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Your Sapphire Questions Answered

I've heard sapphires are more fragile and aren't for everyday wear. Is that true?

Actually that isn't true. Sapphires are a 9 on the hardness scale. For reference a diamond is a 10 on the scale. Sapphires are to be worn everyday.

How can you tell the origin of a sapphire?

By the color and fingerprint (inclusions) for example Kashmir sapphires are extremely vivid in color and have a silk hazy like fingerprint. Some Kashmir and Ceylon sapphires cannot be discerned based only on color. And you must look at the fingerprint as well.

Other than saturation of color is there anything else to look for in high quality sapphires?

It used to be that color was most important but now with so many treated sapphires in the marketplace, untreated sapphires are very valuable.

If a sapphire is treated in some way, will that treatment ever fade?

Heating a sapphire increases the color and transparency meaning gets rid of inclusions so once a sapphire is heated, it will never fade to its original state.

How much per carat is a Kashmir sapphire?

There are other variables than carat size that influence the value of a sapphire. It depends on the color, clarity, cut, and even size as the price goes up exponentially with an increase in carat size.

What other colors are sapphires? And what is their difference in valuation.

Sapphires are allochromatic meaning they come in every color. The most valuable is the Kashmir sapphire and Burmese ruby (when a corundum is red it's called a ruby!). White sapphires are the least desirable.

Years ago I chipped my sapphire, is there any way to fix that?

Good news! Yes, you can bring your sapphire to a stone cutter and have it recut.

What is the best way to clean a sapphire and diamond platinum ring?

Both diamonds and sapphires can be cleaned using a soft bristle tooth brush, mild dish soap, and warm water.

What does it mean if a sapphire is heated or treated versus unheated?

Throughout history, it has been a common practice to treat sapphires in some way to enhance their color and clarity. There are various temperatures that sapphires are heated to from 400 degrees all the way to 1700! And there are also chemical treatments. All of these techniques improve a sapphire’s color and clarity. Untreated sapphire means the stone has not undergone any processes to increase quality.

Why does heat treating a sapphire make it less desirable if it increases transparency?

Often very low grade sapphires are treated with chemicals to alter their color, transforming stones that would not be market grade into salable pieces. These processes may increase the stone’s beauty, but not its value.

What is the difference between natural and treated sapphires?

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 alterations. The key term is “untreated,” meaning a sapphire is natural (not lab created) and has not been subject to any chemical or heat treatments. Approximately only 0.5 - 1% of the sapphires discovered are of gem quality without treatment. Natural untreated sapphires are far more uncommon and valuable than treated and chemically altered stones.

Are dark or light colored sapphires considered higher quality?

Generally speaking, darker sapphires are more desirable. Although, its more about the saturation of color. If they go too dark they can run black and that's also not desirable. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

What should I look for if I'm interested in darker sapphires? For example what words should I use to describe a high quality darker sapphire?

Deep, intense, velvety blue is the best way to describe the most desirable sapphires.