Sapphire Color Chart and Characteristics

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When we think about a sapphire, we often picture a vivid blue colored gemstone. Despite the fact that sapphires can come in a wide variety of colors, we tend to associate them with the blue color. This is due to the fact that in antiquity, any blue colored stone was considered to be a sapphire. In fact, the word sapphire is derived from Sappheiros, the Greek word for the color blue. After studying the properties of certain stones, only the blue colored conundrums were considered to be sapphires. However, nowadays, the sapphire is not characterized by its blue color as it can come in a wide variety of colors. Still, the color of the sapphire often determines it value. The Sapphire color chart can be a useful tool for a person who is passionate by jewelry.

  • Characteristics

The classification of colored gemstones has been a complicated concept for centuries. For a long time, people relied on descriptions which were not standardized. Despite the fact that these descriptions included various color shades, the way people pictured those shades were different so it was very hard to spot quality stones. A sapphire color chart does not always solve the problem of spotting quality. One must also consider other characteristics of the stone. Nowadays, there’s a universal method of determining the validity and quality of a sapphire and it is based on three main elements: hue, tone and saturation. The hue is the basic color of the jewel. Natural sapphires don’t have a uniform color. On the contrary, in most cases sapphires have a main color and one or two secondary color components. The tone refers to the lightest or darkness of a stone and the saturation refers to the intensity of the color. All of these three elements are essential in determining the value of a sapphire. A natural sapphire might also present certain inclusions which will influence the color of the stone and so can the stone cut. A jewel cutter must cut the stone based on its initial shape in order to find the best shape that will show the stone’s full brilliance potential.

  • Tips for shopping for sapphires

Aside from the sapphire color chart a person who is interested in purchasing a sapphire must keep a few things in mind.For starters, if you purchase a blue sapphire, it should have more inclusions than other colored sapphires. The fewer inclusions the stone will have, the more valuable it will be. Official ratings can also help you but only if you buy from licensed jewelers. The official rating system for inclusions looks like this: VVS, VS, SI1, SI2. I1, I2, I3. The first three grades are the best ones as they refer to saphires which have minimal inclusions. The SI2 sapphires have a few inclusions which are visible under a magnifier and the last three grades refer to cheap sapphires whose inclusions are visible with the bare eye. Another thing that you need to know is that heat treatment is not a very bad thing. You are still purchasing a natural sapphire but it has suffered a heat treatment in order for its color to be intensified. Last but not least, avoid buying stones according to their origins. While it is true that certain mines produce more quality sapphires, this isn’t always the case and paying for the origin of a sapphire is just as meaningless as paying a product for its brand.