wikiHow to Choose Quality Sapphires

The sapphire is a stone that comes in many colors - yellow, pink, orange and purple -- but most sapphires are blue. Blue sapphires, which are the birthstone of those born in the month of September, can be of varying shades, anywhere from mid-blue to nearly black. Sapphires are popular not only for their beauty, but also for their durability; the only harder gemstone is the diamond. When deciding to purchase one of these stones, you should become well-versed in how to choose quality sapphires.


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    Decide if you would like to purchase a natural or lab-created sapphire. If you choose a natural stone, ask if it has been heat-treated. Natural stones are sometimes altered in this way to change the appearance of the sapphire.
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    Look at stones of various shades of blue. Since the shades of sapphires vary so widely, there is really no standard for color. Stones can have greenish or violet undertones.
    • If you look at a sapphire through a magnifying glass and see no inclusions, you should suspect it is not a natural stone. High-quality sapphires have no inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.
  3. Image titled Choose Quality Sapphires Step 3
    Choose the tone you like best. "Tone" refers to how dark the stone is. The most valuable sapphires have medium to medium-dark tone.
    • A rule of thumb is that a sapphire should not be so dark that you can't tell it is blue, and it should not be so pale that one cannot discern if it is a sapphire or another type of blue stone that is lighter in color.
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    Study the sapphire's saturation, or intensity of color. Sapphires of poorer quality will be grayish. The saturation of a high quality sapphire is strong or even vivid.
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    Observe the clarity of the sapphire you are considering. Sapphires can have many inclusions and will not be as clear as diamonds.
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    Check the cut of the stone. High-quality, well-cut sapphires should have symmetry, balance, and uniformity when observed from any angle. Look at the stone from the side, top and bottom. Inspect for areas in the stone that appear watery or uneven in color.


  • Sapphires are mined in India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil and Africa.
  • Rough sapphires of extremely high quality are quite rare and are very expensive. Many jewelers will not cut and set a sapphire that is above commercial quality, because to do so would result in a significant loss of carat weight.
  • Ask questions about natural stones. Your jeweler or gem dealer should be able to give you some history on the sapphire you are considering. Inquire as to where the stone was mined and what types of treatments it has had.
  • It is very important to know that sapphire stone you are going to buy is heated or unheated because plays a vital in prices so always ask for full certificate if you buy high valued sapphire. Always prefer certificate from GIA, GRS and AIGS.


  • How heating enhances the quality of natural blue sapphire

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Categories: Jewelry and Watches