When it comes to selecting the perfect engagement ring for your partner, you want to make sure it reflects their individuality, style and character. As more and more people want alternatives to diamond engagement rings, sapphire rings are a great choice and come in more colours of blue than you may have initially thought. With so many different options available, it can be tricky to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right sapphire ring for your special someone.
What shade of blue sapphire to choose from?
The biggest and most confusing question! Sapphires are typically associated with the deep royal blue colour, as these have historically been the most sought after. There are, however, a sea of blue shades to choose from which can be a daunting choice. The most popular shade is royal blue, which is prized for its rich color and intense brilliance. Princess Diana’s iconic sapphire and diamond ring have set the stage for sapphire rings being a popular choice for engagement rings and hers was no other than the classic royal blue colour.
According to the Gemological Institute of America ("GIA"), Color has the greatest influence on a sapphire’s value, and preferred sapphires have strong to vivid color saturation. The most valued blue sapphires are velvety blue to violet-blue, in medium to medium-dark tones. Sapphires with these qualities also tend to command the highest prices per carat.
[extracted from Lotus Gemology]
Other shades of blue sapphire include light, pale or greyish blues and these are typically lower in price per carat. If you are open to these alternative shades, you can get a significant cost saving.
Cornflower blue sapphires are also quite popular, and they tend to be more affordable than royal blue stones. If you're looking for a more subtle color, you might consider a pale blue sapphire or blues with grey or green undertones. They are less common than other colors and have gained a lot of popularity in recent years; these shades are like the colors of the sea – and many of these sapphires have unique colours. Everybody is attracted to a particular shade so let her taste influence the colour you choose.
Other than the family of blues, sapphires come in a range of colours including pink, green and yellow, Ultimately, the best color for you is the one that you/she feels drawn to, so let your eye be the decision maker. Keep in mind that carat weight and clarity can also affect the price of a sapphire, so be sure to factor these factors into your decision as well.
How origin factors into pricing:
Sapphires originate from a number of different places around the world, including Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Montana (US), and Madagascar. The stone has been found in other locations, but these three countries produce the vast majority of the world's supply. Sapphires from Ceylon are typically the most expensive, followed by those from Madagascar and Montana. Sapphires from Montana tend to be less blue than those from other locations, but they can still be quite beautiful. If you like other shades of blue, then do consider sapphires from other regions that are uniquely beautiful and not as expensive as the traditional Ceylon sapphires.
The price of a blue sapphire depends on a number of other factors, including its clarity, and size. Sapphires with more flaws or inclusions are less expensive and do not reflect light as well as a cleaner crystal. The size of the stone also affects its price as sapphires are priced by carat weight which can range from $500 to $5,000 per carat.
Most blue sapphires on the market have undergone heat treatment, which improves the stone's color and clarity. Heating sapphires is a common and acceptable practice in the gemstone industry, as it is stable form of treatment and doesn’t alter the chemical nature of the gem. Unheated sapphires will command a higher price than heated sapphires because they are rarer.
When it comes to shapes, elongated ovals, rounds, and cushion shapes are still some of the most popular shapes for sapphire engagement rings. Elongated ovals have risen in popularity as they have a flattering and elongating look on the fingers. Rounds are also a great option for those who want a classic ring with a bit more sparkle as these are often cut like a diamond. Cushion shapes are perfect for those who want something a bit more unique. Like colour, shape is a personal preference and you should rely on what looks visually most pleasing to you.
At Al Joher, we have a wide selection of sapphires in a variety of shades from various regions. Our sapphires are clean crystals with few inclusions and we focus on top cutting to maximise the light return so that your sapphire lights up and sparkles. With our choice of loose gemstones to choose from, it’s fun to learn about each gem’s unique characteristics and we can help you find the right sapphire for your engagement ring.