The Hues of the Sapphire Engagement Ring
While we can’t all be princess Diana (or Kate Middleton), we can all rock a sapphire engagement ring with the utmost style and grace. Even if you hate the color blue. Yes, that’s right, sapphires come in pretty much every color of the rainbow! What is it about this sumptuous stone that makes it such a perfect choice for a colored gemstone engagement ring? Well, darling, we’re about to get into that. And a gazillion other reasons why you should be falling head over heels for sapphire when it comes to popping the question.
Rock and a Hard Place
Besides being super sparkly, one of the major benefits of diamonds is that they’re hard. Like, seriously hard. The hardest substance on the planet, in fact, according to the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which, in basic terms, tells us which rocks can or cannot be scratched by others. And diamond can’t be scratched by anything other than itself! Now…what’s second in line? You guessed it: sapphires. Rated a 9 on the Mohs Scale (diamond is a 10), corundum (the geeky term for sapphires) is 100% appropriate for everyday wear, which means bring on the engagement sapphires, buddy! The only thing you want to be careful about is wearing it next to any diamond bands with exposed edges that could potentially scratch your sapphire.
Back to that geeky stuff: the name “sapphire” applies to any color of corundum other than red. Red corundum is what we call “ruby”. Yes, that’s right, sapphire and ruby are actually the same gemstone just in different colors! So, what other colors are we talking, exactly? Well, obviously there’s blue—and every shade of it under the sun for that matter—then there’s green, gray, purple, pink, white, yellow, orange…the list goes on. These are often called “fancy sapphires” in the industry but you’ll most often find retailers labeling them with simple color names like “pink sapphire” or “white sapphire”, especially when it comes to small, common stones.
The Uncommon Goods
Blue, pink, yellow, and white are commonly available sapphire colors on the market. But what about what’s not so common? Green sapphires are more unusual but totally gorgeous. In shades of seafoam, sage, or deep evergreen, a green sapphire can be a truly stunning stone. Purple sapphires are also a treat, and more fitting for everyday ring wear than the softer amethyst. Color-change sapphires are a thing. That’s right—some sapphires appear blue in fluorescent light and purple in incandescent light. Pretty rare, but very cool. But one of the rarest sapphire colors is known as “Padparadscha”. Named for the lotus blossom, these unique stones bear a very special pinkish-orange hue that’ll cost you a pretty penny. General rule of thumb? the more rare, saturated, and uniformly colored a sapphire is, the higher the price.
Into the Deep
One of the biggest differences between sapphires and diamonds is their cut. You probably already know that cut is the most important of the 4 Cs when it comes to buying a diamond—because it has the most impact on a diamond’s sparkle. Well, sapphires don’t really sparkle, my dear! They’re valued for their color above all else, which means most gem cutters aren’t as concerned with perfect proportions and brilliant facets when it comes to sapphires. In fact, sapphires often come in shapes other than round because rounds are all about brilliance, and other shapes can be cut to retain more carat weight and depth which will hold more color, thus creating a more intensely-hued stone.
Fancy That Sapphire Engagement Ring
Now, sure, you can still find a round sapphire if you must. But we highly encourage you to keep an open mind when it comes to colored gemstone shapes. Often, you’ll see sapphires cut as ovals, cushions or radiants—all shapes that emphasize the gem’s color saturation and can also help disguise any natural inclusions in the stone (stone color is a great mask)! Because large, gem-quality sapphires are rare and often cut into a wider variety of shapes, it can be tough to find the exact shape, size, and color you’re after. Not to worry tho, our Frank Darling concierge service is here to help you find your perfect needle, even if we have to search the whole haystack!
Grade Point (Not) Average
Speaking of larger, fine jewelry-worthy natural sapphires that you’re going to drop serious dollars on, they should always come with a certificate of authenticity from a reputable grading lab. One that will tell you whether or not the stone has any impermanent treatments that are enhancing its color or clarity and thus its price, care, and wearability.
When it comes to finding what you really want, one of our favorite sources for unique sapphires is the lab. Just like lab created diamonds and their natural, mined counterparts, lab created sapphires are chemically, physically, and optically identical to natural sapphires. But there are some differences. Clarity, for one. Because of the much more controlled conditions of growth found in a lab, lab created sapphires typically have much higher clarity than natural ones. A flawless (or nearly so) natural sapphire will cost you exponentially more.
Take it to the Bank
Lab created sapphires can get you all the desired traits of a natural sapphire at a lower price tag. They can also give you more options. While the majority of lab created sapphires are blue (because this is the most popular choice), going with a lab created stone can, in fact, offer you some of those rare sapphire options that would be hard to find in a natural stone. Want a green star sapphire or a flawless yellow? A peachy princess cut or a lavender Asscher? Look to the lab. While the cost savings might slim when it comes to rarity, the lab can be a great place to get what you want.
Set it Off
Love the look of sapphire but don’t want to go whole hog? They’re one of our favorite gemstones to use as accents to a diamond. A sapphire three-stone is a total classic move that won’t disappoint. And it works well with pretty much any shape—from blue baguettes to pink pears. Sapphires are also stellar for creating an ombre effect, with stones going from dark to light in a tantalizing row of color.
In the Stacks
Sapphires are spectacular for ring stacks (so on trend too) and there are endless options to play with. We love different color gemstone bands all stacked up together, or create a custom look with alternating diamonds and sapphires for something that’s super fun. Want to go all out? Sapphire rainbows could be a thing!
The Sapphire Factory
No matter what look you’re after, if you’re up for a cool, colored gemstone style, sapphires are sure to suit. Need a little help dreaming up your perfect jewel? Reach out at email@example.com and our gem geeks will get right to it. Or start customizing your own with our design quiz and even get a free sketch!