Sapphires are cut in various shapes. Sapphires have gained a lot of popularity in engagement rings (especially as an alternative to diamonds), and round cuts and oval cut sapphires seem to be most popular. Princess Diana was credited with making the oval cut sapphire famous with her engagement ring. High quality sapphire has a glow and sparkle due to high refraction. The faceting of round and oval shapes gives them reflective and sparkling qualities. Other shapes such as cushion, princess/square, octagon and marquise are popular as well. Round and oval sapphires are the most premium due to popularity and rough wastage as they are being cut. Cushion cut sapphires are more rare than other shapes, but more common in larger sizes above 5mm. Princess cuts are generally available in smaller sizes about 4mm and below.

Here is a sampling of all the popular Sapphire shapes:

round high quality natural sapphire shape
cushion high quality natural sapphire shape
pear high quality natural sapphire shape
emerald high quality natural sapphire shape

Sapphire Sizes

Sapphires are cut in a variety of calibrated sizes based on what looks best in jewelry. Sapphire size is measured in millimeters, not carat weight. Carat weight is often a guide. However, every sapphire is cut slightly differently. As sapphires have more depth than diamonds, carat weight isn't an entirely reliable size indicator. Like with all gemstones, the larger the sapphire, the rarer and more expensive. The prices change exponentially, not in a linear fashion. Always evaluate the sapphire's size based on the measurements.

Sapphire Color

With sapphires, color is the most important quality attribute. Color is examined by the Sapphire's hue, tone and saturation. Hue is the type of color in the sapphire. For example, if the gemstone is a blue sapphire, than the hue is blue. The tone is the depth of color. Sapphires should have a deep (not dark), vivid royal blue hue, with sparkles are dark purple. Lastly, the saturation is the evenness of color hue and tone. If the sapphire looks to have light spots or areas where the color gets too dark or fades, then the saturation may be uneven.

Sapphires can have different tones and still be high quality or low quality. For example, a single A quality sapphire may be very dark blue (almost black) or very light blue, almost sky blue. Likewise, icy blue sapphire can be valuable as well.

Sapphire color is examined without magnification. It is best to hold the sapphire between two fingers or on a white surface face up. Then rock and tilt the gemstone to examine the color and how it interacts with light. Human eyes are very good as identifying color. You have an innate ability to appreciate good quality versus lower quality. Your eyes will do the work and be able to identify if the sapphire is AAA or A quality.

Sapphire pricing varies based on color. It is important to note that color (apart) from size, is the single biggest price factor. All three major color factors, hue, tone and saturation, must be evaluated simultaneously when pricing a sapphire and assigning a quality grade. Below is a sample sapphire pricing chart based on the color grades. Please keep in mind that these are just examples and pricing may vary based on other factors as well.


What is a sapphire?

A Sapphire is a precious gemstone that has become the second most popular owing to its deep royal blue color. They are mined but can also be manufactured and measure a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Thus, they are durable and make for beautiful pieces of jewelry.

What color is a sapphire?

Sapphires are usually well known for their rich royal blue color but also come in pink, yellow, and white colors.

How much are sapphires worth?

Sapphires are valuable precious stones and can be bought in a variety of shapes and sizes and of course, colors. A round 1 carat AA quality sapphire ring is around $500 USD. Sapphires can also be bought from $25 per carat to around $10,000 per carat.

Are sapphires expensive?

Sapphires are not more expensive than diamonds but can vary in price depending on the color, quality and size purchased. The most expensive sapphire was sold at around $135,000 per carat.

Sapphire is a hard crystallized substance known as corundum. Sapphires come in a variety of colors (blue, pink, yellow and white), but are famous for their rich, deep royal blue color. Found in several regions around the world, Sapphires have become the most popular precious gemstone, behind diamonds. Sapphires get their blue color from trace elements of titanium. Sapphires are mined from Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Kashmir, Thailand and Australia. Each region is known to produce a variety of colors. Sapphires derive their value from size and quality. While no standard grading methodology exists, color tends to be the most important factor. The focal points of sapphire quality examination include hue, tone and saturation. As the size and quality increase, so does the price. Sapphires are available in many shapes and sizes.

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