Sapphire colours: Unusual Particoloured Gemstones

Sapphires are one of the most beautiful gemstones nature has given us. Many people are surprised to learn that sapphires are found in a multitude of colours. Sapphire colours can be almost anything from blues to pinks to greens, purples, orange yellows, apricot, violet, orange and many shades in between. Sapphires can also even be black or white. A well chosen, nicely cut sapphire can make a stunning engagement ring.

Measuring #9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, sapphires are suitable gemstones for use in engagement rings. This is not to say that they cannot be scratched and damaged. Sapphires are not as hard as diamonds. Diamonds also can be damaged if care is not taken when wearing the ring.

Sapphire colours vary enormously, but what I wanted to look at today is the beauty of sapphires that have more than one colour within the stone. Known as particoloured sapphires, they can be quite hard to find. The ever popular blue/green teal colour is particularly rare. If you can find a really good example of one in the right size, they can make a truly beautiful ring.

Such sapphires are a real gift of nature. Set in an engagement ring, the sapphire gives the ring a different look every time you see it, depending on what light you catch it in. So in electric light, it might look more blue than green. In direct sunlight it might look more green than blue. In other lights you may not be able to decide if it is more blue than green or more green than blue. As I said, these are pretty special gemstones. When we find one, they make a very unique engagement ring indeed.

Sapphire Colours Vary Enormously

Sapphire colours in this blue green hue are rare Here is a stunning cushion cut sapphire that we recently sourced from one of our cutters. It is over 3 carats, and has the blue – green hue that is much sought after but is so hard to find.

Importantly, as you can see, the cut is excellent. When people are looking at sapphires, they can often overlook the cut. Their focus tends to be more on what sapphire colours it is possible to have, but as with every gemstone, the cut is critical to how good the stone looks.

The Role of Cut in a Sapphire

Cuts can vary widely from absolutely woeful, lumpy, asymmetrical lopsided examples, to the perfect symmetry that you can see in this sapphire. Symmetry is very important in a gemstone that is to be set into a ring. For it to look good, the sapphire or diamond must be symmetrical both in the internal facets and also in the outside shape. A sapphire that is not symmetrical in it’s outer shape is impossible to set without the ring looking crooked. If the internal faceting is not symmetrical, the crooked faceting will make the ring appear to be crooked. This will be the case even if the ring is well made and is perfectly straight.

Even Spread of Colour

The other aspect of this beautiful sapphire, is that the colour is spread evenly through the stone. Some sapphires can be the most stunning colour and full of life, but can have patches in the stone where the colour is not as intense. When this happens, it is just like you are looking through a window in that part of the stone. In fact, in the trade, a sapphire such as this is said to be “windowy”. At Ellissi, we avoid this characteristic when selecting sapphires, as it really detracts from the look of the stone.

Depending on the sapphire and the kind of setting it is put in, this windowy characteristic might not appear to be evident. However, if the stone were not set into a ring, you would be able to see it. This can be a problem in a ring that you buy off the shelf. You may not know the true quality of the sapphire unless the stone is removed from the setting.

This would happen, for example, if you were having the ring re-made into another design. It might be something that you discover at this point that you are not happy with! The cost of the sapphire should reflect its characteristics. A windowy sapphire should be cheaper than one that is not. This is assuming of course that the colour and weight of the sapphires that you are comparing are similar.