A Guide to Pink Sapphires
How to get the best value when purchasing pink sapphires
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How to get the best value when purchasing pink sapphires
Color is the most important factor when it comes to a pink sapphire’s beauty. While deeper hues tend to be more valuable, you should choose the shade that appeals to you the most. Then, design a pink sapphire engagement ring or opt for other pink sapphire jewelry.
Because color is the most crucial feature, we recommend choosing a stone from a reputable vendor that offers high-quality photography. We’ve found James Allen, Blue Nile and Leibish & Co. to offer the best selection of pink sapphires set in beautiful jewelry.
Although commonly thought of as blue, sapphires naturally occur in a variety of colors including pink, yellow, green and even white. Pink sapphires are stunning gemstones that range from light to dark pink. They can also include secondary hues like purplish pink sapphires and orangey pink stones like the rare Padparadscha sapphires.
Pink sapphires belong to the corundum family of minerals. They contain traces of iron, titanium, magnesium, copper and chromium that help determine its color. The higher the chromium content, the deeper the pink hue.
In some cases, it’s difficult to distinguish a pink sapphire from a ruby. Only a gemologist will be able to make this distinction. In the United States, for instance, a minimum color saturation is necessary for a stone to be called a ruby. In other countries, the term ruby is used more loosely.
Many cultures and people believe pink sapphires hold special power. They symbolize trust, loyalty and sincerity. They’re also believed to carry good fortune and intense love.
The increase in popularity of pink sapphires has sparked the number of pink sapphire engagement rings on the market. Many brides prefer the unique, feminine color to a white diamond or blue sapphire. For weddings with a blush or baby pink color scheme, pink sapphires are the perfect compliment.
To find out what a pink sapphire looks like in an engagement rings, have a look at recently purchased rings from our top-rated retailers.
The leading producer of natural pink sapphires is Madagascar. Pink sapphires were considered incredibly rare prior to the 1990s when the Madagascar mines were discovered. The quality and quantity of pink sapphires from Madagascar make these gemstones more widely available and affordable. Pink sapphire mines are also present in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and East Africa. A pink sapphire’s place of origin doesn’t usually impact its price or value.
Until the new deposits in Madagascar were discovered in the 1990s, pink sapphires were considered to be quite rare. Now, these pink gemstones are still rare but more widely available.
Pink sapphires, for example, are much less expensive than pink diamonds.
The cost of pink sapphires varies significantly based on the color, carat and cut of the stone. For example, the stone in this 2.86 carat dark pink sapphire ring from James Allen is $1,180, while this lighter pink 2.0 carat stone also from James Allen costs $910.
You’ll also want to consider the Cut, Clarity, Carat and Shape as you determine which pink sapphire to buy.
Pink Sapphires allow for a lot of creativity for jewelry designers. They lend themselves to alternative designs. As designer Melissa Kayes points out “vivid pink sapphires and spinel, rubies, and [Paraiba-type] tourmaline—all have a neon quality themselves. Each gemstone was then paired with a complementary enamel bezel, whether it be a shade that created a more monochromatic look or something that had more of a contrasting pop.”
Pink sapphires range in color from pale pink to vivid magenta. The most prized pink sapphires carry a rich pink hue with purple overtones, like this 9 Carat ring from James Allen.
While diamonds have an elaborate, standardized color-grading scale, sapphires don’t have a common system for evaluating color. This lack of uniformity makes it more difficult to compare two pink sapphires.
Instead, it’s best to use your own judgment about which pink sapphire appears most vibrant and beautiful to you, whether that’s a brighter pink or a darker gemstone. In general, though, the richer the sapphire’s color, the higher the price tag will be.
It’s important to know that many pink sapphires undergo heat treatment to soften their purple overtones. Entirely natural, untreated pink sapphires are quite rare. A certificate will come with these natural stones to prove it. So unlike other colored sapphires, like blue ones, heat-treat pink sapphires are more acceptable.
Besides the renowned blue sapphire, the Padparadscha sapphire is a highly desirable gemstone. This extremely rare and sought-after orangey pink sapphire was originally found in a Sri Lankan mine.
Padparadscha sapphires like this selection from Leibish & Co. can fetch over $20,000 per carat! Or sometimes even over $100k as shown on this very rare yellow gold Du Pont ring. The name comes from the Sanskrit/Sihalese word “padma raga,” which means “lotus color,” as the gemstone’s color resembles that of a lotus flower.
The shape of your gemstone should be primarily based on personal preference and style. Pink sapphires are cut in everything from Round and Oval to Cushion Cut and Pear.
Review a range of engagement ring styles before settling on your shape.
Clarity grading is a more general process for sapphires than with diamonds—and it doesn’t have as much impact on the stone’s value, either.
Gemologists use 10x magnification to inspect a diamond’s inclusions. Colored gemstones, on the other hand, are reviewed with a careful non-magnified examination. Most importantly, we look to see if the gemstone is “eye-clean” to the naked eye. The cleaner the stone, the higher the price tag.
It’s highly unlikely to find a pink sapphire without any blemishes or inclusions, though. If there are no imperfections in the stone, gemologists suspect the sapphire was treated or is fake. As we explain in our ruby article, all sapphires have rutile needles or “silk.”
If possible, though, we recommend finding a pink sapphire with a clarity grade in the VS (Very Slightly included) or VVS (Very Very Slightly Included) range.
Note: Most pink sapphires on the market today are heat-treated to improve their clarity and color. If they aren’t treated at all, they can be sold for large prices.
Cut is a critical component of any diamond or gemstone’s beauty. With pink sapphires, however, there aren’t standardized cut options like there are with diamonds. You can choose an “ideal” cut to showcase a diamond’s color and fire. However, with sapphires—and most colored gemstones—we rely on the gem cutter to maximize the individual sapphire’s unique combination of clarity, color and brilliance.
In general, well-cut sapphires are symmetrical and reflect light at the proper angles to enhance the stone’s luster. Usually, gem cutters opt for a deeper cut if the pink sapphire carries a light tone. The deep cut makes the stone appear to have a richer, darker color. The opposite is also true: if the sapphire is very dark, the gem cutter may choose a shallow cut to bring more light in and soften the overall look of the stone.
If the pink sapphire is poorly cut, it will appear dull and lifeless. Skilled cutters take all of these elements into consideration, as well as the inclusions and blemishes. Imperfections, for example, are more apparent in lighter colored stones.
Like shape, carat weight is dependent on your personal style and budget. While carat weight is important to some wearers, we recommend focusing on the overall beauty and color of a pink sapphire rather than trying to achieve a certain carat weight.
You can find a stunning pink sapphire at a smaller carat weight, like this emerald-cut pink sapphire double halo engagement ring from Blue Nile. You can also find incredible pink sapphires at larger weights, like this 2.59 oval sapphire ring from James Allen.
Because color is such a critical factor in a pink sapphire’s beauty, you’ll want to purchase your gemstone from a vendor who offers high-quality photos. Before purchasing, you need to evaluate the stone’s hue, tone and saturation.
You also want to ensure you’re buying from a reputable company, which is why we suggest buying a pink sapphire from one of the vendors below.
Through our years of experience in the industry, we’ve vetted several diamond and gemstone dealers. We have a consistent pulse on the companies you can trust.
For the best sapphires at an exceptional value, we recommend:
After Princess Diana received an 18 carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring from Prince Charles in 1981, sapphires have become increasingly popular as center stones in engagement rings.
Pink sapphires have several unique characteristics that set them apart from diamonds and other gemstones, making them worth considering if you want an engagement ring that’s a little unique and special:
Although buying a pink sapphire engagement ring isn’t quite as complicated as shopping for a diamond ring, there are still several factors that you’ll want to pay attention to.
It’s important to choose a setting that complements the sapphire. Pink sapphires can be set in white gold, yellow gold, rose gold or platinum. All of these metals complement a pink sapphire nicely, albeit with their own unique characteristics:
Pink sapphires look fantastic in halo settings, in which the center stone is surrounded by a loop of smaller diamonds. Because pink sapphire is considerably less expensive than a diamond of the same size, choosing an eye-catching, beautiful halo setting is more affordable.
For example, this stunning pink sapphire halo engagement ring in 14K white gold from Blue Nile features a full loop of round diamonds surrounding the center stone, making the pink sapphire appear even more beautiful.
This gorgeous oval cut pink sapphire engagement ring from James Allen also features a full loop of diamonds, as well as a pavé band. The smaller diamonds surrounding the pink sapphire emphasize its color and size, adding to its appearance.
Pink sapphires are also a great choice for an extravagant rings as shown in Melissa Kaye’s new jewelry collection.
For something simple, beautiful and timeless, a pink sapphire can look fantastic set in a solitaire engagement ring. This 1.34 carat pink sapphire solitaire engagement ring from James Allen is a beautiful ring that shows the vivid pink gemstone without any distractions.
As we mentioned above, color is a critical factor in a pink sapphire’s beauty. Because of this, it helps a lot to buy from a vendor that offers high-resolution, flawless quality photos of their pink sapphires.
When it comes to photos, James Allen is by far the best vendor online. Make sure you view the close-up photo of the gemstone for pre-made rings (to view it, click the thumbnail of the stone in the image of the engagement ring). If you’re browsing on your phone, check that the brightness setting is high enough that you can see the sapphire’s color accurately.
Finally, choose a pink sapphire and setting that suits you and your partner’s personality. From shape to carat weight and setting, the best engagement ring is always one that matches your tastes as a couple, and pink sapphire is no exception.
If you need more help, feel free to Email us. Our experts are here to help you find the most stunning pink sapphire for your budget.
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