How to buy blue sapphires for your bespoke jewellery piece
In this post, I’ll share with you these two expert tips so you know what to be aware of when buying a blue sapphire and the questions to ask when you’re looking for the perfect stone for your custom jewellery piece.
1. Compare thy stones
In fact, the quality of the colour will determine the value of the stone. The better the colour, the more expensive the stone will be. Even if its clarity or cut is not that great. Simply because finding pure, intense and good colours in nature, is very hard. Natural, untreated colour stones remain a rarity. (Far more rare than most diamonds out there!).
Yet determining the colour of a colour stone is not so easy either. In fact, experts look at 3 things when assessing the colour of a blue sapphire - and of any other coloured gemstone for that matter:
- the stone’s hue (i.e., its colour),
- its saturation and
- its tone.
Crucial in that colour assessment is one particular habit that reputable gem dealers always use and which consumers are not aware of at all: in order to judge a stone’s colour best, they always compare it to other similar stones! By simply lying several similar stones next to each other.
They know that humans have a bad colour memory and so we need to see more versions of the same colour in order to make a good judgment call. Only then can our eye pick out the best stone among the lot.
Also expert-gem dealers do this despite having seen thousands of stones each year. They often carry around a small comparison set of the stones they deal in (either natural or synthetic) in different colour grades, going from not so good to optimal colour. That way, they can better assess where the new stone fits in on the quality scale.
Try this for yourself as well. Do always compare apples with apples though. Or rather, only place sapphires next to similar sapphires and compare rubies with other similar rubies, etc.
For instance, when buying a 2 carat oval blue sapphire, simply ask the vendor ‘can I see some more oval 2 carat blue sapphires please?’. And even if they don't have that exact same size, they may bring you some other oval sapphires to look at which is always a good thing. Or in a jeweller, feel free to ask: ‘can I see some other blue sapphire rings you may have with a similar stone?’ (i.e. of similar size and shape).
2. Thou shall not buy after 2pm
Bear with me for a sec for this one.
Despite all technological advancements, time still passes by. Our days pass and thereby the light changes continuously.
Early in the morning, daylight is more red and orange, then later it turns to yellow. Around noon, it becomes whiter and then the more the afternoon progresses, the bluer the light gets with, ultimately, a clear blue skylight at night.
This means that your blue sapphire will look more highly saturated - and will have its most beautiful appearance - later in the afternoon rather than around mid-morning when the light is more yellow.
I don’t forbid you to take a look at a blue sapphire piece in your jewellery store in the morning 😉 but don’t forget to also come back at another time to see how the stone holds up in other types of light.
Dealers do this as well, especially when it concerns valuable pieces. They check the stone out near a window to see it in good daylight (or sometimes even bring the stone outside with the seller’s permission which is quite a normal thing to do in Bangkok), they look at the stone from below a table to see it in shielded light. They come back at another point in the day and look again and again.
All the time asking themselves, does this stone justify the price asked for it. And how does its beauty hold up in different lighting situations (hmm, a bit like how we can come to love and appreciate certain people as well).
I hope this helps you on your hunt for the perfect blue sapphire. And if you need some help in sourcing a good blue sapphire or creating a custom jewellery piece set with a blue sapphire, feel free to shoot me an email to see what I can do for you!
I hope the above helps you on your gemstone piece journey and if you need any help in sourcing a special coloured gemstone (like a fine blue sapphire) or with creating your own bespoke gemstone ring, set up a complimentary consultation with me below!