Buying Sapphires? Make Sure to Read our Complete Guide
Sapphires are a beautiful and valued type of gemstone, making them a popular choice for engagement rings, pendants, and other jewelry. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know when purchasing sapphires.
You'll learn about the different varieties of sapphires, where they are mined, and the various factors that affect their price. If you’re looking to buy a sapphire, we got you covered, and you'll be able to find the perfect sapphire that meets your needs and budget.
Related: Guide to Gemstones: Colorful Stones
The Fabled History of the Blue Sapphire
Sapphire is a precious gemstone that is prized around the world for its beauty and durability. The first documented use of sapphire dates back to as early as 800 BC in Ancient Greece. Sapphires have been found in the ruins of ancient civilizations from India, China, and Egypt.
The name sapphire comes from the Greek word for blue, sappheiros, which literally means "blue color". Sapphires were used in jewelry by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and were also believed to have magical powers and to bring good fortune.
Sapphires were also prized by kings and rulers throughout the centuries. Throughout the Middle Ages, sapphire was believed to protect the wearer from harm and bring them wealth and good luck. Kings and noblemen often gave sapphires to their wives and children as a sign of love and wealth.
Related Link: The History of Birthstones
In the 1700s, sapphires were introduced to Europe and became popular among the aristocracy. The nobles of France were especially fond of the stone, and it soon became a symbol of high social status.
Today, sapphires are still highly valued for their beauty and durability. They come in a variety of colors, from classic blue to yellow, green, and pink.
Where Do Natural Blue Sapphires Come From?
Natural blue sapphires can be found in a variety of locations around the world, but most are mined in places that are in Southeast Asia, Australia, and North and South America.
In Southeast Asia, natural blue sapphires are mined in Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand. Sri Lanka is famous for its high-quality sapphires and is often referred to as the “Island of Gems”. Burma is also known for its sapphires and is home to the world-famous Mogok mine. The Mogok mine is thought to be the source of some of the world’s most valuable sapphires. Thailand is also home to several mines that produce blue sapphires.
Australia is another well-known source of natural blue sapphires. The most notable sapphire mining locations are in the Northern Territory and Queensland. Sapphires from these areas are usually darker in color and are highly sought after.
In North and South America, various locations in Brazil and the United States are known for producing blue sapphires. In Brazil, the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia are the main sources of sapphires. In the United States, natural blue sapphire is mined out of the state of Montana.
Related: The 7 Precious Stones: Gemstone Guide
What Affects the Value of a Sapphire?
The value of a sapphire is determined by many factors, including the size and quality of the stone, its color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. Size and quality are major factors, as larger stones tend to be more valuable, and higher-quality stones are, of course, more desirable.
Color is also important, as lighter blue sapphires are typically more valuable than darker ones. Similarly, the clarity of the stone directly affects its value. The higher the clarity, the more valuable the sapphire will be.
A sapphire’s cut also plays a role in its value. Well-cut sapphires will not only look better but will reflect light more brightly and be more valuable. Finally, carat weight is another factor that affects the value of a sapphire. The larger the sapphire, the more valuable it will be.
The political and economic climate of the region where the sapphire originated can also influence its value. Sapphire prices can fluctuate significantly based on supply and demand, and if the region is experiencing political or economic instability, the price of sapphire can be affected.
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How to Care for a Sapphire
Caring for sapphire is relatively easy, and these precious stones can last for generations with proper care. If you want to keep your sapphire in showroom-ready condition, follow these simple tips.
Keep your sapphire away from harsh chemicals such as chlorine or bleach. These chemicals can damage the stone and its setting. When cleaning your sapphire, use only lukewarm water and mild soap. Avoid abrasive cleaners and harsh scrubbing, as they can scratch the stone.
Make sure to store your sapphire in a cool, dry place. Sunlight can fade the color of sapphire, so keep it away from direct sunlight. It’s also important to keep the stone away from extreme temperatures.
Inspect your sapphire on a regular basis for any damage. If the stone has become loose in its setting or you notice any scratches, take it to a professional jeweler for repair.
Resist the urge to wear your sapphire jewelry when doing any strenuous activities. Sapphire is a very durable gemstone, but it can be easily damaged if it is knocked against a hard surface.
Make the time to have your sapphire professionally cleaned and inspected once a year. This will help keep your sapphire beautiful for decades to come.
Tanzanite is a popular gemstone that is often compared to sapphire. Although it is less well-known than sapphire, it is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to sapphire. Tanzanite is a beautiful gemstone that is known for its deep purple, blue and violet hues.
Tanzanite is a durable gemstone that is suitable for everyday wear. It is also quite affordable compared to sapphire, making it a great option for those looking for a special gemstone at a lower cost. This makes tanzanite a great choice for those looking for an alternative to sapphire that is both beautiful and affordable.
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Sapphires come in a variety of colors and sizes and can be a great addition to any jewelry collection. With the right care, a sapphire can last for generations and bring beauty to its wearer for years to come. Whether you buy a sapphire for yourself or as a gift, it’s sure to be a treasured item for a long time.