How Much Is My Sapphire Worth?
In November 2014, the Blue Belle of Asia, a 392.52-carat Ceylon sapphire, was sold for over $17 million, setting the record for the most expensive sapphire ever sold at auction. This record-breaking sale is a testament to the rapidly growing sapphire market and the high value that sapphires can command during a sale. Found primarily in Kashmir, Burma, and Sri Lanka, sapphires are made from the mineral corundum. Prized for their pure color and durability, sapphires are incredibly valuable and highly coveted.
If you have a sapphire, you may be wondering: how much is my sapphire worth? Where can I sell my sapphire? In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about sapphires and their value.
In November 2014, the Blue Belle of Asia, a 392.52-carat Ceylon sapphire, was sold for over $17 million, setting the record for the most expensive sapphire ever sold at auction. This record-breaking sale is a testament to the rapidly growing gemstone market and the high value that sapphires can command during a sale.
Found primarily in Kashmir, Burma, and Sri Lanka, sapphires are made from the mineral corundum. Prized for their pure color and durability, they are incredibly valuable and highly coveted.
But first, let’s learn a little bit about the history of these precious gemstones.
History Of The Sapphire
Sapphire, the September birthstone, has great historical and cultural significance. The name “sapphire” stems from the Greek word “sappheiros”, which likely denoted lapis lazuli.
Traditionally, sapphire was a symbol of faith, nobility, wisdom, and good fortune. In the 12th century B.C., Helen of Troy kept a star sapphire that was believed to be the root of her desirability.
In the 1st century B.C., King Solomon was known to have worn a sapphire ring which gave him magical powers. Ancient Greeks believed that sapphires had a strong connection to the spiritual world, and they wore sapphires when consulting the Oracle at Apollo’s Shrine. Ivan the Terrible, the Tsar of Russia who lived from 1530 to 1584, was a huge sapphire lover as were many Persian emperors, who coveted and traded these gemstones.
The British crown jewels features many sapphires, including the famous 104-carat Stuart Sapphire and St. Edward’s Sapphire. In contemporary times, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton’s blue sapphire engagement ring has captivated the public. This long and illustrious history of sapphires only adds to their appeal today.
How Much Is My Sapphire Worth?
These colorful stones are among the most popular and desirable gemstones on the market today. There are a few major factors that affect the value of your stone:
Color is one of the most important attributes that will affect the worth of your gem.
Sapphire is a colored gemstone and exists in a variety of colors. While ruby is the red form of the mineral corundum, sapphire is defined as any other color variety of corundum. Sapphires are generally categorized as blue sapphires (any sapphire with a predominantly blue hue) or fancy sapphires (sapphires of any other color). Some of the most popular fancy sapphire categories include: padparadscha (a sunset or guava color), pink and purple, orange and yellow, green, colorless, and black.
Like other gemstones, sapphire color is assessed based on three major factors: hue, saturation, and tone.
- Hue refers to the actual color of your stone and any secondary colors that may be present.
- Saturation describes the strength or weakness of the color.
- Tone refers to how light or dark the color of the stone is.
The most valuable colors, based on hue, saturation, and tone, are:
|Color||Desirable Hue||Desirable Saturation||Desirable Tone|
|Blue Sapphire||Velvety blue to violetish blue||As strong as possible without have a negative impact on brightness and without making the color too dark||Medium to dark|
|Padparadscha||Pinkish orange to orange-pink||Intensely saturated||Light to medium|
|Pink||Red to purple||Weak to vivid||Light|
|Purple||Reddish purple to violetish purple||Weak to vivid||Medium to dark|
|Yellow||Yellow to orangey yellow||Vivid||Light to dark|
|Orange||Orange to red-orange||Vivid||Medium|
|Green||Bluish green to yellowish green||Low||Light to dark|
2. Carat Weight
The world’s largest sapphire was unveiled in 2016, weighing 1404.49 carats and found in the Ratnapura mine in Sri Lanka. Many believe that this stone could sell up to $175 million.
Carat weight has a large impact on price. Generally, the greater the carat weight, the more the stone’s value. As sapphires get bigger, their price-per-carat increases more and more, due to the rarity of larger stones. At WP Diamonds, we specialize in buying sapphires and gemstones of over 1ct.
3. Clarity Grade
Clarity refers to the number of inclusions, or internal flaws, within your sapphire. Most sapphires have inclusions in them, but the placement, visibility, and number of inclusions can affect the value of your stone.
The most common inclusion within sapphires are long mineral inclusions called needles. Generally, the more inclusions and the more visible they are, the less valuable the stone. Still, there are some exceptions: many small inclusions can create a desirable velvety appearance in blue sapphires, and large needle inclusions can intersect to form a beautiful and valuable star shape.
4. Cut Grade
Cut can have a large impact on the appearance and value of your sapphire. A high-quality cut sapphire can hide inclusions, improve the sapphire’s color and clarity, and maximize the stone’s visual appeal, making the stone more valuable.
Geographic origin can also have a large effect on the value of a sapphire. Though quality can vary greatly within a specific region, Kashmir sapphires typically have the highest value. Sapphires from Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Burma are also desirable.
Many sapphires are treated in order to enhance their appearance. Some of the most common sapphire treatments are:
- Fracture filling: glass, resin, oil, or other materials are used to fill cavities in order to improve the stone’s clarity
- Heating: heating can intensify its color and remove inclusions
- Irradiation: exposing the gemstone to radiation will alter its color
- Lattice diffusion: the insertion of elements, often beryllium, into the atomic lattice of the stone will maximize its color.
In general, treated sapphires are less valuable and untreated sapphires are more valuable. Sapphires that have been heated will drop in value somewhat, and sapphires that have been treated with lattice diffusion will be even less valuable.
7. Market Conditions
Market conditions can also have an impact on the value of your sapphire. The demand for sapphires at the time of sale will influence the offers you receive.
Where Can Sell My Sapphire?
Now that we have answered the question: how much is my sapphire worth, you may be wondering where you can sell it. At WP Diamonds, we do not buy loose sapphires or unbranded sapphire jewelry, but we do buy designer sapphire jewelry.
Why Sell Your Designer Sapphire Jewelry To WP Diamonds?
Our gemologists have unrivaled knowledge and expertise that will ensure you get a competitive price for your designer sapphire jewelry (Tiffany, Cartier, David Yurman etc). We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and excellent customer reviews. We specialize in purchasing designer gemstone jewelry and you have the choice of selling online or via appointment.
If you are interested in selling your designer sapphire jewelry online through WP Diamonds, simply fill out the online form. One of our in-house gemstone experts will be in touch shortly with an initial price, and you can receive money in your account in as little as 24 hours.