HOW TO CHOOSE A SAPPHIRE
The value factors of colour, size, cut, clarity and origin are key considerations when choosing sapphires. Colour is a decisive call, partly in understanding the difference in hues and tones that can be subjective, but also the importance of saturation: ideally colour should be spread homogenously and be well saturated.
Experts such as Raphael Gübelin recommend buying a sapphire from a respected, trustworthy source and making sure it comes with a gemmological report from a recognised laboratory. “Knowing what you buy with trusted advice is the key to buying well,” he says.
Size is important, and a minimum of 1 carat ( preferably 2 carats and up) is the recommended size for the purchase to have long- term value.
Clarity and transparency with a lack of inclusions are also important. And, since origin has become an important value factor, experts recommend sapphires from Burma, Kashmir or Sri Lanka as being the most sought- after and collectible.
Most sapphires on the market today are heated to improve colour. This is an accepted method of enhancement. But there is now increasing demand for natural colour, and several dealers are offering these rare treasures, commanding premium prices on international markets.
An important tip when buying a sapphire or jewellery set with sapphires is to ask for a certificate to guarantee the provenance and quality of the stone.