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  •  Gemstone Knowledge   •  Value of Sapphires – How much is a sapphire?
08_Sapphire General Facts_2

Value of Sapphires – How much is a sapphire?

Gemstone Knowledge

Values of sapphires – How much is a sapphire?

The value of a natural sapphire, and of a gemstone in general, is measured by the rarity of its occurrence. In terms of popularity and rarity, cornflower blue and royal blue sapphires are given the highest value. The most valuable sapphire is the very rare Padparadscha Sapphire in the colour combination orange-pink. In general one can say that lighter pastel colours are always cheaper than rare intensive sapphire colours. Blue and intense pink sapphires have always been rare and reflect the current and future higher value. Yellow and brighter pink sapphires are inexpensive, as are white and purple sapphires. Nowadays yellow and pink sapphires in all shades have become very popular for modern jewellery.

How to evaluate the quality of sapphire?

Sapphires are available in a wide range of colours and sizes. The most expensive colours are the highly saturated blue tones, the intense pink tones and the padparadscha colours. Color and size or weight are the most important factors that determine the price of a sapphire.  The price of sapphires varies greatly depending on its quality. This means a large sapphire of low quality is much cheaper than a small but very high quality sapphire. The quality refers to the transparency of the stone, the color distribution and saturation, its clarity and inclusions, symmetries and proportions of the cut and its brilliance. Poor qualities cost a few dollars per carat and very special sapphires can cost tens of thousands of dollars per carat.

Natural sapphires usually have some inclusions, but generally have better clarity and transparency than rubies. Different types of inclusions can be found in different sapphires. One example is the long, thin mineral inclusions called rutile needles. They usually also have feathers or white, cloudy lines inside, which can make the sapphire look opaque. It is very rare to find blue sapphires of high clarity, which makes them very valuable. The price increases with rarity.

Is the value of a sapphire diminished by treatments?

The value of a sapphire is also determined by its treatment. Traditionally and customary in the market is the heat treatment of corundum (sapphire, ruby), the burning of the rough stones, only by heat. This usually results in improved clarity and/or colour intensification. This form of heat treatment is not subject to marking and is standard. Only about 1-2% of all sapphires on the market are completely untreated (not fired) and thus, with the same quality, many times more valuable due to their rarity. There is a whole range of other forms of treatment (diffusion treatment, irradiation, crack fillings, etc.) that are subject to labelling requirements and which exorbitantly reduce the value of a sapphire and even render it almost worthless, as one can no longer speak of a natural sapphire in the narrower sense.  

What does a 1 carat sapphire cost?

A top quality 1 to 2 carat stone can be offered in retail stores at prices between 1,000 – 2,000 Dollars per carat. Quality 2 to 3 carat stones would sell for about twice to three times the price per carat. However, for larger or smaller stones, prices can only be extrapolated to a certain extent, there is no linear or exponential formula to follow. There is no universal rating system for gemstones to classify a sapphire.

Are there price standards or value tables for sapphires?

In summary, sapphire, like almost all other gemstones, is subject to a “non-linear scale of increment” and its value reflects the rarity of a natural product of nature. Serious gemological institutions have developed their own classification systems to assess overall quality. When buying a gemstone, it is important to rely on experienced and trustworthy business partners with a long-term perspective, to ask about the treatment and origin, the type of processing, quality management and documentation of a traceable supply chain. In the case of particularly valuable gemstones for jewelry or as a capital investment, a gemstone expert opinion from the world’s leading gemstone laboratories in the USA, Switzerland and Germany is an important safeguard.

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CEYLONS | MUNICH

CEYLONS | MUNICH stands for the finest Ceylon sapphires. A brand that is committed to a responsible mining approach leading to ethically sourced gemstones from Sri Lanka.

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