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Blue Sapphire Colour Grading

November 22, 2022

Blue sapphire is the most sought-after variety of this precious gemstone, both for its appearance and the blue sapphire meaning of royalty, romance, and connection. It’s a remarkable stone with a mesmerising blue hue that’s sure to turn heads, whether on a delicate engagement ring or an elaborate blue sapphire necklace

Choosing the right blue sapphire isn’t as simple as it seems. Each gem is graded by its characteristics of hue, tone, and saturation. You’ll find blue sapphires in shades from light to dark, with clarity ranging from opaque to eye-clean. To find the best blue sapphire, you must understand how the colour is valued.

Assessing the Colour of Blue Sapphires

Interpreting the colour of a blue sapphire varies from one person to the next, especially because multiple colours can often be found in the same gem. Gemologists have come up with a universal and objective means of assessing the colour in sapphires. It’s dependent on the three characteristics of hue, tone, and saturation.


Hue refers to the sapphire’s basic colour, including its primary colour and any overtones. Jewellers often use hyphenated colour words to describe this, such as blue-violet or greenish-blue, with the overtone listed first followed by the primary colour.

The best blue sapphires have uniform colouring, with little to no spots that are lighter or darker than the rest of the stone.


Tone describes the depth of colour of a blue sapphire, or how light or dark its colour is.

Blue sapphires may have the same colour, but their tones set them apart. They’re usually categorised as having a light, light-medium, medium, medium-dark, or dark tone. Gems with medium or medium-dark tones command the highest prices.


Saturation refers to the purity or intensity of a blue sapphire’s colour. Those with a “diluted” colour are less valuable; those with higher levels of saturation are preferred. The finest blue sapphires are vivid, but those with strong saturation are also exceptional.

What Is Considered a High-Quality Blue Sapphire?

The best blue sapphires have vivid and uniform colouring with medium to medium-dark tones. These are usually rare and when paired with great clarity and a good cut, are some of the most valuable and expensive gems out there.

Tips for Choosing the Best Blue Sapphire

You may be wondering what exactly to look for when buying a sapphire. Below are some tips for choosing the right gem.

Find the Right Shade

Keeping the criteria for blue sapphire colour grading in mind, choose the right shade based on the gem’s hue, tone, and saturation based on what’s available and within budget.

Mind the Other Cs

Colour is the major determining factor for the value of blue sapphire, but it’s important to consider other characteristics that affect its quality, as well. These include the stone’s carat (weight), clarity, and cut. The latter two, in particular, may also affect the colour of the stone, so it’s best to consider all four Cs together when choosing your gem.

Get Help From a Professional Jeweller

The intricacies of a blue sapphire may still be difficult to perceive with a regular eye. The best way to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth is to seek help from a professional jeweller, such as an expert from Holloway Diamonds, to help you find the best blue sapphire for the piece of jewellery you’re eyeing.

Blue Sapphire Jewellery From Holloway Diamonds

Because of the differences in the colour of a blue diamond, there are many types to choose from just in this category. If you need a way to navigate through them all and find the best stone for you, book an appointment at Holloway Diamonds today to get help from a skilled jeweller.

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