Let me be Frank instead of Paul, Sapphires Are Awesome! Sure, that might be a biased statement coming from The Natural Sapphire Company, but I assure you it is true and that after reading this you will believe it too!
“Why should I buy a sapphire?” is a common question from anyone buying jewelry for an engagement, an anniversary, or any other occasion. Confusion over what to buy from the gem and jewelry industry is understandable, especially in a market absolutely overflowing with possibilities, and everyone telling you their product is the best.
Long enough ago that few of us remember it, but still not that long ago; it was in 1947 that DeBeers launched the “Diamonds Are Forever” campaign, which from then on essentially brainwashed the world into believing that there was only one option, that everyone had to have a diamond, and the underlying mistruth that diamonds are indestructible. Diamonds are far from indestructible, in fact their 4 planes of cleavage, or if you will, directions of breakage, can have a nasty effect on your diamond from just the slightest tap against your kitchen’s granite counter top. On the other hand, though a sapphire’s hardness is a 9 on the Moh’s Scale, and can be scratched by a diamond, only a diamond; sapphires do not have cleavage and therefore will be less prone to damage over time. It could be said that on the scale of indestructability, Sapphire Wins!
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, as there are more reasons than one why you should buy a sapphire. You may have heard of the 4 C’s of diamond grading: Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat weight. If you haven’t, to briefly define it, the 4 C’s are how diamonds are judged and prices are determined. The 4 C’s don’t directly apply to the grading of sapphires, but for the purpose of answering the Why Sapphire question, following the 4 C’s should give you an orderly understanding of the excellent nature of sapphires.
Color: The most important factor in any colored gemstone is obviously color. While blue is the most commonly known sapphire color, they’re also found in pink, yellow, green, purple, orange, white, black, and every variation of tone and saturation in between. There are even sapphires that change color under different light sources. When it comes to color, no other gemstone has a wider span of possibilities than sapphire. Think of the boxes of crayons we all had as children. Often we were stuck with that small box of 8 colors, but what we all really wanted was that massive box with a hundred different shades and the crayon sharpener in the back of the box. Sapphires are like that box of a hundred different crayons. What’s your favorite color?
Cut: Whether you want a virtual pool of color for your eyes to dive in to, or the same brilliant facet arrangements as the most sparkly of diamonds; the various cuts of sapphire add to the stone’s color and beauty. A diamond’s cut is judged far more harshly than a colored gemstone like sapphire. The reason for this is that sapphires, especially those that are untreated, are far more rare than your standard 1-2 carat diamond. Because of the rarity of fine rough gem quality material, gem cutters tend to sacrifice the “ideal cut” to save the precious weight of the sapphire crystal. For sapphires, if the color you want is there, than issues with the cut can be forgiven.
Clarity: Another of the 4 C’s that is judged far more harshly in diamonds than in colored stones; the range and reason of clarity in sapphires is an interesting and unique subject that goes beyond terms of quality. For the gemologist, a sapphire without inclusions is suspect. Of course there are sapphires with exceptional clarity – The Natural Sapphire Company has many of them, however most sapphires have some kind of clarity characteristic such as the mineral rutile, that is often described as “silk” or crystal inclusions and color zoning which are akin to snapshots of the sapphire’s natural growth process. While inclusions can negatively affect the beauty of a sapphire, they can also improve the beauty of the stone. You may have heard of the Kashmir sapphire, with its velvety blue hue. That velvety aspect is a result of the sapphire’s natural inclusions. What you should honestly be looking for when looking at a sapphire is whether or not the stone is pleasing to your eye from a 2-3 foot distance. If it’s rare, natural, and beautiful, the sapphire’s “flaws” seen under magnification are merely the gem’s inner unseen beauty.
Carat: If the large size of a stone is your priority, then for the price of a 1 carat diamond you could have a ballin’ sapphire cocktail ring that will have the world around you wondering if you know something they don’t! Like diamonds, the higher the carat weight, the higher the price. However, that being said, if you have any inclination to buy the 1 carat diamond, than you’re probably looking to spend quite a few thousand buckaroos! Take a look at what kind of sapphire and ruby jewelry you can buy for the same budget or less. Sapphires are not better because they can be less expensive, but it doesn’t hurt if they are.
We are living in a new age of colored stone jewelry where at least 1 in 5 engagement rings lack the conventional diamond center stone. Out in the market you’ll surely find numerous options for colored gemstone engagement rings, but be mindful that what makes a good engagement stone is not only beauty and rarity, but hardness and durability to last till death do you part. A sapphire’s hardness and durability, along with its range of colors and cuts, make it the most suitable option for colored stone engagement rings, or any other piece of gemstone jewelry that receives daily wear. As you’ve now learned why you should buy a sapphire, you’ve also learned that the true decision making process – the fun part – has only just begun.