Sapphires have been appreciated for their elegance and beauty throughout the ages. Napoleon famously gave his fiancée Josephine a sapphire engagement ring, and in more recent times, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton was given a sapphire engagement ring that once belonged to Princess Diana, by Prince William.
Sapphires are used in many types of jewelry besides engagement rings, though. As the birthstone of September, sapphires are popular choices for people who were born at that time of year. But at the end of the day, the gemstone is so exquisite that it makes a sophisticated centerpiece for any type of jewelry. Like other gemstones, sapphires can range in quality. So, if you are looking to purchase one, here is how to go about choosing a high-quality sapphire.
Choose a Blue Ceylon Sapphire
The highest quality sapphires are blue in color and come from Sri Lanka. They are called Ceylon sapphires, after the colonial name of Sri Lanka. If you are looking for a beautiful Ceylon sapphire ring, you will find plenty of options available at Diamondere.com, from wedding rings to vintage rings. The second-most sought-after sapphire is called a Padparadscha sapphire, which is pink-orange in color.
Look for Color Purity
The highest quality sapphires are saturated with a single vivid color all the way through the stone. If a sapphire has an uneven color or splotches, it is considered to be of lesser quality. Generally, the more imperfections sapphires contain, the lower quality they will be. Avoid stones with brown or gray spots, which are known as inclusions. They are features like liquids, gases, or other minerals that were trapped in the gemstone while it was forming. When inclusions are visible to the naked eye, the value of the sapphire can be much less, as they detract from the stone’s beauty. The highest clarity grade of a colored sapphire stone is called VVS, which stands for Very, Very Light, meaning the inclusions are undetectable to the naked eye. When you can see straight through a sapphire, you will know it is high quality.
Find a Sapphire with an Asterism
While inclusions are generally not desirable in sapphires and make them lower quality, there is an exception. Sapphires that contain asterisms, which are naturally occurring arrangements of inclusions that make a six-pointed star shape, are exceptionally rare and valuable. If you can find a sapphire with an asterism, you will have located one of the most sought-after gemstones on the planet.
Choose the Right Cut
The cut of a sapphire also determines its quality and price-point. The highest quality sapphires are symmetrically cut. That means the stone is visually balanced where each side resembles the other. Whether you are looking for jewelry like sapphire rings, necklaces, or brooches, ensure the cut of the stone is symmetrical. Beyond the symmetrical appearance, an emerald-cut or a marquis cut adds value to a sapphire. The emerald cut resembles a rectangle with cut-off corners, while the marquis cut resembles the shape of an American football, with an elongated appearance that tapers inward at either end.
Get a Good Look at the Stone
Armed with the above knowledge, you can ensure you select a high-quality sapphire. Make sure you get a good look at the gemstone before you buy. Hold it up to the light so you can examine all of the internal and external elements of the stone, and do not rush the process. Take your time to view all of the gemstone’s nooks and crannies to ensure you pick a sapphire of the highest quality.