When it comes to selecting the right sapphire a few factors are important and drastically effect price. If you've ever been sapphire shopping and have seen wild variations in price it can be overwhelming to say the least.
Color: The most important factor when considering a colored stone is always the color. Sapphires come in a whole host of colors from pinks and oranges to greens purples and of course blues. The richness, depth, saturation, darkness, and purity of color (or undertones) are the important factors when considering a sapphire's color.
Clarity: Clarity is an important factor in selecting the right stone. Clean stones generally command more than stones with inclusions (though this case be different when considering a gemstone with asterism) Eye clean in a sapphire is generally worth more than something the inclusions are able to be seen from the naked eye. In certain cases silk may actually enhance the velvety appearance of a gemstone increasing its value so eye clean tends to be a good place to set a price point increase
Carat Weight: Carat weight can be a big influence on pricing of a gemstone. Gemstones over important sizes generally will carry a higher premium that those under that important size category (2 carats versus 1.90 carats). That being said there are many exceptions particularly in colored gemstones. These exceptions talk about the "make" of a gemstones. Make is very important as you can have a stone that, from the top down, looks like a one carat stone but physically weights 2.00 carats. This can be due to the depth of the stone. Generally colored stones have a higher depth percentage than say a diamond to bring out the color of the stone. However a very deep make to pull color into the stone would actually make the stone seem smaller than it is. So a well rounded stones that is not too deep can be important.
Origin: Origin plays an important roll for one simple reason, price. Many times people specifically look for certain origins in sapphires such as a Ceylon or the most coveted Kashmir sapphire. The simple fact is certain origins tend to command more value ie:Kashmir This evolved as early stones from certain areas displayed outstanding colors and were known for those rich colors. Because of this, even lower grade stones from certain origins carry a higher premium than better looking stone from another origin. Here at Velvet Box Society we tend to focus on the stone itself and care less about the origin unless you are considering top stones. In other words its of my opinion its better to have an amazing color stone from a less desirable origin than an ugly stone with a "richer" origin.
Treatments: There are many treated sapphires in the marketplace, in fact most sapphires in the world are treated, thus making untreated sapphires very valuable. Heat is the most common color treatment. Heat can enhance the color of a sapphire and is common practice in most of the worlds sapphires. Heat is an acceptable, known, and stable treatment. Throughout history, it has been a common practice to treat sapphires in some way to enhance their color and clarity. There are various temperatures that sapphires are heated to from 400 degrees all the way to 1700 degrees. There are many other treatments such as lattice diffusion and filling etc. If you are truly looking for the most valuable stones then an unheated sapphire is the way to go. That being said, if you are just looking for a beautiful stone and something a bit more affordable a heated stone may do the trick.
In the end all of these factors, and a few more, help determine the value and how to pick a "good" sapphire. The choice is ultimately yours yet we are here to help and can assist you in making the right choice!
DID YOU KNOW:
Sapphires are allochromatic meaning they come in every color. The most valuable is the Kashmir sapphire. and Burmese Sapphire.
A sapphire is called a Ruby when red is the dominant color
Generally speaking a rich velvety blue vivid in saturation is the most desirable shade.