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How Much is My Sapphire Worth?

July 31, 2017 - Jewelry Articles
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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.

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.

 

WHAT DETERMINES THE VALUE OF MY SAPPHIRE?

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 a sapphire:

1. Color

Color is one of the most important attributes that will affect the worth of your sapphire gem.

Sapphires exist 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:

ColorDesirable HueDesirable SaturationDesirable Tone
Blue SapphireVelvety blue to violetish blueAs strong as possible without have a negative impact on brightness and without making the color too darkMedium to dark
PadparadschaPinkish orange to orange-pinkIntensely saturatedLight to medium
PinkRed to purpleWeak to vividLight
PurpleReddish purple to violetish purpleWeak to vividMedium to dark
YellowYellow to orangey yellowVividLight to dark
OrangeOrange to red-orangeVividMedium
GreenBluish green to yellowish greenLowLight 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 a sapphire’s 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.

sapphire

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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.

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4. Cut Grade

Cut can have a large impact on the appearance and value of your sapphire. A high-quality cut can hide inclusions, improve the sapphire’s color, and maximize the stone’s visual appeal, making the stone more valuable.

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5. Origin

Geographic origin can also have a large effect on the value of a sapphire. Though quality can vary greatly within a specific region, sapphires from Kashmir typically have the highest value. Sapphires from Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Burma are also desirable.

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6. Treatments

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 a sapphire can intensify its color and remove inclusions), irradiation (exposing the sapphire to radiation will alter its color), lattice diffusion (the insertion of elements, often beryllium, into the atomic lattice of the sapphire will maximize its color). In general, untreated sapphires are the most 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.

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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 I SELL MY SAPPHIRE?

Once you have determined the value of your sapphire, you may be wondering where you can sell it. Some of the most popular ways to sell a sapphire include:

    • Pawn shop – Pawn shops can help you get cash for your sapphire quickly, but their lack of knowledge about the sapphire market often means you won’t get the best price for your item.
    • Jeweler (on consignment) – Selling to a jeweler on consignment may eventually yield a good price, but the process can be long with high fees and no guarantee of sale.
    • eBay/Craigslist – Websites like eBay and Craigslist are user-friendly platforms for selling goods, but they are often not well-suited for high-price items like sapphires. It can be incredibly difficult to accurately price your item, and you may unknowingly undersell.
    • Online Specialist Gemstone Buyer – An online specialist designer sapphire jewelry buyer like WP Diamonds offers a faster and safer way for selling your designer sapphire jewelry online. Click the button below to receive your price quote.

 

WHY SELL YOUR SAPPHIRE TO WP DIAMONDS?

Our gemologists have unrivaled knowledge and expertise that will ensure you get a competitive price for your designer sapphire jewelry. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and excellent customer reviews. We specialize in purchasing designer sapphire 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.

Author
Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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