Sapphire engagement rings are a popular option for Irish brides. As a result, they are considered one of the, ‘big four,’ of precious jewels. Others are rubies, emeralds and diamonds. So whether you opt for a sapphire centre stone or a ring with sapphire accents it is definitely a gem worth getting to know.
Sapphires have been one of the most popular precious gem stones used in engagement rings for centuries. They are a natural choice for your, ‘something blue’. They have a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale making them just one behind a diamond. These have a hardness of 10. So if you are looking for a durable centre or accent stone, this may be the precious stone for you.
Sapphires come in a myriad of colours. The blue sapphires being the rarest and most valuable. One of the most important factors in the quality of a blue sapphire is the richness of its colour. A perfect sapphire will be a cornflower blue without any muting colours. These would be grey, green or black, which could make the stone look haze or change it’s hue.
The cut of a sapphire is not as important as the cut of a diamond. As it is harder to see unwanted inclusions in the coloured stone. Regardless of the shape of your stone the colour should look even, with a consistent sparkle.
There is no standardised grading system for coloured gemstones. As a result, it is extremely rare to find a natural sapphire without inclusions.
There is a sapphire for every type of skin. Sapphires with pastel undertones will compliment lighter skin-tones. The classic royal blue sapphire will ‘pop’ against olive skin. However, deep cobalt coloured stones create an amazing contrast against darker skin-tones.
Some sapphires, found close to thermal vents in the earth crust, have highly saturated colours. This is thanks to natural heating. More commonly, sapphires are treated with heat in a lab to enhance their colour. Naturally vibrant sapphires that do not require any heat treatment are rare. And are much more desirable than treated stones. As a result they can command a much higher price.
Though sapphires are durable they require special care. Use warm water, a mild soap and a soft bristled toothbrush for everyday cleaning. Take your piece to the jeweller for a deep cleaning once a year. If you own an estate piece (antique or heirloom) have your jeweller do a full check. You should ensure that the claws holding the gem in place are secure.
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