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written by Jessica
written by Jessica

Different Types of Blue Sapphires Buyer’s Guide

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Blue Sapphires. 

So mysterious. So romantic. & we are so ready to dive into the details. 

Let’s Talk About:

  • Factors that affect pricing
  • Why carat is completely meaningless for sapphires 
  • Heat treatment for sapphires
  • Created sapphires vs mined sapphires
  • The variations of blue in sapphires 

We saw a huge surge in using a blue Sapphire for engagement rings after Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with Princess Diana’s blue Sapphire ring. 

Kate Middleton_blue sapphire

There are two main factors that most people will think about when it comes to blue sapphires. Both factors can have a large effect on the price.

#1 is Color

With Sapphires, you generally have two polar opposites in the color saturation. On one end, you might get a barely blue Sapphire(or hint of blue), while on the other end, you can get so much blue where the stone looks opaque.

blue sapphire color comparison

Princess Diana’s ring is a good example of this deep, opaque blue known as “cornflower blue”.  When you have this deep rich color, you’re gonna pay the biggest premium. For price, the intensity of the color is a huge factor.

#2 is Clarity

The clarity in sapphires is different from how it is referred to in diamonds. Unlike diamonds, when it comes to blue sapphires, there’s no standardized grading. The term used to reflect clarity for this gemstone is called “eye clean”. 


Clarity is to diamond as Eye Clean is to blue sapphire.

if you have a stone that has an imperfection but seen as eye clean, you most likely cannot see the imperfection without magnifying it—this stone will sell for a higher premium, than one where you can see the imperfections.

With Diamonds there can be over 30 different types of inclusions, but when a blue Sapphire has inclusions, you will see some cloudiness or lack of saturation in the color. With Sapphires, the variations of color can vary quite a bit. 

From lighter blue or lavender (often lighter blue, from Sri Lanka), to a deeper blue (like princess Diana’s like above).

Natural blue sapphires

How are they created?

In the same way that diamonds have lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds, sapphires can also be created as lab or mined.

Lab grown blue sapphires are simulated to produce the rarest form of mined blue sapphires. Lab grown sapphires have been optimized and standardized.

mined sapphire color variety

Mined diamonds come in a wider variety of blues but you save more with lab grown blue sapphires. The trade off is that they only come in a certain shade of blue.

If you want more variety in colors, you would most likely want a mined blue sapphire.

Shape of Sapphires

Another thing to consider with blue sapphires is the shape of the stone. With diamonds, the round shape is very popular due to the way it shines. However, with blue sapphires, rounds are not a bad shape but other shapes (like an oval or cushion) tend to show off the color of the stone better. This is due to the faceting of the stone and the way the light reflects. If you see cushions, ovals, you’re gonna usually notice that they show off a much more vibrancy in the bluish hue compared to a round.

With Diamonds, carat is one of the first things mentioned but with blue sapphires, carat is meaningless. The reason is because blue sapphires are not cut in a standardized way.

carat with sapphires

For example, you can have two oval blue sapphires. One might weigh five carats, the other might weigh two carats, but face up, they’re the exact same size. The way blue sapphires are faceted are to show off the colors verses emphasis on cutting them to reflect light like a diamond. if you’re interested in size for blue sapphires or any stone we would say focus on the measurements and not the weight of the stone. What really matters is what you see, not the 4C’s of the stone.

Heat Treatment

About 90-95% of blue sapphires have intense heat applied to them which increases the saturation of the color. This concept has been around for ages and is considered the norm for this type of stone. It’s super rare nowadays to find a blue Sapphire that has not been treated. If you ever come across a blue sapphire that has intense color and is not heated, you will pay a premium for it because of the rarity. 

So now you are extra acquainted with blue sapphires, but the biggest take away when choosing your perfect blue is to see a variety side by side to look at different cuts, shapes, and color ranges.

Remember, have some fun, they are jewels so it’s all about what your eyes can see.

We are here to help if you need! Feel free to reach out!

Embrace the Adventure

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Your engagement ring (or wedding) ring-building process is a meaningful journey at Engage. You get to include the symbols, designs, diamonds, and gemstones characteristics that are important to you, your relationship, your family, or your experience. You are always involved in the entire design process at Engage Studio so that the finished piece reflects your unique style. With hundreds of styles to choose from and our team’s knowledgeable expertise, you will easily create a custom engagement ring or piece of jewelry for any intended occasion.

Unleash your creativity and superpower in-store or online by talking with a design consultant today!


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