Haniken Jewelers are proud to offer a great selection of natural sapphire jewelry. Sapphires have always been popular precious gems featured in lots of fine jewelry styles. After Lady Diana’s famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring jewelers all over the world experienced a higher interest in this royal blue precious gemstone.
Sapphires are found in Kashmir, Burma, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, Tanzania, Kenya, and the United States.
Sapphire is the original “true blue”: the gem of fidelity and of the soul. In ancient times, a gift of a sapphire was a pledge of trust, honesty, purity, and loyalty. This tradition makes sapphire a popular choice for engagement rings.
But sapphire doesn’t have to be blue to be beautiful. Sapphire also comes in beautiful pinks, yellows, oranges, and peach and violet colors. These other colors are often referred to as fancy sapphire. In fact, sapphire comes in every color but red, because a red sapphire would be a ruby: both are the mineral corundum.
Sapphires rarely exhibit the high clarity of fine diamonds. Sapphires are host to many different inclusions, and even the best stones are not expected to be free of inclusions when viewed at 10x magnification. In fact, a sapphire with no inclusions should be viewed with suspicion; it may be a synthetic stone or a glass imitation.
The best clarity grade for sapphires is “eye-clean,” which means no inclusions are visible to the naked eye. When evaluating the clarity, experts consider the size, number, location, and overall visibility of the inclusions.
Since sapphire rough is so valuable, dealers and consumers accept gemstones without the precision cuts required of fine diamonds. In general, gem cutters follow four guiding principles when they fashion sapphires:
• They desire to maximize the apparent color of the gem. Sapphires color changes depending on the angle at which they are viewed. Consumers usually prefer one color to another, and sapphires are generally cut so that the preferred color is visible through the crown of the stone.
• Cutters also desire to maximize the gemstone’s final weight.
• They desire to minimize the appearance of undesirable inclusions or color zoning.
• They are required to fill consumer demand for certain fashions or cutting styles.
Nearly all sapphire stones and jewelry in the market today (online and in stores) are described as “natural” sapphires. However, those sapphires often do not include proper disclosure regarding the treatments they have undergone. The word “natural” identifies a sapphire crystal that has been developed in the ground, not synthetically created or treated in a lab. What is not mentioned is that the “natural” stone’s color and clarity is actually a result of a chemical procedure. The color and clarity, the paying value in a sapphire, is created from a heating process that would not have naturally occurred in the stone.
Treating and heating a stone significantly changes the original appearance (and therefore, value) of the rough crystal.
Treated sapphires are not rare. In fact, they are quite common and unlimited quantities exist. Consumers looking for true value in their sapphire jewelry should be aware of misleading descriptions of what is “natural”. As always, you have to look at the fine print in order to find out what you’re really considering to buy.
Fine quality sapphire rough is extremely expensive, so quality stones are not usually cut to calibrated sizes because it could result in a significant loss of weight. Commercial quality sapphires are more likely to conform to standard calibrated sizes.
A sapphire’s size, if expressed in a unit of weight, is called a carat (abbreviated “ct”). A carat is a metric unit equivalent to one fifth (.20) of a gram.
Because sapphires have a high specific gravity, a one-carat sapphire will appear smaller than a one-carat diamond.
Sapphire Jewelry Care
Caring for your jewelry will not only add to the brilliance of gemstones and the luster of platinum, or gold, but it will also extend the life of your jewelry for generations to come.
To keep your sapphires sparkling, clean them when dust and fingerprints dim their brilliance. The best way to clean fine jewelry is in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of ordinary dish detergent. Using an old toothbrush or other soft brush, scrub gently behind the stone where dust and soap can collect. Then just rinse and pat dry with a soft cloth.