Pink Sapphires: Everything You Need to Know

By Michael Fried

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Pink sapphires are stunning gemstones that continue to increase in popularity. There are light pink sapphires, purplish pink sapphires, orangey pink sapphiresand just about every shade in between.

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. 

What are Pink Sapphires?

Although commonly thought of as blue, sapphires naturally occur in a variety of colors including pink, yellow and green. 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.

Pink Sapphire Meaning

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.

Where do Pink Sapphires Come From?

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.

How Rare are Pink Sapphires?

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 is $1,180, while this lighter pink 2.0 carat stone costs $820.

What to Look for in a Pink Sapphire

Buying a sapphire of any color is less technical than buying a diamond. Like other precious gemstones, the beauty of a pink sapphire is largely dependent on its color.

You’ll also want to consider the Cut, Clarity, Carat and Shape as you determine which pink sapphire to buy.

Color

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 6 Carat ring from Leibish & Co.

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.

The Padparadscha Sapphire

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 can fetch over $20,000 per carat! 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.

Shape

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

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

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.

Carat Weight

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 1.31 pink sapphire vintage engagement ring. You can also find incredible pink sapphires at larger weights, like this 2.59 oval sapphire ring.

Where to Buy a Pink Sapphire

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:

James Allen

  • Provides high-tech photography (the best in the business) for their pink sapphire collection
  • Offers appealing prices on gemstones and diamonds
  • Focuses on an excellent customer experience

Blue Nile

Leibish & Co.

Pink Sapphire Engagement Rings

After Princess Diana received an 18 Carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring from Prince Charles in 1981, sapphires have become increasingly popular. These vivid pink gemstones can be set in white gold, yellow gold, rose gold or platinum.

Here are some pink sapphire engagement rings to offer you inspiration:

Our experts are here to help you find the most stunning pink sapphire for your budget. Email us today.

Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well. For a very limited time, take advantage of their 25% OFF "Black Friday in October" Sale!
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

Leibish & Co Leibish & Co is the industry leader in the world of Fancy Color Diamonds. Their inventory size and prices are the best in the business, and their expertise in this highly specialized field will ensure that your diamond is set in a way to maximize its color.
What we love about them:
  • Largest and best inventory of fancy color diamonds
  • Best prices for fancy color diamonds
  • Industry leading expertise will ensure the color of your diamond is maximized in its setting
  • Leading bidders in the annual Argyle auction
  • Highest quality jewelry available online
  • Free shipping
  • Free resizing within first 2 years of purchase
  • Items comes with professional appraisal for insurance
  • 30 day no questions asked free return policy

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