With mesmerising hues and incredible durability, sapphires are sophisticated gemstones that make for remarkable jewellery, whether you’re integrating them into another studded piece or placing it as the centrepiece of a new one. They’re more affordable than diamonds, with faceted sapphires selling for as little as $2,000 per carat. That said, prices can also skyrocket as high as $30,000 per carat. If you’re buying sapphire jewellery in Melbourne, it’s important to understand the different elements that affect the value of the gemstone to find the right one for you and your budget.
How Much Sapphires Are Worth Today
The prices of sapphires vary greatly, but they’re generally more affordable than diamonds. You can get a decent low-end sapphire for as low as $2,000, but the average price of blue sapphires ranges between $5,000 and $10,000. Higher-end sapphires, those that are extremely rare and have exceptional quality, can be valued up to $30,000.
The Four Cs Determine the Value of Sapphires
The value of sapphires is based on several factors, including the four Cs of colour, clarity, carat, and cut. These four characteristics are the same criteria used to assess diamonds, although the evaluation process is slightly different when it comes to sapphires.
Even though everyone associates sapphires with the colour blue, there are actually multiple types of sapphire with colours that span the hues of the rainbow and more. Judging the colour of sapphire can vary from professional to professional, especially if they often contain multiple shades within the stone.
Generally, they’re considered based on hue, saturation, and tone. These three elements determine the basic colour of the gem, the lightness or darkness of its shade, and the intensity of its hue. The more vivid, vibrant, and pure the colour of a sapphire is, the more valuable it becomes.
While diamonds are valued for their lack of inclusions, sapphires are expected to have a certain amount of them as a result of their natural formation. Still, the most valuable sapphires are “eye-clean” in clarity, meaning that the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Because these gems are extremely rare, gradings that are “very slightly included” or “slightly included” are considered outstanding and are priced at the upper end of the spectrum.
Carat refers to the weight of the gemstone. Just like with diamonds, the larger the carat size, the more costly the sapphire will be.
Large sapphires are harder to find than smaller ones, but the criteria to evaluate the stone varies from colour to colour. For example, yellow sapphires are comparatively abundant in sizes above five carats, but the same sizes in blue, pink, and padparadscha sapphires are very hard to come by. So, a five-carat yellow sapphire will be less expensive than the same size in other colours.
Just like other transparent gems, sapphires are most beautiful when they are cut. But because sapphire rough is so valuable, the stones don’t always have the same precision cuts of fine diamonds.
For sapphires, cut refers to the faceting style (shape), proportion, and finish of the gemstone. Gem cutters fashion sapphires to maximise their colour and brilliance, final weight, inclusions, and consumer demand for certain styles.
Other Factors That Affect the Value of Sapphires
Apart from the four Cs, the treatment, source, and rarity of sapphire can affect its value.
Some sapphires may be heat-treated to improve colour and clarity. Though this is standard practice, the process slightly lowers the value of the gem. Natural, or untreated, sapphires command the highest price.
Sapphires are sourced from different places in the world, and their value is sometimes affected by this since the conditions of some areas produce better-quality gemstones. For example, sapphires from Kashmir, Burma, and Sri Lanka are usually more expensive.
Similar to other precious gems, the rarer the sapphire, the more expensive it will be. A sapphire is considered rare when it exhibits exceptional colour and quality, and these stones often go for high prices at auctions.
Buying Sapphires at Holloway Diamonds
Sapphires have always been a highly sought-after gemstone. In recent years, they’ve grown even more in popularity, especially because the meaning of a sapphire as an engagement ring is often associated with themes of romance and abundance. The fact that it’s the centrepiece of both Princess Diana and Kate Middleton’s engagement ring helped fuel its popularity, too.
If you’re looking to add a sapphire piece to your collection but are still unsure about how to find the right stone for you, book an appointment with a professional jeweller at Holloway Diamonds to get the service and guidance you need.