Sapphires are one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. Although they come in a whole spectrum of colours – from white, yellow, green, pink, and even purple and violet - Blue Sapphires are the most well-known, and most beloved.
Sapphires are mined in countries like Pakistan, Madagascar, Australia, and the United States, among others, though most Sapphires on the market originate from Sri Lanka. It is said that the best Sapphires come directly from the mines in Sri Lanka too.
Besides being incredibly beautiful, Sapphires are easy to care for and don’t scratch easily, making it ideal for everyday wear (Sapphires score a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 on the Mohs’ scale of mineral hardness, second only to Diamonds at a perfect 10).
Sapphires pair well with Diamonds and other gemstones to provide a unique and exciting variation on the traditional Diamond engagement ring. Interestingly, when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the 18-carat blue sapphire ring that had belonged to his mother, the late Princess Diana, it sparked a renewed interest among couples searching for coloured gemstone engagement rings, driving up demand for these precious gemstones, and consequently its prices.
The Five C's of Sapphires
Our Midnight Gleam Ring - glowing with a Natural Blue Sapphire that speaks of radiance and elegance.
When selecting a Sapphire, the colour is undeniably vital in determining its value. The perception of hue - how red, blue or green it appears to be; tone - how light or dark it seems; and saturation - how uniform and richly coloured it is, all affect the Sapphire's overall appeal.
A Sapphire's hue, tone and saturation are factors to consider when choosing an ideal Sapphire that reflects your personality and style.
Padparadscha Sapphires in its ideal hue, tone and saturation. Derived from the Sinhalese word for “Lotus Flower”, the colour of a Padparadscha flows in a delicate combination of pink and orange, resembling the tips of a new lotus flower at the break of dawn.
A magnified shot of feather and rain droplet-like inclusion within a natural, untreated Sapphire.
Photo: The Natural Sapphire Company
Gemmologists typically use a 10x magnification to inspect the inclusions in a Diamond, but with coloured gemstones, we view with the naked eye to see if the stone is “eye-clean”. Natural Sapphires will almost always have slight flaws and inclusions; those with extremely high clarity are rare, and thus very valuable.
The presence of inclusions is not a disadvantage per se – it is a great indicator that a Sapphire is genuine and the inclusions, much like one’s fingerprint, is what makes a Sapphire unique. If a Sapphire appears flawless, it is most likely created in a lab.
Only about 1% of Sapphires discovered are pure marvels of nature where the Sapphire has not been heated to alter its properties. At B.P. de Silva, our Gem Specialists hand pick untreated Natural Ceylon Sapphires, offering our clients Sapphires of the highest quality in our jewellery.
Sapphire crystals in their natural form are hexagonal-shaped. To enhance their beauty, many jewellers transform these Sapphire roughs into a range of shapes such as rounds, ovals, pears and cushion cuts.
The cut plays an important part, if poorly executed it results in a lack-lustre finish for the Sapphire with pale coloration whereas high-quality cuts imbues life into the gemstone by emphasising its inherent shades and adding sparkle.
Unlike in Diamonds where standardised cuts exist, each Sapphire receives individual attention during cutting to optimise its unique combination of colour, clarity and brilliance. There are endless ways a Sapphire can be cut to display its natural beauty, so be sure you choose a cut that resonates with you.
The Ceylon Regalia Sapphire Ring features a 3.79ct cushion-cut Natural Teal Sapphire, reminiscent of our Founder's grand voyage, from Sri Lanka to Singapore.
Sapphires can range in size, anywhere from a few points to hundreds of carats. Generally, the larger the Sapphire (the greater the number of carats) the higher the cost.
While Diamonds are the go-to stone for engagement rings and fine jewellery, Sapphires are growing in popularity of late. The colour of a Sapphire offers an interesting alternative to the classic, clear Diamond; and are also way more affordable too.
The 5th C: Confidence
Like with any precious Gemstone or piece of jewellery, it is important to work with a trusted jeweller, one where you can shop or personalise your keepsake with complete confidence.
At B.P.'s, with over 150 years of history and experience behind us, and our in-house team of qualified gemologists who will ensure the quality and authenticity of our Sapphires and gemstones, you can’t be in better hands.