A Matter of Brilliance is a professional jewelry appraisal company based in Newton, MA, founded by Aimee Berrent, Graduate Gemologist. Our appraisals can be used to:
For generations, the sapphire has charmed people with its other-worldly depths of color. According to legend, a sapphire will protect your family from envy and harm. (Although you may attract some envy with one of these beautiful stones!)
In medieval times, people believed that a sapphire would attract blessings from heaven. Other traits attributed to sapphires are purity of the soul and loyalty. Sapphires have been the favorites of royalty throughout the ages. They still are: Prince William proposed to Kate with his mother’s 18-carat blue sapphire engagement ring.
Sapphire is a durable stone, and is a variety of the mineral, corundum. While blue is the most commonly thought-of color for sapphires, it actually can occur in a variety of colors — even green, orange, and pink. A red corundum is a ruby.
What to look for
Other than clarity, color is an important determiner of a sapphire’s value. According to the Gemological Institute of America, the most valuable blue stones are “velvety blue to violetish blue, in medium to medium dark tones. Preferred sapphires also have strong to vivid color saturation. The saturation should be as strong as possible without darkening the color and compromising brightness.” Unlike diamonds, there is no standard color grading for sapphires.
One woman I know (with a September birthday) has a beautiful star sapphire engagement ring, a gift from her husband who bought it in India. In technical lingo, a star is called “asterism.” It’s caused by small needle-like inclusions that radiate in different directions. The most valuable stars are centered on the top of the stone and easily visible at arm’s length. Clarity of the star is important to the gem’s value, and it should be clear, not fuzzy. Star sapphires are usually cut in a cabochon shape.
Happy birthday, September babies! May your gift be a beautiful sapphire. If you already have one of these lovely stones, don’t forget to have a current appraisal!
As always, let me know what I can help with!