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The Many Colors of Sapphires

There is a common misconception that sapphires only come in the color blue, however this could not be further from the truth! The wonderful world of sapphires is colorful and vast – these stones can come in virtually every color of the rainbow.

Sapphires allow you to have something that is completely unique and one of a kind, as no one sapphire is the same as the next. The vast array of choice in terms of color means that you can always find something that fits your specific style.

One of the most incredible things about sapphires is that, if untreated, their intense color can be completely natural. Our team works with sapphires everyday and we are all astounded by what nature can create!

In this post we will show you all the different hues that sapphires can come in. If you want to dive deeper into the topic and learn about how color effects value and the science behind the colors, you can download our E-book, “The Colorful World Of Sapphires,” here.

Blue Sapphires

Everyone knows that sapphires come in the color blue. In fact, they are considered one of the more traditional colored sapphires. The most notable producer of fine blue sapphires is Sri Lanka or “Ceylon” as referred to within the trade (Ceylon was the former name of the country). They can also be found in Madagascar, Kashmir and Nigeria, among other places.

Pink Sapphires

Pink is one of the more popular colors when it comes to sapphires, and for good reason! These incredible stones come in an array of hues from light, pastel pink to vibrant hot pink – and everything in between. Pink sapphires are most popularly found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and East Africa.

Yellow Sapphires

Yellow sapphires can be found in Thailand, Australia, Tanzania and Madagascar. However, Sri Lanka is the primary source for these beautiful stones. The most sought after yellow color for a yellow sapphire is known as canaray, which is a medium, vibrant tone.

Green Sapphires

Green sapphires are mined in several continents, however, Sri Lanka produces the rarest green sapphires — often featuring a vibrant green color. On occasion, green sapphires can be confused with emeralds, however there is quite a big difference between the two. Emerald rank lower on Moh’s Scale of Hardness, meaning they are more susceptible to scratches and chipping. Sapphires on the other hand have a rating of 9, meaning that they are strong enough to withstand everyday wear without being damaged.

Bi-Color Sapphires

Bi-color sapphires are stones that contain two different colors, which occurs through color zoning. Color zoning is when conditions of the trace elements change during the crystal formation. These gemstones can range from dra- matic color zoning with two very different colors present in the stone, to slight color zoning which shows two very similar, but slightly off colors in one stone.

Teal Sapphires

Teal sapphires contain two of nature’s most majestic colors: deep ocean blue and vivacious green. Strictly speaking gemologically, teal sapphires don’t exhibit color change under different sources of light. However, their reflection patterns in natural and artificial lights produce a partial, subtle change.

Color Changing Sapphires

Color change sapphires are stones that exhibit different colors in different lighting conditions, giving you two very exciting colors under the right conditions. When gem experts judge Color-changing sapphires, they rank the color change as weak, moderate, or strong. The strength of the stone’s color change is the most important quality factor affecting its value, followed then by the actual color of the stone.

Purple Sapphires

Purple sapphires are sometimes referred to as violet or lavender, and are slightly less common than other colors. They come in a beautiful range of purple tones, and because of this, they rarely have the need for color enhancing treatments.

Black Sapphires

Black sapphire is a nearly opaque stone whose color is so dark that it appears to absorb all light that enters the gemstone. Because of their deep hue, black sapphires do not reflect light as well as other colored sapphires. However, they are still an incredibly striking and unique choice in stone for any style of jewellery.

Peach Sapphires

Peach sapphires hold a very special place within the category of unique and rare sapphires. They have an array of hues, ranging from pinker tones to orange tones. Clarity is a very important element for peach sapphires, as the light tones of pastel shades easily reveal inclusions. Any presence of cloudiness can dull the color and brilliance of the stone.

Orange Sapphires

Orange sapphires are quite rare, and are some of the most difficult sapphires to find in a natural, untreated state.Of all orange sapphires seen in the marketplaces of websites and jewellery stores, 99.99% will be treated with extreme heat to produce the vibrant orange color. That is why a natural, unheated orange sapphire is considered so rare.

Padparadscha Sapphires

Padparadscha sapphires are one of the rarest of sapphires, and contain a unique mix of orange and pink. With Padparadschas, a medium saturation is often more highly regarded, since these gems are expected to be pastel in color and tone.

Rubies

You may be wondering why rubies have made the list of colorful sapphires… well this is because rubies technically are a sapphire! Sapphires and rubies are made up of the same element called corundum. The only difference between the two is the color. When a corundum is red, it is classified as a ruby, and when it’s another color it is called a sapphire.

Grey & White Sapphires

White sapphires are completely colorless sapphires, where as grey sapphires are near colorless, with traces of black throughout. White sapphires can be used as an alternative to diamonds. They rank at an 9 on the Moh’s hardness scale, just below diamonds. 9 is still a high score and means that sapphires are durable enough for everyday wear.

Sourcing Sapphires

At Anpe Atelier, we are source our sapphires from our trusted gem traders in Sri Lanka, with whom we work together with everyday. This means that we are able to find sapphires in the exact color, tone and hue that you are looking for. Contact us to start the process!

If you are interested in learning more about the process of buying sapphires, then have a read through The Ultimate Sapphire Buying Guide!

Determining the Value of a Gemstone: Sapphires, Tsavorites, Tourmalines and More.

Precious and semi-precious gemstone’s are fantastic stones to use in fine jewellery. They offer a vibrant color palette and a unique aesthetic to the designs they are placed into. Much like diamonds, there is a specific way in which these stones are valued. Determining the value of a gemstone comes down to factors such as color, cut, clarity, carat, as well as the rarity, hardness and pureness of the stones.

For a deep dive into the topic, download Anpé’s full Determining a Value of a Gemstone guide here!

Color

Color is one of the most important factors when determining the value of a colored gemstone. Gem cutters cut gemstones in a way that enhances and emphasises the best qualities of that individual stone, such as its luster, fire, and luminescence. Cutting them in a way that accentuates its natural color makes the stone more valuable.

There are four important elements that make up gemstone color:

Hue, saturation, tone and coverage.

Hue is the initial color of the stone. Sapphires, for example, come in virtually any color or tone you can think of. Some colors are more valuable than others, such as bi-color and color changing sapphires.

Coverage simply refers to the consistency and evenness of color throughout the stone.

Saturation is a stone’s brightness and intensity. This can range from dull to vivid. The more vibrant and saturated the stone, the higher the value.

A gem’s tone is the depth of color present within the stone, ranging from light to dark. Both light and dark tones of the same stone can have an equal value to each other.

Clarity

A gemstone’s clarity grade refers to the relative absence of inclusions, fractures, and blemishes that affect its appearance and structural integrity. These inclusions and blemishes are materials that are trapped inside the gem as well as surface imperfections, both of which vary due to the many ways gemstones form underground.

Gems with greater clarity are considered more valuable than gems of the same species with lower clarity, all other properties being equal. 

That being said, some inclusions can have positive effects, by bringing a unique aura to the stone.

One of the major exceptions to the rule of clarity comes about with emerald stones. Emeralds are incredibly prized throughout different cultures, but they are one of the gemstones that always occur with hints of other mineral traces in them. This is why you will see highly prized emeralds with some inclusions and flaws.

Cut

Gem cutters, also known as lapidaries, have a massive artistic ability, as they take rough gemstones (see image) and hand cut them into the sparkling beauties you see mounted in a finished design.

A quality cut takes the other Four C’s into account and enhances the stone’s best features, such as the hue, saturation and color tone. A professional lapidary will be able to look at an individual gemstone and be able to determine the best angles to cut to bring out the stone’s inherent beauty – and in doing so, bring it the most value.

All gemstones have a unique way in which they bend light (refraction) and bounce it to your eye (reflection), which is what makes them so eye catching.

Gem cutters have an incredible way of creating facets and surfaces that optimise the quality of light that passes through each gemstone into your eyes.

Carat

The size of a gemstone is generally measured by weight in the metric known as carats (1 carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram). Traditionally, when purchasing a loose gem, the cost is given as a per-carat price and as the weight of a carat increases, so does the cost.

Unfortunately, prices are not “set in stone”. For example, the cost of a 1ct. sapphire will not equally double if you have a 2ct. sapphire. This is because larger stones are typically rarer in nature. The rarer the stone, the more desirable and expensive it becomes.

Milestone Carat Weights, otherwise known as “magic sizes,” are quarter sizes of diamonds, such as .25ct, .50ct, 1ct, etc. These popular sizes are generally easier to refer to, therefore making them higher in demand. But what is so “magical” about them? Well, the price magically jumps once a stone reaches the next quarter carat. 

Rarity

Rarity is one of the most prized qualities of gemstones and is another major factor that determines the price for different minerals. Gemstones that are produced in fewer regions across the world in smaller quantities are generally worth more.

For example, finding a padparadscha sapphire over the weight of 2 carats is a real rarity, and can even surpass the price of a diamond in similar size.

Gemstones, just like other products and resources, have a supply and demand relationship. For example, the most common gem-grade corundum is the blue sapphire. Sapphires come in all the colors of the rainbow, with certain colors rarer than blues. This might make you wonder why blue sapphires are so valuable, and the answer is because traditionally, many people desire deep blue sapphires over yellow or green ones. It is that exact demand that drives up the price of blue sapphires.

Hardness

Hardness refers to the durability of your gemstone. More importantly, it measures how difficult or easy it is to scratch the surface of the stone. The hardness of a gemstone is measured using the Mohs Scale of Hardness, rated on a scale from 1 to 10.

The reason this is important to determining a gemstone’s value is because specific minerals may not interact positively with the environment around you. 

For example, diamond and corundum (sapphires and rubies) rank highest on the scale, between 9 and 10. This means that these gemstones are resilient and great for everyday wear, so long as you take care of them properly. A calcite or fluorite gemstone, however, ranks 3 to 4 on the scale, meaning they scratch fairly easily, thus making the appearance seem dull and used after a time. Ultimately, the higher up on the Mohs Scale, the higher the value of the stone.

Treatments

Gemstones are altered as soon as they come from the ground in their rough form and are cut and polished to become the wonderful stones we see in our jewellery today. But there are a number of treatments that are used to change the color and clarity of a gemstone.

Heating and oiling are common treatments to artificially change and improve the color and clarity of stones.

When a gemstone is noted as “unheated”, this means that the color and clarity are completely natural. Untreated stones are often of higher value because they are less common within the industry. In the image on the side is a natural, unheated bi color sapphire, which is incredibly rare in nature.

A vast majority of the stones from Anpé Atelier are unheated and a professional certificate is always provided which gives information on what exactly has or has not been done to the gemstone.

The Varnaya Rings- Sapphires, tsavorites and tourmalines.

I am so excited to talk about the inspiration and meaning of the Varnaya rings- they are truly one of the most popular designs from Anpé Atelier and are incredibly fun for me to create for my lovely customers. Anpé Atelier is all about color and my designs are focused on using vivacious gemstones such as, sapphires, tsavorites, tourmalines, spinels and more. The Varnaya rings are the perfect mix of gemstones in differing colors, shapes and sizes and are a true manifestation of the colorful Anpé brand.

There are Varnaya rings from the Classic Complexity Collection that are inspired by my own favourite color combinations, however I also create customized version of them as well. Many customized Varnaya’s are inspired by customer’s favorite colors, their birthstones, as well as specific stones representing family members. I love to see the outcome of customized designs because each one is completely different from the other, and simply cannot be recreated due to the uniqueness of each stone’s shape and color. These sapphire cluster rings are sure to become a staple piece in your fine jewellery collection, and something to keep for the rest of your life!

From the Classic Complexity Collection:

Varnaya Terima ring

18kt. yellow gold. Natural baby green tourmaline, natural unheated sapphires natural tsavorite

Shop here

Varnaya Bahu ring

18kt. yellow gold. Natural unheated pink, red and green sapphires with 1 VS diamond 

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Varnaya Taruva ring

18kt. yellow gold. Peach natural tourmaline, pink natural sapphire, orange natural sapphire, natural ruby, and a VS diamond 

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Varnaya Vatina ring

18kt. yellow gold. Natural unheated purple, pink, blue and green sapphires, VS1 diamond, natural tsavorite and a natural amethyst.

Shop here

See more Varnaya rings from the Classic Complexity collection here

Customized Varnaya rings:

Customized Varnaya rings are a great way to create a meaningful ring that represents your favorite color combinations, represent your family members with birthstones or anything else that inspires you! I am very hands on with the process, as I want to create your ideal, dream ring. I start off by discussing what design scheme you are interested in and then source the stones from my own collection and from gemstone traders. I then start to piece together the stones until you fall in love with a stone combination. Finally, your ring will be handmade and sent off to you to enjoy!

Here are some examples

Want to create your own Varnaya ring?

If you are looking to create your own Varnaya ring, I am more than happy to help! Contact me via email or Instagram to send any questions or ideas you have. I will respond and start looking for stones that would be of interest to you and start the sketching process. Have a look at the Bespoke page on the website, for any extra inspiration, or on the Varnaya page.

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