Since Princess Kate wore a sapphire engagement ring before marrying Prince William, the deep blue stone has become more popular year after year. Sapphires are gorgeous, and when it comes to hardness, these gemstones are second to the diamond. Before choosing a sapphire, however, it is important to understand how sapphires are evaluated based on color. Here are four things to look for when choosing a sapphire engagement ring:
The Hue of the Sapphire
Most people know the stunning blue color associated with sapphires, but this gemstone is available in all of the colors of the rainbow. The hue of the sapphire is the term that gemologists use to describe the actual color of the stone. The hue of many sapphires is blue, for instance, but a gemologist may also share a secondary color such as yellowish orange or bluish green.
The Tone of the Sapphire
Another aspect of a sapphire’s color is its tone. Gemologists use the term tone to describe how dark or light the sapphire is. Tone is an important factor when it comes to determining the value of a sapphire, and stones that are too dark or light are valued lower than their medium-colored counterparts. Since not all sapphires are naturally medium in tone, they may be heat treated in order to darken or lighten the gemstone.
The Saturation of the Sapphire
The third way to describe the color of a sapphire is the saturation of the gemstone. This refers to how intense the color is. To determine the saturation, a gemologist must use a saturation modifier. In sapphires that are green, violet or blue, for instance, a gray modifier is usually used, but in pink, yellow or orange sapphires, a brown modifier is used. You’re able to see the modifying color when saturation is low, which is when you’ll notice hints of brown or grey. Saturation is another vital element that contributes to the value of a sapphire.
The Cut of the Sapphire
Since the cut of a gemstone affects the color, gemologists use this element to bring out the brilliance and color of the stone. There are a number of cuts that can bring out the color of a sapphire, such as a radiant cut. The cut will also affect the brilliance and luster of the gemstone.