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Sapphires 101

Rarity

I Thought Diamonds Were The Rarest Gems!

The scarcity of an item and its market demand determine its price. Sales of untreated sapphires have continued to increase as consumers become aware of the treatment of conventional sapphires in the marketplace.

Sapphires of fine quality are exceptionally rare. Diamonds, though, are in almost every type of jewelry store and available internationally through the web.  World production and use of diamonds proves that they are not as rare as one would think, especially commercial grade stones. Diamond prices are kept afloat by a combination of inflated profit margins and the controlled release of supply by diamond cartels.Transparent, vibrantly colored corundum (ie. ruby and sapphire) are rare gemstones.Given current conditions in the mine and marketplace, natural untreated sapphires of high grade are scarce. 

Blue Kashmir Sapphires that show great color are one of the rarest gems on earth
Blue Kashmir Sapphires that show great color are one of the rarest gems on earth

Here are the facts:

  • While sapphires are found in many regions of the world, not all locations can be profitably mined.  In many cases, sapphire yields are simply too low to make mining a sustainable enterprise.
  • If sapphire deposits are located in areas that are too remote, politically volatile, or environmentally extreme, they will not be mined.
  • In locations where sapphires are mined, most of the recovered stones are so poor in quality that they never enter the gem trade.
  • Only a fraction of the sapphires that enter the gem trade remain untreated.  Gem dealers and distributors employ a variety of treatments to add value to gemstones and maximize returns from limited supplies.

Now that you know what makes these gems so rare I know you want to find our where we procure some of our sapphires. Have a look at our Sapphire Origins & Sources section for a look at our sapphire map.

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