How to choose a sapphire—which blue-hued gem is for you?

The Different Types of Sapphires

The irony for women as we get older is that society at large pays less attention to us, but in many ways we have more power than ever. For one, we have more money. We also often have decision-making power over our household’s income. Plus, we’ve developed good taste—we’re willing to spend more for fewer, better things.

One of the consequences of all that is that we’re not waiting around for someone else to buy us what we desire—we are taking care of that on our own. And as conscientious consumers, we’re educating ourselves about what we’re buying, whether it’s a dress or a piece of jewelry.

Speaking of jewelry, I’ve had sapphires on my mind lately. My dear friends own the San Francisco jewelry store Fiat Lux, and recently opened a second location. The interior is painted a gorgeous blue, and ever since the (small, masked) opening party I’ve had blue hues on my mind.

Also, coincidentally, my engagement ring is a sapphire. I knew what I wanted all those (20+) years ago: a lighter colored sapphire, almost a sky-blue. I felt that the darker ones almost looked black and the beautiful blue didn’t always come through (and yes I got what I wanted).

However, I wasn’t as keen on educating myself about gems back then, so it wasn’t until later I found out that more saturated blues are actually more valuable than lighter ones—but I still love mine and wouldn’t trade it.

So for anyone else who’s curious about sapphires, I wanted to put together a simple guide to the different types.

What is a sapphire?

A sapphire a precious gemstone and variety of the mineral corundum. It is typically blue, but natural sapphires can also be yellow, purple, orange, or green colors. Parti sapphires can be two or more colors. Corundum stones can also be red, but those are rubies. Pink ones might be called rubies or sapphires depending where you are and who’s doing the naming. For this article we’re going with pink sapphire.

Pink Sapphire

The pink sapphire gets its hue from chromium. Some appear a deep magenta color, while others are a lighter pink. Its value increases with the intensity of its color saturation, which is determined by how much chromium is present. Due to their beautiful shades, pink sapphires have become a popular choice for engagement rings.

Blue Sapphire

Blue is the color most often associated with sapphires. Ranging from the soothing pale hues to the rare Ceylon sapphires, blue sapphires are considered the most desirable ones, and therefore the most expensive. A general rule with blue sapphires, as with all sapphires, is the purer and more brilliant its color, the pricier it will be.

Yellow Sapphire

Yellow sapphires can be purchased in variations ranging from orange-yellow to greenish-yellow. Its color is created from trace elements of iron, and the gem’s attractive composition excites jewelry enthusiasts around the world. The lively canary yellow is the most desired yellow sapphire option.

Purple Sapphire

Purple sapphires run the spectrum between reddish purple, medium-dark, and violet purple. Their luxurious hue is the product of vanadium in the chemical composition. Purple sapphires are thought to promote calmness, tranquility, and spiritual awakening.

Teal Montana Sapphire

The teal Montana sapphire earned its name from the state of its origin. Varying from medium blue to green, this highly sought-after gem is one of the most magnificent of the various types of sapphires. Jewelers laud it for its durability and astonishing pigments. If you want assurance that your gem was mined in the United States, the teal Montana sapphire can give you that promise.

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