As with many gemstones purchases, the buying of a sapphire may be one of your largest financial investments yet. Because of this, it’s imperative to know how to choose a high-quality stone before selecting one for purchase. When deciding on a sapphire ring, keep in mind “The Four Cs of Gemstones” – as used with diamonds – to help you find the perfect one:
Color: Sapphires are most commonly found and sold in their well-known blue color. However, these stones actually come in a variety of colors, including gray, black, yellow, green, pink, orange, brown, and some are even colorless. For those seeking the notorious blue sapphire stone, it is advised to consider three components of its color: hue, saturation and tone. These stones are valued based on the purity of their primary hue, so this is a top characteristic to look for.
Clarity: In sapphires, the term “clarity” refers to the amount of inclusions or flaws there are in a particular stone. Visible at varying levels of magnification – though some may be invisible to the naked eye – inclusions are commonly accepted in the industry. However, it is true that fewer inclusions would indicate a higher selling point. Similar to diamonds and many other stones, sapphire stones are valued much higher when clarity is at its best.
Cut: A proper cut gives sapphire its brilliance, thus its value in terms of pricing. The precise angles and finish of any sapphire stone are what govern its capacity to reflect light, which leads to brilliance. In a poorly cut sapphire, light that enters the table will first spread to the pavilion facets and then leak out from the sides of the stone, as opposed to reflecting back to an individual’s eye. When purchasing a sapphire, be sure to avoid shallow and deep cuts. Popular cut styles are: step cut/emerald cut, brilliant cut, mixed cut (most common), and cabochon cut.
Carat: The bigger a sapphire stone is, the higher its value. That being said, if the size is large, but other characteristics – like color and clarity – are lower, even a larger sapphire is valued much lower.