Natural Diamond Prices – March 2023
PriceScope is your go-to resource for learning about the current state of the diamond market. We discuss how socio-economic implications such as the current recession affect consumer buying behavior and…
We’re just a week away from September (can you believe it) and in true PriceScope fashion, we’re celebrating the birthstone of the upcoming month. Sapphire is the birthstone of September. When we think of sapphire, we think blue which is true. However, sapphires come in a variety of other colors (from brown, black to orange, and pink.) Giving September babies a lot more than just a blue stone to choose from. Let’s take a closer look at September’s birthstone, sapphire:
Sapphire derives from the Greek word sappheiros meaning ‘blue’. Hence the misconception that all sapphires are blue. As mentioned in our introduction, sapphires come in a variety of colors. However, In the blue spectrum of sapphires, dark blue is considered to be the most coveted, therefore the most expensive in the range of blue sapphires.
|Fun Fact: Blue is not the most expensive sapphire, the most expensive sapphire is known as the padparadscha sapphire.
Padparadscha (sometimes spelled padparadsha) derives from the Sinhalese word padma radschen, meaning ‘lotus blossom’. Padparadscha sapphire features a delicate color that is a mixture of pink and orange.
Sapphire belongs to the corundum family. Originally only the blue variety of corundum was referred to as sapphire. However, now all forms of corundum are considered to be sapphire except for the red variety. The red variety of corundum is known as ruby. Corundum in its purest state is colorless. However, most corundum contains color-causing trace elements such as iron, titanium, vanadium, and chromium.
Ruby is the birthstone of July. Learn more about the birthstone of July here.
Sapphires are mined throughout the world. Sapphires can be found specifically in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Australia, and the United States.
Sapphires are listed at a 9 on the Mohs scale. Bear in mind that the Mohs scale goes up to 10 (a diamond is listed at a 10 on the Mohs scale), therefore sapphires are considered to be very hard stones. Meaning you can wear them in all sorts of jewelry from engagement rings to earrings for everyday use. Sapphires are durable so you shouldn’t have to worry about their wear and tear.
The price of sapphires is determined using 5C’s, their Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight, and Country of origin. Yes, sapphires can be mined throughout the world but the most valuable sapphires are found in Sri Lanka, Kashmir (India), and Burma (Myanmar).
Clean sapphires that don’t include as many inclusions are considerably more expensive stones compared to included sapphires. Clean, higher-quality sapphires are usually faceted, meaning they’re cut like a diamond. However, sapphires can also be cut and polished into cabochon style. Cabochon-style sapphires are usually cut using lower graded sapphires with a beautiful color. Some cabochon-cut sapphires will illustrate asterism also known as a star. This occurs when white light reflects off tiny needle-like inclusions within the cabochon cut sapphire.
|Faceted Cut Sapphire||Cabochon Cut Sapphire|
|A VRAM platinum ring with unheated Sri Lankan pink sapphire and round brilliant cut diamonds. (Image Source: Harper’s Bazaar).||A Nina Runsdorf star sapphire cabochon ring with radiant diamonds and pave diamonds in 18K gold. (Image Source: Harper’s Bazaar).|
Sapphires are commonly heated to enhance their color and clarity. This practice is widely accepted by the trade.
The Star of Asia Sapphire
The Star of Asia Sapphire is renowned for its impressive size, intense color, and sharp star, the Star of Asia, which weighs 330-carats and is one of the world’s finest star sapphires.
The Star of India Sapphire
The Star of India is the largest sapphire known to man. It weighs over 550-carats.
A lot of royalty throughout history have worn sapphires. Princess Anne and Princess Diana were both gifted with sapphire engagement rings. Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring was passed down to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and is now worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
|5.66ct Cushion Blue Sapphire set in Platinum “Queen Elizabeth” Diamond Right Hand Ring at Whiteflash.||0.81ct Yellow Sapphire set in 14k White Gold Yellow Sapphire and Diamond Right Hand Ring at Whiteflash.|
|Radiant-Cut Pink Sapphire Ring with Pear-Shaped Diamond Halo in 18k White Gold at Blue Nile.||Multicolor Sapphire and Diamond Drop Earrings in 18k White Gold at Blue Nile.|
Are you a September baby? Do you own a sapphire? If so, let us know by clicking the comments button below.
Written by Bianca Mac Donald