You know the story, some celebrity wears a dress, buys a house, or starts a diet, and the whole world follows. The same trends are followed in jewelry.
But what if that celebrity is a member of the British Royal family? Does that create a trend? Or a classic piece? When Prince Charles proposed to his then-girlfriend Diana Spencer in 1981 with an off-the-shelf 12 carat sapphire engagement ring, it caused quite the stir. In the US, diamonds were common for engagement rings, as they are today. The sapphire was an outlier, it seemed.
But then, Charles and Diana’s son, Prince William, proposed to Kate Middleton with the same ring, and a massive wave of sapphire engagement rings flooded the market. Buying a sapphire isn’t the same as a diamond–they aren’t really quantified with the four Cs. Now, sapphires are a bit more common in American engagement rings, and might be preferred by brides who want to stand out, or who just love their blue color. So, if your potential bride would like a sapphire engagement ring, or if you just love sapphires and want to make sure you’re getting a good deal, use the buying guide below to help you make a decision.
- The saturation of a sapphire’s color is the key indicator of quality. Sapphires with an even coloring command a premium over both lighter, less saturated sapphires and darker, inkier ones.
- Sapphires do not have a standard guideline for ideal cut. Each sapphire must be custom-cut to help the finished gem display the stone’s best color and brilliance.
- Gems tend to be heavier than diamonds and can vary in density. For example, a one carat sapphire will look slightly smaller than a one carat diamond.
- It is very hard to find a sapphire that is without any imperfections or inclusions. Besides, flawless gemstones are extremely expensive! Most will have been heat treated to improve both color and clarity, but this is alright, as it is not an addition, it is an applied heat.
Once you have decided on a sapphire engagement ring, consider the ring’s setting and shape as much as you consider the quality of the stone. Sapphires are set off well by white gold or platinum, and accent diamonds help to enhance the gem’s color as well. Check out some of our sapphire rings, or come in and design your own!