<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=383935745271963&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

THE SAPPHIRE FACT SHEET

This section is dedicated to sapphires and
covers everything you need to know about this gem: from its origins and history to treatments and colour as well as other useful facts.

Who is this page for?

This page is useful for anyone working with gemstones. If you are a jeweller, then there is practical information such as hardness, weights by size and other useful facts. If you are a jewellery designer, you might find the sections on colour, origin and availability more interesting. You might work as a salesperson in a shop and are involved with the selling of jewellery with gemstones in. You might find origin, treatments and certificates more useful. If you just love looking at sapphire and want to further your general knowledge on the subject, you’ll enjoy the whole thing.

sapphire-4c

This is not a gemology course. It is an overview, to give you some practical information you might need while working with, or looking at sapphires. If you want more information, you can either contact us directly, or look at some of the links below relating to sapphire knowledge.

Bookmark and Get Your Gemstone Guide Book

Please bookmark this page, as we will be adding resources and links to it on a regular basis.

gemstone guide - haruni fine gems

You might find it useful to download this guide, or pages from it, to keep offline to refer to. Please click this link to get your free copy.

sapphire-related-3As gemstone suppliers based in London, Geneva and Tel Aviv, we feel it is essential to give you all the knowledge you need to work with sapphires more confidently. All the gemstones you see on this website belong to Haruni Fine Gems and are backed by a money back guarantee and free shipping worldwide.

If you would like any more information on the gems on this website, just contact us via the form on the gem page itself, chat, email, or call us at the number at the top of the page.

Pages connecting to the HUB

Below are essential snippets of information relating to sapphires. Click the header of each section to read more into each topic.

 

sapphires blue in case

The Beauty of Sapphire

sapphire

All You Need to Know about Sapphires

sapphire-related-2

16 Record-Breaking Sapphires Sold at Auction Houses

OVERVIEW



 INTRODUCTION

IMG_7788

Named from the Greek word sappheiros meaning blue, sapphire is the symbol of royalty, purity and tranquility from the heavens. Blue sapphire also thought to bestow peace and harmony and protect the wearer from poison, fever and illness.

Like the ruby, sapphire is a variety of the corundum mineral species and comes in all the colors of the rainbow. Fancy sapphires’ countless different colours are caused by various amounts and combinations of the following chemical elements: titanium, iron and chromium.

Today, many women wear sapphire because the calming nature of the blue colour and many jewellery designers in search for beautiful yellows, oranges, pinks, greens and purples create collections around fancy colored sapphires.

ORIGIN

sapphire-origin

Origin of a sapphire can greatly influence the value of it, especially if they are rich blue and clean.  The true Cornflower Blue of a No Heat Kashmir sapphire will fetch the highest prices, but are exceptionally rare.

Royal Blue Burma Sapphire is next, followed by Royal Blue Sri Lanka Sapphires. On a like-for-like basis, the unheated sapphire will always be worth more than a heated sapphire

Sapphire have traditionally been mined in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, especially Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia, but more recently in central and eastern Africa, in Tanzania and Mozambique.

  • Sri Lanka    
  • Madagascar
  • Burma
  • Kenya
  • Myanmar
  • Australia
  • Kashmir

HARDNESS

moh-scale

Sapphires have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. It is the third hardest mineral, after diamond at 10 and moissanite at 9.5. Due to its remarkable hardness, sapphires are used in some non-ornamental applications, such as infrared optical components, high-durability windows, wristwatch crystals and movement bearings.

  • moh-scale

TREATMENT

ruby-treatmentEye visible inclusions are acceptable.

Heating to improve colour is very common and accepted.

Fracture, fission or cavity filling with artificial materials such as glass. This type of treatment is very common and it helps, but must be disclosed as a heat treatment

Most sapphires, regardless of hue, will receive heat treatment, unless sold otherwise. Diffusion treatments can enhance the hue, but are not universally accepted as a good option. If diffusion is used it must be disclosed and this can reduce the value of the sapphire.

Heating to improve colour is common in sapphires.  Very low grade sapphires are also treated with chemicals to alter their colour, transforming the gemstone into saleable pieces. These processes may increase the stone’s beauty, but not its value.

A sapphire can be listed as natural simply because it is not lab created. However, natural does not mean the sapphire has not undergone any enhancements. The term "untreated" refers to sapphire that is not lab created and has not been subject to any chemical or heat treatments. This kind of sapphire normally demands a very high value

LOOKING AFTER SAPPHIRE JEWELLERY

sapphire-looking-after

Sapphire are, on the whole, very durable stones and are safe to use in jewellery dips and ultra-sonic cleaners, however avoid using strong direct heat with untreated stones as this could affect the colour, future recertification AND VALUE.

More about Sapphire After Care

COLOUR

Blue, also with secondary hues of violet and green. Pure blue sapphires and blue sapphires with some violet hues are most desirable.

Colour in Blue Sapphire occurs in zones: rich colour alternating with colourless areas. Sapphires that show zones with the loupe, (x10  magnification)  may  be perfectly  eye clean. Stone cutters try to reduce the effect of zoning and thus stones can appear  uneven, although this can be masked in the setting. Symmetry faults in sapphire are accepted, especially if they are below the girdle.

sapphire-colour

SAPPHIRE WEIGHT AND MEASURES

One of the most useful tools a jeweller can have at their disposal is an understanding of how much gemstones of a certain size weigh. In the chart below, we give an overview of what different shaped sapphires weigh in different sizes

 

Oval Sapphire
Oval-"mm" 4x3 5x3 5x4 6x4 7x5 8x6
Sapphire 0.24 0.31 0.5 0.6 1 1.6

 

 

Round Sapphire-2
Round-"mm" 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 5
Sapphire 0.05 0.09 0.14 0.22 0.38 0.65

 

Octagon
Octagon-"mm" 5x3 6x4 7x5 8x6 9x7 10x8
Sapphire 0.45 0.75 1.2 1.75 2.9 4

 

Pear Sapphire
Pear-"mm" 5x3 6x4 7x5 8x5 9x6 10x7
Sapphire 0.3 0.5 0.85 1.1 1.8 2.5

 

Marquise Sapphire
Marquise-"mm" 4x2 5x2.5 6x3 7x3.5 8x4 10x5
Sapphire 0.09 0.2 0.32 0.44 0.75 1.2
GRADING SAPPHIRES

4 C’s OF SAPPHIRES

Sapphire Flower

While Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat weight are important when grading gemstones, value is most heavily weighted against its colour, as opposed to white diamonds, where the cut proportions and clarity are other primary indications of value. As a general rule, the more intense the colour, the rarer and more valuable the stone.

With rubies, sapphires and emeralds, the principles are the same, but not so easily quantifiable.

 

 

 


 

COLOUR

sapphire-4c-colour

As colouration of the stone varies greatly, sapphires are primarily valued based on carat, origin, treatment, weight, hue and then clarity. Depending on the market and the client, the level of value assigned to a given shade will vary. Sapphires can be natural or colour enhanced, with natural sapphires obviously commanding the higher price tag on a like-for-like basis.

 

 


 

CUT

sapphire-4c-cut

With colored gemstones, the intricacy of the cut does not affect the beauty and the reflection of light of the stone in the same way that it will for a ‘white’ diamond or colored diamond. Colored stones have their own natural “glow”, which is only enhanced by the quality and style of the stone’s cut.

A simple cut can showcase the high points of a colored stone just as well as a complex cut. Unlike diamonds, a higher number of facets will not influence the values of the stone. In fact sometimes it may detract from the potential beauty of the stone.

 

 


 

CLARITY

sapphire-4c-clarity

Clarity refers to the stone’s lack of inclusions.  It is worth noting that inclusions in colored stones are exceptionally common and only influence the price of a stone to a degree.

Unless the stone is eye clean, or loupe clean, which can fetch a much higher price, conversely opaque stones will be a lot cheaper.

 

 


 

CARAT

sapphire-4c-caratAll gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as as paperclip.

Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. Because even a fraction of a carat can make a considerable difference in cost, precision is crucial and highly specialised weighing machines, known as a Balance, is used for this purpose.

TREATMENT

ruby-treatment-2Generally speaking, most gemstones undergo some treatment process. I would go so far as to say that it is normal for rubies, sapphires and emeralds to have undergone some treatment or another and is quite acceptable, providing it is disclosed.

Whether you have a natural unheated ruby, or treated one, or it’s synthetic for that matter, all information pertinent to any enhancement process done to a natural gemstone must be disclosed when:

  1. the stone has undergone any treatment process; or
  2. the treatment is not permanent and its effects are lost over time (e.g. oil in emeralds); or
  3. the treatment creates special care requirements for the gemstone to retain the benefit of the treatment (e.g. oil in emeralds); or
  4. the treatment has a significant effect on the value of the gemstone (e.g. heat treatment in rubies and sapphires, or oil, or resin in emeralds, or irradiation in diamonds).

Why is this so important? Principally to tell you if stones have undergone any treatments that may affect their value. As the gemstone and diamond business has become more accessible, it has also become the target of fraudsters and criminals, looking to cheat buyers out of their hard earned money. There are websites and Facebook groups
dedicated to these scams and the stories are endless. Fraud affects both the end consumer and those inside the trade. So it is reasonable for consumers to demand full gemstone descriptions including certificates and lab verification of value points on stones, especially for larger or more expensive pieces. Thus, familiarity with the major
laboratories and certificates issued has never been more relevant.

ORIGIN
map
 

Origin of a sapphire can greatly influence the value of it, especially if they are rich blue and clean. The true Cornflower Blue of a No Heat Kashmir sapphire will fetch the highest prices, but are exceptionally rare.

Royal Blue Burma Sapphire is next, followed by Royal Blue Sri Lanka Sapphires. On a like-for-like basis, the unheated sapphire will always be worth more than a heated sapphire.

ruby-certificatesSAPPHIRE CERTIFICATES

When working with coloured gemstones and diamonds, today more than ever, it is important to be able to have the stones independently evaluated. It is for this reason the gemstone laboratories have become vital players in the gemstone industry.

Why? Principally to tell you if stones have undergone any treatments that may affect their value. As the gemstone and diamond business has become more important and more accessible.  It has also become the target of fraudsters and criminals, looking to cheat buyers out of their hard earned money.  There are websites and Facebook groups dedicated to these scams and the stories are endless.  And they affect both the end consumer and those inside the trade.

So it is reasonable for consumers to demand full gemstone descriptions including certificates and lab verification of value points on stones, especially for larger or more expensive pieces. Thus, familiarity with the major laboratories and certificates issued has never been more relevant.

LET’S LOOK AT SAPPHIRES

2.08 Blue Cushion Sapphire

2.08 ct Blue Cushion Sapphire

1.66 ct Blue Heart Shape Sapphire

1.66 ct Blue Heart Shape Sapphire 

2.88-E  Royal Blue Sapphire

2.88 ct Royal Blue Sapphire

WHAT’S NEXT

OTHER SAPPHIRE RELATED CONTENTS

grading gemstone Haruni Fine Gems

How Grading Color Gems is Different to Grading Diamonds

the beauty of sapphire

The Beauty of Sapphire

looking after your sapphire jewellery

Looking After Your Sapphire Jewellery

haruni-logo