Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Sapphire Question

kirkpatrickel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
26
My fiance and I are looking for a Sapphire for a center stone (approximately 7.5mm X 5mm) or there about; We were in a gem store recently and the sales girl told us that larger stones (as the one we want) are always darker in color. Is this true? The reason I ask is because we're looking for a blue stone that will hold its color and not turn black.

Needless to say nothing we saw struck our fancy...not to mention I thought the sales girl's comment didn't sound 100% correct. Of course I could be wrong.

Any advice on shopping for sapphires would be greatly appreciated.

Best,

Emma
 

colormyworld

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
1,172
Sapphires can range from nearly colorless with the slightest blush of color to the darkest midnight blue and beyond.
 

kirkpatrickel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
26
Hi,

I'm aware that sapphires can vary greatly in color. It was her comment about large stone always apearing darker that seemed off; or a bit weird.

Basically she was saying to get an electric bright blue we'd have to look at smaller stones.
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,267
salespeople are rarely truthpeople.
Often they themselves do not know what they are talking about.
large sapphires can be light while small ones can be blacker than coal. Hue, tone, saturation, clarity and cut are some of the variables that can impact a stone's perceived lightness.
Sapphire shopping is a total minefield. You should learn as much as you can about them and the treatments that are so common yet not always disclosed.

Here is a good place to start:

http://www.palagems.com/sapphire_connoisseurship.htm#sapphire_buying_guide
 

colormyworld

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
1,172
kirkpatrickel|1316476075|3021006 said:
Hi,

I'm aware that sapphires can vary greatly in color. It was her comment about large stone always apearing darker that seemed off; or a bit weird.

Basically she was saying to get an electric bright blue we'd have to look at smaller stones.


The salesperson either dose not know what they are talking about or is trying to blow a little smoke your way.

Most people do think that sapphires must be dark to be a" good" one. As a result most stores stock these type stones.

Irrespective of size sapphires have the range of colors I stated above.
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,863
Sales person has no idea what she is talking about :nono:

Search sapphire engagment rings on PS and you will see some beautiful sapphires in large sizes. My personal favorites all come from Jeff White at whitesgems.com.

Attached below are some more popular sappphire PS rings that are if I recall all vary in size but are on the larger scale- and they have no issue with turning that black color. Just an FYI saved these pictures because this particular color blue appealed to me, if you want lighter sapphires etc you can find those as well.

blueberry4.jpg

DianaBananaLeon4.jpg

maiasappring9898.jpg
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,863

kirkpatrickel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
26
Thanks for the responses; it makes me feel better.

I've actually pulled a few stones from the Pala International site that may work for what we want. Can you guys give me your opinion on the stones and guess on the price (if possible). Our budget is about $2,000 and would like to keep as close to that as possible (since we're going to buy dinner for 130 people in the near future ;-) )

stone 1: http://www.palagems.com/php/db_search.php?action=gemdetail&inventory_number=16679

Stone 2:http://www.palagems.com/php/db_search.php?action=gemdetail&inventory_number=830

btw, Sarahbear, I love the color of the stones you posted.
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,863
kirkpatrickel|1316544467|3021514 said:
Thanks for the responses; it makes me feel better.

I've actually pulled a few stones from the Pala International site that may work for what we want. Can you guys give me your opinion on the stones and guess on the price (if possible). Our budget is about $2,000 and would like to keep as close to that as possible (since we're going to buy dinner for 130 people in the near future ;-) )

stone 1: http://www.palagems.com/php/db_search.php?action=gemdetail&inventory_number=16679

Stone 2:http://www.palagems.com/php/db_search.php?action=gemdetail&inventory_number=830

btw, Sarahbear, I love the color of the stones you posted.
I personally don't really care for either of them- especially the 2nd one. It is too dark for my taste. Have you contacted Jeff White at White Gems? Personally I love his sapphires and I think he has a good eye for color and cut. With a 2k budget you can definitely find something nice.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
The first one looks very blue and bright; certainly a promising sapphire.
The second is a definite pass: medium sized window (and hence the center portion looks dead), the colour is lacking saturation (quite gray), plus there looks to be quite some extinct areas (large black areas).
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,714
I doubt whether the first sapphire you've linked to at Pala will be within budget. The second one may be but it's VERY dark.

A few things to throw your way for thought:-

1. Do you want a natural, untreated sapphire? OR
2. Would you be happy with a treated sapphire?
3. If treated is ok, what's fine with you? Just heated? BE diffused? Dyed/filled etc etc etc etc.

This greatly affects the price/value of the stone. If you're looking at a 2ct natural untreated sappphire for $2k that doesn't darken it may take a while to find.

4. Presumably you're looking at over 2ct (judging by the dimensions you stated). Again, this will raise the price if you're looking for a natural untreated sapphire.

5. The majority of sapphires darken slightly in different lighting conditions - some more so than others. The degree of darkening will also affect the price you'll pay.
 

kirkpatrickel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
26
LovingDiamonds|1316550445|3021573 said:
I doubt whether the first sapphire you've linked to at Pala will be within budget. The second one may be but it's VERY dark.

A few things to throw your way for thought:-

1. Do you want a natural, untreated sapphire? OR
2. Would you be happy with a treated sapphire?
3. If treated is ok, what's fine with you? Just heated? BE diffused? Dyed/filled etc etc etc etc.

This greatly affects the price/value of the stone. If you're looking at a 2ct natural untreated sappphire for $2k that doesn't darken it may take a while to find.

4. Presumably you're looking at over 2ct (judging by the dimensions you stated). Again, this will raise the price if you're looking for a natural untreated sapphire.

5. The majority of sapphires darken slightly in different lighting conditions - some more so than others. The degree of darkening will also affect the price you'll pay.
I'm okay with treated sapphires; I'm not sure to what degree. Also from browsing I've found that most stones we're looking at are between 1.5 and 2 carats. I'm okay with a bit smaller of a dimension.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,714
I think you're probably better off reading about treatments as a starting point because this GREATLY changes the price you should be paying. You don't want to over-pay!

For example, in order of high to low value (ignoring clarity and colour for a minute and just looking at treatments) you have:

Natural - as it has come out of the ground. Highly prized and 2ct stones will be markedly higher in price especially with good colour. It's debatable whether you'd get one for $2k that also had the colour and properties you're looking for.

Heated - some people don't mind this. Although heat is applied it replicates the heat (although higher) that the earth may produce. You may find some in budget.

BE diffused - low in value. These are sapphires that typically start off as a yucky colour and are then cooked with elements to change their colour. The process is stable and the colour permeates through the stone so if it's chipped it'll still be the same colour underneath. These sapphires represent a huge amount of those on the market at the moment. They are the type sold by high street stores and TV shopping channels. With a $2 budget you'd get a very large one!

Dyed/filled - please stay away from these. My opinion (and others may disagree) is that these are junk. Unfortunately these are in abundance.

So, when you're looking for sapphires you MUST MUST MUST ask questions. DO NOT take a Vendor's word - especially if they say it's "natural". BE diffusion can only be detected with equipment in labs NOT by eye and NOT by a jeweller! Unfortunately, disclosure of treatments is often misrepresented and vendors rely on the ignorance of buyers. Make any sale (if it's being sold as natural or heated only) dependent on a report from a reputable lab. That also helps when you want to insure the piece.

If you look at the top of this part of the forum you'll see recommended vendors and that's a good place to start. www.simplysapphires.com are also a good place to look. John (the vendor) is very very kind and will answer your questions and guide you. I would think that Ed would do the same (in the last link you provided).
 

Blue-Seeker

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
158
LovingDiamonds wrote a great post, with some excellent advice in it. I have been looking for a sapphire, and have posted on this forum for advice. It's been invaluable! My advice to you is to read everything you can about the treatment of sapphires, so you are an informed consumer. I was considering heat-treated stones, but now I am considering either buying only unheated stones directly from a lapidary or from Pala through a vendor. And I now realize it may take a long time to find a stone, with a lot of looking. I'm putting my search on hold for a while, but there are many posters here who have said it took months, an in some cases longer than that, to find the stone they eventually purchased. My experience has been that the local jewelry stores do not have a good selection and they have very little knowledge about treatments, let alone if their merchandise has been treated. Sapphires are expensive, and it seems to be pretty easy to pay a lot for a not-so-great quality stone.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    What is Diamond Color?
    What is Diamond Color?
    Scorpio Style
    Scorpio Style
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top