Sapphire Engagement Ring Buying Guide
by Madhubanti Rudra
The birthstone of September, sapphire, in ancient days were believed to lend colour to the sky. The ethereal beauty of sapphire thus symbolizes heaven and is regarded as the bestower of truth and good health. A part of corundum family, sapphire is second in hardness only to diamonds thus commanding a respectable market price.
Love, trust, honesty are the essence of an engagement ceremony. Through the exchange of rings, the young couple takes the tacit vows of commitment. The engagement ring then becomes the culmination of their love, harmony and trust on each other. The soft blue in sapphires also evoke exactly the same emotions that are timeless and something very soothing. And that is the reason why a large number of women today venture upon a sapphire engagement ring.The birthstone of September, sapphire, in ancient days were believed to lend colour to the sky. The ethereal beauty of sapphire thus symbolizes heaven and is regarded as the bestower of truth and good health. A part of corundum family, sapphire is second in hardness only to diamonds thus commanding a respectable market price. Before settling on a sapphire engagement ring one must know the ABCs of sapphire. First, the most prized colour in sapphire is cornflower blue, known as Kashmir sapphire or cornflower blue sapphire. The Burma sapphires are also found in pure spectral blue.
The Ceylon sapphire comes with a very soothing blue in pastel shades. However, sapphires are also found in a range of other colours including violet green, yellow, orange and purple. In the circles of gem trade, the non-blue sapphire is termed as fancy.
Interestingly, a rare orange pink variety of sapphire known as padparadsha or lotus flower is more expensive than blue sapphire. There is a rare variety of sapphire that changes colour in different lights. In natural light it displays blue colour, in artificial light it becomes violet. This should be noted that the prominent international gemological institutions divides the colour of gems into three components hue, tone (lightness or darkness of the stone), and saturations that refers to the degree to which the hue is hidden by under tones of other shades. The evaluation of a stone depends of the cumulative effect of these three factors hue, tone and saturation. Naturally pure vivid coloured sapphire are far more expensive than the dull ones. It should be noted that uniformity of colour is an important factor in a sapphire’s value. Secondly, perfectly transparent sapphires are rare. Like any other gem, sapphire contains inclusions.
Dark sapphire show less inclusion, and light sapphire show more. It is the moderately included sapphires that are in high demands in the jewellery industry. Next important thing is the cutting and faceting of the gem that is responsible for the depth of the colour in the gem. A not-so-well-cut sapphire may appear darker. However, cutting the sapphire requires high degree of craftsmanship. Because not only sapphires are very hard, they also display different range of satiation. Therefore, faceting and orientation should be aligned in a way that brings out the best possible display of colour. Heat treatment is very common for stimulating colours in sapphires. Colourless and pale blue sapphires are often heat treated to produce intensity of colour. Heat treatment also improves the clarity of some gem by removing the small inclusions from them.
As a matter of fact, untreated sapphires are very rare and command a collector’s fortune. There are many varieties of synthetic sapphires that make rounds in the market. There are varieties of cheaper gem stones like Iolite, Indicolite Tourmaline, or blue Zircon, whose colour composition can easily confuse the buyers. It is the great hardness of sapphire that distinguishes it from these gem stones, which are much softer than the true sapphire. Lastly the value of a sapphire depends on the size, colour and transparency. The origin of the gem stone also plays a determining role in this regard. The most expensive sapphire are real Kashmir stones, followed by the Burma and Ceylon sapphires respectively. Like any other gem stone at the time of buying sapphire, one must seek a certificate from a registered gemologist documenting the size, colour and the date of the purchase. While buying an engagement ring one should also concentrate on the metal, apart from the stone.
If gold is your choice then always go for 18K gold, and the gold should be hallmarked. For a sapphire, white gold is just perfect, as the blue and white complement each other perfectly. For a male engagement ring platinum and sapphire combination will definitely produce an out of the world look, which your fiancÃ© will cherish for his whole life. For sapphire engagement ring, the design as a whole should be such, that not the metal, but the stone looks prominent. Ruby and sapphire, two sister gems of corundum family have always fascinated the gem lovers across the globe with the gift of their colour. While Ruby with its fierce red ignites passion and inspires awe among us, sapphire produces just the opposite impact. The pacifying effect of blue invites calm and composer of self. At the same time it is magnificent and royal.
Queen Victoria was presented one of the world’s most precious sapphires by Prince Albert as a wedding gift. All weddings, be it a Royal wedding or a wedding of a commoner, are like fairy tales and everybody seeks to make it special and exceptional. So rise above the average, stay ahead and settle on nothing other than sapphire engagement ring, whose magic spell will always fill your married life with ever lasting joys of love and trust.