Brief Introduction to Sapphire Gemstones:
Belonging to the family of the mineral corundum, a sapphire gemstone is beautiful gemstones and a precious one at that. Besides being a thing of beauty, these gorgeous gems are also highly durable as they rank 9 on Mohs scale of hardness. They provide long-lasting use and are cherished in many cultures due to the mystical benefits that they provide.
This guide will help you get acquainted with the carat, clarity, cut, color and maintenance of sapphires. Let’s go through an illustrative guide on 4c’s and maintenance of sapphire gemstones one by one.
When it comes to the true value of a sapphire, its carat plays a crucial role in determining the same. While both diamonds and sapphires are hard and durable, a sapphire that is one carat in size will be a bit smaller than a diamond of the same weight as sapphires are heavier than diamonds. There are two main reasons why this happens:
- First, Sapphire is denser than diamond, thanks to its chemical composition. The denser sapphire reduces its size when compared with a diamond of the same size.
- Another reason why a sapphire looks a little smaller than a diamond of the same size is due to its cutting style. Colored gemstones are cut in such a way that their color is enhanced, and diamonds are cut in such a way that their brilliance is enhanced.
Sapphire Gemstones Clarity
Just like any other pure, naturally formed gemstone, a sapphire also contains a few, fine inclusions. Silk, star effect, and several other inclusions are considered good in sapphire and may increase their value. However, a stone that has too many mineral inclusions may not demand great value, especially if these inclusions have a significant impact on the durability of the stone.
Some of the inclusions that may have an impact on the clarity of sapphire are:
- Cavities – Gaps or holes that reach to the interior of the sapphire from its surface
- Color Zoning – Regions or bands that show alternating color
- Crystals – Fine crystals of other minerals included in a gemstone. These minerals could bemica, hematite, spinel, zircon, etc.
- Feathers – Thin inclusions that resemble feathers
- Fingerprint Inclusions – A type of liquid-filled inclusions that resemble human fingerprints
- Liquid Inclusions – As the name suggests, these are liquid-filled inclusions in a gem
- Silk –Needle-like inclusions of rutile that cause the sleepy transparency or velvet-like look as well as star effect (asterism) in some sapphires
Sapphire Gemstones Cut
As mentioned earlier, the cut of sapphire has a lot to do with enhancing its color and making it look all the more beautiful. Gems that have a lighter tone are often given a deep cut to give their color a bit of dimension and intensity. Whereas, a gem that has a dark tone, is given a shallow cut so that more light can reflect within the gem.
From Emerald Cut or Step Cut to Cabochon Cut and Brilliant Cut, several cuts are popular when it comes to shaping a sapphire. But, more often than not, cutters give an oval cut to sapphire as the gem is quite expensive and giving it a round shape would mean the removal of a significant amount of roughage.
While there are many colors in which sapphire can be found – from yellow sapphire to green and purple sapphires – the elitist of them all is said to be blue sapphire.
Blue Sapphires that are high priced often have a lovely, velvety blue color or are available in rich blue tones.
The color saturation has a direct impact on the value of a sapphire. The vivid the gem, the higher would be its value. No matter which sapphire would you choose, it all comes down to the fact that you are buying one of the most sought-after gems in the world.
Sapphire Gemstones Maintenance
First things first, care must be taken to store the sapphire in a box or pouch, separate from other ornaments to avoid scratches.
- You can remove the dirt and grime accumulated on your sapphire with the help of a mild liquid dish soap and water mix. Put the sapphire jewelry in the mixture for about 20 minutes and then clean it using a soft brush to remove all the dirt completely.
- After the above step, use a soft cotton cloth to dry the gem gently.
- If the gem gets a cloudy appearance, then the above steps could be repeated by replacing the soap with a bit of ammonia or vodka. However, ammonia should not be used if the metal of the sapphire adorned jewelry is gold.
- Also, if the metal is silver, then rather than soaking it in the soapy water, make sure that you rub the silver jewelry with a special cloth meant for cleaning silver.
- Highly expensive and rare quality sapphires must be cleaned by professionals and such jewelry should be taken almost once a year to the jeweler for service and regular maintenance.