceptional quality.

c. Sri Lanka (Ceylon):

Sri Lanka is renowned for its sapphires, which include a variety of colors, from vibrant blues to delicate pinks and yellows.

d. Madagascar:

Madagascar produces sapphires in various colors, often with excellent transparency and brilliance.

While the origin of a sapphire adds to its allure, the most critical factors in determining value remain color, clarity, and overall quality.

6. Treatments: Understanding Sapphire Enhancements

It’s essential to inquire about any treatments the sapphire may have undergone. Heat treatment is a common industry practice used to enhance a sapphire’s color and clarity. This treatment is generally accepted and does not affect the gem’s value significantly.

However, some sapphires may undergo other treatments, such as lattice diffusion or filling, to improve color or mask inclusions. Sapphires that have undergone these treatments may be less valuable than untreated or heat-treated stones.

When purchasing a sapphire, always seek reputable jewelers who provide full disclosure about any treatments applied to their gemstones. Reputable sellers will be transparent about the sapphire’s treatments and provide the necessary certifications or documentation.

7. Certification: The Assurance of Quality

Reputable gemological laboratories, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS), provide certifications that validate the authenticity and quality of sapphires. A certification from a recognized lab assures you that the sapphire has been independently evaluated and graded based on industry standards.

When buying a sapphire, always inquire about the gem’s certification and ask for relevant documentation from a reputable laboratory. This certification offers peace of mind and helps you make an informed decision about your purchase.

8. Setting: Complementing the Sapphire’s Beauty

The setting in which the sapphire will be placed is an essential consideration when purchasing a sapphire for jewelry. Whether you prefer a classic solitaire, a sparkling halo, or a vintage-inspired design, the setting should complement and enhance the sapphire’s beauty while reflecting your personal style.


1. What is the best grade of sapphire?

Best (AAA) This grade is given to the best 10% of natural sapphires available. They exhibit medium to rich hues and have a few inclusions.

2. How do you know if a sapphire is good quality?

Remember these 4 steps when looking for a good sapphire: choose “juicy”, even color; no glaring inclusions or visible “junk”; a well-proportioned cut appropriate for sapphire; and lastly carat size, which will be determined by your budget.

3. Are dark or light sapphires better?

From what we’ve learned, it would seem that there are a few options for the ‘best’ sapphires. Too dark and a sapphire loses value, but too light, and it also loses value. The sweet spot for sapphires therefore, is a mid-range blue colour that holds its own when faced with intense light.

Conclusion: Finding Your Perfect Sapphire

In conclusion, buying a sapphire is a delightful journey into the world of captivating gemstones. By considering the color, clarity, cut, carat weight, origin, treatments, certification, and setting, you can confidently select a sapphire that matches your preferences and budget. Each sapphire is unique, exuding its charm and allure, making it an extraordinary gemstone to cherish and treasure for years to come. As you embark on your quest for the perfect sapphire, let your heart guide you, and may your chosen gem become a cherished symbol of elegance, beauty, and enduring love.


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