Tips for Shopping for Sapphires

Sapphires are one of the most valuable gemstones and stand out from the crowd with their distinctive, deep blue hue. One of the world’s most renowned sapphires is Kate Middleton’s dazzling 18-carat oval sapphire engagement ring surrounded by diamonds that belonged to Princess Diana. You can get a dazzling sapphire ring of your own with these tips to help you find the best sapphire jewelry:

Quality

Go for quality instead of size.  A large sapphire with blemishes or uneven coloring will not carry the allure of a smaller, deeper hued stone with no visible flaws.

The Four Cs.

As with diamonds, sapphires are evaluated based on their cut, clarity, color and carats. Cut determines how your sapphire will shine, and a well-cut sapphire will look even and brilliant. Clarity tells you how many flaws or inclusions a sapphire has. A sapphire with only internal inclusions will look more even and stunning to the naked eye, whereas one with external inclusions may look uneven and less brilliant. Color is the hue of your gemstone, and the most desirable sapphire colors are highly saturated medium blues. A stone that is too dark or too light will not look as good and will be worth less. Carat weight tells you the size of your gemstone. In general, the more carats, the more the sapphire will cost.

Personal Taste

When shopping for the perfect sapphire jewelry, consider the wearer’s style and preferences. Does she like antique pieces or vintage looks or does she go gaga for glam styles? Knowing her preferences can help you find the right cut and carat weight for her sapphire. It will also help you determine the best setting and band material.

Metals

Precious metals such as platinum, gold and white gold are popular choices as bands or chains for sapphire jewelry. Platinum is the most expensive metal and offers a lasting glow that does not tarnish. Gold and white gold often come in 10-karat, 14-karat and 18-karat options, with the higher karat amounts containing more gold and thus costing more.

Settings

Platinum is a popular setting material for sapphires because it is so strong. The setting holds your gemstone in place so it is important to have a durable setting. If you are buying a sapphire solitaire ring, it will have prong settings. Six-prong settings are the most secure and will ensure your sapphire stays snugly in place. Other types of settings include tension, channel and pave settings. These types of settings call for excellent craftsmanship to ensure your sapphire is protected.

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