HOW TO CHOOSE A SAP­PHIRE

Hong Kong Tatler - - Gemstones -

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.

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