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Sapphire Engagement Rings; Not Just Blue
Posted: Sep 18, 2014
It is a mistaken belief that sapphires come in only the rich, vibrant colour of its namesake. In fact, when it comes to choosing your sapphire engagement ring, you have a myriad of colours to choose from.
Unlike diamonds, the single most important factor when it comes to determining the value of a sapphire is its colour and even the most expensive sapphires have inclusions in them. Traditionally, the reason why diamonds are the normal stone of choice when it comes to engagement rings is because of their perceived value, but in actual fact, blue sapphires are less common than diamonds. Blue sapphires are generally considered to be the most exceptional of gemstones and it’s the intensity of that spectacular blue colour that determines its value, with the royal blue colour one of the most rare and most expensive. Blue sapphire engagement rings do come in many different shades of blue however, from very light blue to a blue so dark it looks black, so it all depends on your personal preference.
Pink sapphires are considered the second most valuable sapphire, with that vivid pink colour making it also one of the most extraordinary. It can be difficult though to determine where a pink sapphire stops being a sapphire and becomes a ruby, which is really just a red sapphire. If you are unsure, consult the American Gemological Laboratories where they have a grading system that draws a line between a pink sapphire and a ruby. Other, less well-known sapphires include yellow, golden and orange sapphires that are sometimes subjected to numerous heat treatments in order to enhance their colour. Naturally pale yellow sapphires are heated to between 1600 to 1900 degrees to achieve a better colour. Purple sapphires also cover quite a range of shades, varying from intense electric purple to a clearer plum colour, although be careful as some can have a gray or brown tinge. This is also the case when it comes to green sapphires, where the presence of black or gray secondary colours can reduce your ring’s value.
Sapphires are one of the gemstones that can change colour, depending on the light source. These colour change sapphires are beautiful, but the ideal colour change sapphire is one that has a 100% change between two attractive colours, hence the more dramatic the effect, the more valuable your sapphire is. Whilst not being the most valuable, peach-champagne sapphire engagement rings boast one of the most rare colours of sapphire that has a spectacular light colour that shifts depending on the light. It is highly coveted because of its unique and elegant colouring and is argued to look best on a gold band, although some prefer a rose gold setting.
White sapphire engagement rings are seen as the perfect option for someone who wants all the elegance and beauty of a diamond but without the price tag. Although white sapphires are rare, there isn’t much demand for them and they were sold at a very low price of around £8 per carat until it was realised that the process of heating changed white sapphires to vibrant orange sapphires, and a diffusion process changed them to blue sapphires. The price has now increased along with the demand for such gems, and you can now pay £70-£200 per carat.
Although, it is true that the most popular kind of sapphire engagement rings are those with that famous blue colour, it is clear that there is a whole selection of choice out there and it is important to choose the right colour for both you and your budget.
Frederick Holm is staff writer for of the F&L Designer Guides, compiled and written to help consumers choose a unique engagement ring design. From diamond to sapphire engagement rings from a princess cut to a platinum band, we have ideas and opinions covering all the options. Offering advice, tips and suggestions on how to choose that perfect ring, F&L will accompany you on every stage of your search to find the right designer.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.