PINK SAPPHIRE GRADING

WHAT ARE PINK SAPPHIRES?

Sapphire and rubies are of corundum mineral specie which is an aluminium oxide. 

Pink sapphires are corundum mineral that contains trace elements of chromium which gives them the appearance of pink colour but not intense enough to call it a ruby. 

Different minerals belong to different crystal systems based on their way of repeating pattern of atomic arrangement. Corundum belongs to trigonal crystal system.  

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HOW DO PINK SAPPHIRES GET THEIR COLOUR?

Corundum in its purest state is aluminium oxide (Al2O3), which is a colourless sapphire. Additional trace elements or impurities combined with these base elements gives breathtaking sapphire colours. 

Naturally, presence of chromium trace elements in the crystal system of aluminium oxide makes a pink sapphire.   

Pink sapphire treatments include heat treatment where the colour is altered to a richer pink by simply melting its chromium into structure or by removing the presence of blue colour elements of iron and titanium from a pinkish purple sapphire. Diffusion and surface coating are synthetic treatment methods and they can also give a sapphire an appearance of pink. These treatments are commonly practiced.

You can shop a range of natural pink sapphire colours in our collection free of enhancements.  

WHY ARE PINK SAPPHIRES SPECIAL? 

Pink sapphires are a popular colour for celebration of love and momentous occasions. 

Renowned for their allure and range of pinks;  pink sapphires are considered a symbol of love and loyalty.

WHERE ARE PINK SAPPHIRES MINED?

Pink sapphires are found in Sri Lanka which are known as Ceylon sapphires, Madagascar, Burma, Mozambique, Thailand and Tanzania  

Deliqa Gems carries a collection of the most coveted colours and fine gem quality pink sapphires specially from Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Mozambique.  

HOW ARE PINK SAPPHIRES GRADED? HOW TO DETERMINE PINK SAPPHIRE VALUE? 

Pink sapphires are not graded the same way as diamonds are graded although similar terms are used for ease of translation of information.

Natural pink sapphires are graded firstly on their colour, then carat weight, clarity and cut. 

PINK SAPPHIRES COLOUR GRADING

Due to sapphire belonging to trigonal crystal system, sapphires are a dichroic gemstone. This means it has two different colours when viewed from the two different sides of the crystal (horizontally and vertically). Pink sapphires generally have a combination of pink-violet, pink-steel or pink-purple. 

When a talented gem cutter cuts a pink sapphire, she or he will attempt to place the table or front of the stone in the direction where the sapphire will appear mostly pink while also maximising the yield of the crystal. 

Pink sapphires come in different saturations of pink; light pinks to mid pinks to deep pinks with a touch of the secondary hue due to dichroism. So the colour range of a pink sapphires is rather vast!  

You have so many pink sapphire options to choose from for your sapphire jewellery! 

In naturally coloured unheated pink sapphires, no two will be the same making it incredibly difficult to find pairs. This is why natural unheated sapphires are very much special.  

Given that our speciality is natural untreated unheated pink sapphires, you will find a spectacular range of unheated pink sapphires colours in various tones in our range

 

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WHAT IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE PINK SAPPHIRE COLOUR AND HOW DOES COLOUR AFFECT PINK SAPPHIRE VALUE?

Value of the sapphire colour can vary hugely from country to country based on customer preferences. 

Assuming all things same, vivid red ruby colour is currently the most expensive pink sapphire colour and price decreases with the decrement of colour saturation. 

If the sapphire is too dark, the pink colour will not be vivid; the colour will not come out with sparkles. If the sapphire is too dark colour, then the value drops significantly. Remember this is all things remaining the same such as clarity, cut and weight. 

The demand for bright light pastel pink sapphires has increased from around the world and hence driven up the value of lighter colour pink sapphires in the recent years. 

Preferred secondary hue of a pink sapphire is, orange or violet.  

IMPACT OF PINK SAPPHIRE WEIGHT ON ITS PRICE

Larger the carat weight, rare the gemstone is. In comparable qualities, higher the carat weight, more expensive the per carat price is. A comparable colour and clarity 2 carat pink sapphire is will be more expensive per carat as opposed to a 1 carat gemstone. In comparable qualities, as the carat weight increases, per carat price increase significantly. 

PINK SAPPHIRE CLARITY GRADING 

Sapphires are more prone to have inclusion in comparison to diamonds due to the way the crystals are formed. Therefore visibility of sapphire inclusions are graded at eye level, not under a 10x loupe.  

Most common inclusions of a pink sapphire are silk, needles, fingerprints, feathers, crystals or cavities. 

To put it simply, every single natural gemstone carries some form of natural inclusion, otherwise they will not be a natural gemstones (very likely to be synthetic or even glass). Even a natural diamond that is flawless under 10x magnification would have inclusions that are visible under 20x magnification. Inclusions are important to identify gemstone variety, various treatment methods and to differentiate them from immitants.

Inclusion can vary from location to location. For example, typical madagascan sapphire has bright crystal like inclusions. However, remember “typical” does not mean always. 

We have had situations where laboratories have had difficulty in identifying whether the sapphire is natural, synthetic or treated due to being “too clean”. Suspicious  sapphires do not make it to our collection at Deliqa Gems under any circumstance.

HOW DOES CLARITY AFFECT PINK SAPPHIRE VALUE? 

Most inclusions do not affect the value of a pink sapphires as long as the inclusions are not prominent, reduce its brightness, or otherwise compromise its beauty. 

Inclusions such as needles, crystals, pits along the girdle lines and minor fingerprint type inclusions have little to no impact on a pink sapphire value as they have no impact on beauty or durability.

Some inclusions such as silk can even increase the value of a rich pink sapphire by giving it a velvety appearance.

Sometimes “imperfections” are what makes something perfect. 

PINK SAPPHIRE CUT GRADING

While colour, clarity and carat are defined by nature, cut of a pink sapphire is based on human talent working with the imperfections of the natural crystal. 

Pink sapphires cutting grade is not measured the same way as diamonds and it is not necessary to do so. In diamonds, it is only lustre and brightness that need to be achieved where as pink sapphire cutting is much more complicated as we need to pay more attention to colour. 

Cut of a pink sapphire is decided based on the shape of the natural rough crystal, placement of colour and placement of inclusions. 

Talent of a gem cuter is to decide how to place colour, maintaining maximum weight, reducing the appearance of inclusions and to provide most brilliance. It is a lot of factors to consider and different for each sapphire.

Pink sapphires from different localities requires different knowledge in cutting. For example, the cutter would absolutely attempt to retain the carat weight of a Burmese or Mozambique pink sapphire due to richness of colour.

Due to all these factors, majority of natural sapphires simply cannot be cut as per diamond cutting standards.

HOW DOES CUTTING QUALITY AFFECT PINK SAPPHIRE VALUE?

Symmetrical shapes such as square and round pink sapphires are harder to come across and attract a higher price when it comes to pink sapphires; as it is harder to come across a rough sapphire crystal that can be cut this way. 

Assuming all else same, a 1 carat well cut sapphire will attract more than double the price of a poorly cut sapphire. Reason; if the poorly cut sapphire is now well cut, it will certainly weigh much less carat weight. Or alternatively if the well cut sapphire was rather poorly cut, it will have had more carat weight.  

At the same time, if not all things the same, quality of the cut does not define the value of a sapphire. Cut can be altered at a later date per-se if the need be but the actual colour and clarity quality of the natural gemstone cannot be.  

Clean rough pink sapphires are costly and rare. Each sapphire is therefore cut to maximise its colour and carat weight. 

It is absolutely important to look at the overall of a natural pink sapphire and not to dismiss a stone based on a single factor.

PINK SAPPHIRE DURABILITY 

Sapphires are the second hardest mineral in the world. That means it is highly resistant to scratches, specially from dust in our environment. Hardness of a pink sapphire being one of the highest also means higher lustre than that of a lower  hardness gemstone. 

Not only that, sapphires are tougher than diamond. This means sapphires are less prone to chipping and cracking by force such as from knocking or dropping. This is due to its tight bonding of atoms. 

Pink sapphires are durable, but not indestructible. Please care to look after such a precious gemstone.