How to choose a sapphire ring? Useful tips to choose a ring (or a necklace, bracelet earrings) with sapphire. First, check the origin and then … ♦ ︎
Let us assume that you have some euros or dollars (even without reaching hyperbolic figures) to spend on a beautiful jewel. We assume that you like traditional jewelry, for example a ring with a colored gemstone. And finally, let’s assume that you like sapphires. Question: Do you have the skills to decide if the stone mounted on the ring is really worth the proposed price? Probably not. In fact, it is necessary to trust the experts who were able to closely examine the sapphire and evaluate its quality and relative price. Yet, even if you are not an expert, there are some aspects you can consider before buying a sapphire ring (but the same goes for a necklace, earrings or bracelet). They are useful suggestions, which can help you make a decision especially when, during an auction, you have to choose whether to raise. Here are the tips.
1 Look at the origin. Knowing the origin of a stone is essential. For example, for sapphires, the origin of the stones is particularly important. Sapphire is extracted in many parts of the world, but not all stones are the same: there are sapphires from Kashmir, Burma (Myanmar) and Sri Lanka. But the mines of Kashmir have been exhausted for a century and, therefore, sapphires with that origin are more expensive. They are also generally considered of a superior quality: their color is particularly intense, saturated, with a velvety light that seems to come from the inside. Even Burmese sapphires are similar, but have more glassy, transparent, light reflections, with a vivid color. Finally, the Sri Lankan sapphires are very bright, with an almost liquid reflection with purple spots. They also often have a particular crystalline consistency that gives a different color intensity when turning the stone in front of a light. The sapphires of Sri Lanka seem more fresh and modern than those of Burma or Kashmir.
2 Heated or not heated. In most cases, sapphires (as well as other stones) have been heated to make the color more vivid and more transparent. It is a practice that has lasted for centuries, so we must not be scandalized. If a stone has not been heated and boasts an intense color, however, it also has a greater value. And if a sapphire is not natural and has not been heated it is usually a quality emphasized at the time of sale. Of course the stone is always accompanied by the certificate of a gemological institute. Warning: heating the sapphire is not the only way to make the stone more salable. Another system consists in filling the micro invoices with synthetic material with the addition of dyes. In this case, however, the stones can be ruined by an acid substance, for example a soap or a lemon juice. So before buying a sapphire always ask if it has been treated and by what method.
3 Which color. Not all sapphires are blue. There are also yellow, orange, red, green and pink sapphires (especially the vareità called padparadscha) and even colorless. In general, however, the value of the stones depends a lot on the intensity of the color. The more intense the color without compromising the brightness, the more precious the stone is.
4 Beware of inclusions. If you buy a ring with sapphire and the stone has a certain size it will be easier to check if there are inclusions inside (usually it is very easy that there are). Inclusions, for example light rutile filaments, make a stone less precious. Not only: in some cases these inclusions can threaten the solidity of the stone. If the inclusions are very visible the price of a sapphire can fall substantially. With one exception: if the inclusions form a sort of star reflected on the surface, a fairly rare phenomenon, the sapphire has a greater value.
5 Compare. Even if a sapphire ring looks nice to you, ask to compare it with other jewelry. Your jeweler has for sure other jewels with sapphires and a comparison between different stones will make you discover, for example, if the color of your stone is more or less intense.
6 Look at the cut. One of the aspects that can enhance or depress the value of a gem is the cut. A good cut can make a big difference, giving more brilliance to the stone and reflecting the light evenly over the entire gem. Badly cut sapphires also have a lower value. How do you know if a stone is cut well? In fact I am an expert gemologist can immediately see the defects and identify the technical cause of a failed cut. But if you expose the stone to light and compare it to similar ones, you may notice differences in the reflections: choose the brightest.