Gorgeous Array of Magnificent Fancy Sapphire Matched Loose Gemstones for SALE!
AfricaGems has just received a beautiful collection of outstanding, high quality Fancy colored Sapphires. These bright gems boast clarity ratings of Eye Clean, sourced from Ceylon and Madagascar. This new collection features a multitude of colors- mesmerizing padparadscha, dazzling peach/orange, pretty pink, fabulous purple, cheerful yellow, and clean white in a variety of shapes and impeccable cuts. There is something for everyone and every jewelry design in this collection whether you are on the market for something like a dainty, classic 1.74 carat oval cut, deep Pink Sapphire, or a bright, 1.9 carat diamond-like colorless white Sapphire in radiant cut Africa Gems has what you are looking for.
**Just Arrived** Gorgeous Selection of Blue Sapphire Genuine Gems
An eye-catching array of excellent Blue Sapphire natural gemstones has just landed in the AfricaGems vaults. These beautiful gems display unbelievable radiance and fire. Born in Kancha, Ceylon, and Madagascar, these rare pieces of natural art are truly wondrous with high-quality blue color and depth. This collection features a few large sized, hard to find, unheated Blue Sapphires. With impeccable cut and fabulous clarity these gems are sure to steal the show. Enjoy!
NEW!!!!! Stunning Yellow Sapphires just arrived! With gorgeous lemon and canary yellow hues, these are truly gorgeous Sapphires. With exceptional facets, superior proportions, eye clean plus clarity and stunning color, these new Yellow Sapphire gems are top quality. Choose one of these fabulous new stones for a special ring or pendant. NEW COLLECTION OF UNUSUAL AND RARE GREEN SAPPHIRES - STUNNING MATCHED SAPPHIRE PAIRS OF ALL VARIETIES - SOME NEW PADPARADSCHA HAVE JUST ARRIVED AND ARE IN STOCK
An interesting small collection of rare and quite remarkable natural GREEN SAPPHIRE loose gemstones are in stock and ready to sell. We have some really fine green colors, these colors are natural colors and not heat treated. Many of these natural green sapphires are certified by GIA, AGL or GRS gemological laboratories. In addition some of the finest matched sapphire pairs you'll ever see. What separates our sapphire matched pairs from others is that we are perfectionists! We only match stones that match! They are so well matched that you can actually use these matched pairs as accent gems in a fabulous engagement ring for example-that's how good they are. Just got in a very fine padparadscha too.
Sapphire Gemstones - A True Rainbow of Colors Loose Sapphire Gems Are Timeless
When someone says sapphire most people think of a clear rich blue color gemstone. That is appropriate because the word sapphire comes from the Latin word sapphirus which then became the Greek word sappheiros and meant blue or blue stone. Some believe that based on ancient writings the Latin word sappheiros originally referred to what we now call lapis lazuli not the glorious blue corundum we think of in todays gemstone world. Unfortunately, no one knows exactly when the word sapphire came to refer only to the clear blue corundum gemstone.
We know today that corundum comes in many colors other than blue. Other gemstones like garnet and tourmaline come in several colors, but sapphire is second to none when it comes to the range of colors. The range of colors would make a rainbow green with envy. The colors range from white (colorless) to black with just about every imaginable color in between including color changing sapphire. Sapphire comes in every color but red because red corundum is called ruby. It may be interesting to note that it wasn't known until fairly recent modern chemical analysis (around 1800) that ruby was actually the same corundum gemstone as sapphire. History of Sapphires
Throughout history, sapphire has been known as a gem of royalty, elegance and wealth and dates back to the seventh century BC. Some believe that the Ten Commandments were written on tablets of sapphire. Ancient Persians even believed that the heavens or sky was a sapphire in which the Earth was embedded. It would almost make sense because sapphire comes in the shades of blue seen in the sky deep blue twilight or bright blue mid-day and so many shades in between. Marco Polo described sapphires in his thirteenth century book detaining his visit to the island of Serendib (Sri Lanka). Sapphire Lore & Sapphire Mystical Properties
Many cultures believed that sapphires had healing properties; that sapphires brought good fortune, virtue, holiness, wisdom, sincerity, and faithfulness; that sapphires made stupid men wise and ill tempered men good tempered; that sapphires promoted feelings of sympathy and harmony. The British Crown Jewels contain many large blue sapphires meant to symbolize pure and wise rulers.
Over the years, sapphires have become known as the birthstone for those born in September, as the Zodiac birthstone for those born under the sign of Taurus and as the anniversary gemstone for the 5th and 45th anniversaries. Colors of Faceted Sapphire
Blue is arguably the most popular color with both men and women, so it is no wonder that blue sapphire is a highly desirable gemstone. In the gemstone world the word sapphire refers the blue variety of gemstone. All other colors of sapphire are called fancy sapphires with the specific color descriptor used to define the sapphire. Star sapphires are also part of the fancy sapphire family.For the last decade or so rainbow sapphire jewelry has been very popular. The fancy colors hadn't been as readily available as they have been for the last decade or so. The fancy colors previously were available to those in the know but were not carried by most jewelers. As a matter of course they were usually a special order item. Fancy colors of sapphire can run the gamut from pastel to very vivid and intense color is something to tickle everyones fancy. The color of the sapphire is determined by the natural chemical trace elements that act as colorants. Blue Sapphire - Cornflower Blue Sapphire - Royal Blue Sapphire Gemstones
Blue sapphire can range from a clear soft baby blue to the most intense and vivid blue. The most valuable blue sapphires have the darker more vivid color which has been described as a rich royal or cornflower blue but those descriptors are somewhat subjective. Some sapphire connoisseurs prefer a sapphire that has a minimum of secondary purplish hue while others prefer the more velvety blue color that a more purplish secondary hue offers. Either way it is the secondary hue that defines whether the sapphire is a royal blue or a cornflower blue. Sapphires with a secondary purple hue that is between 10 to 15 percent purple will most often be defined as royal blue while sapphires with between 5 to 10 percent purple will most often be defined as cornflower blue. Sapphires that are almost black that are often sold as midnight blue are probably the least valuable grade of blue sapphires. See below for an example of blue sapphire color grading. Sapphire Origin
Gemologists can most often tell the origin of a sapphire based on its color and its inclusions. Blue sapphire from Burma (now officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar) typically have fewer inclusions and are perceived as having a more crisp color than Kashmir (India) sapphires, which are described as having a more velvety sleepy appearance. The Kashmir mines have been effectively mine out since the 1930s so Kashmir sapphires are truly rare. Orange Sapphire Gemstones
Orange sapphire can be found in color from a pale brownish color to a vivid bright and lively orange. If the color leans toward a blend of pink and orange, the sapphire may be the very, very rare and very highly prized Padparadscha sapphire. Padparadscha is a color of sapphire that has been given its own name rather than being classified as either pink or orange. It is believed that the name was meant to represent the color of an oriental lotus blossom, but as with the color description of cornflower blue what does that really mean? Lotus blossoms are typically a beautiful delicate reddish pink as buds but as they open the pink turns to shades of yellow. Rare Padparadscha Sapphires
The name Padparadscha is given to those sapphires that are light to medium tones of pinkish-orange with hues ranging from orangey-pink to orange-pink. It is a color which is difficult to define by the actual percentages of pink and orange hues. Padparadscha sapphires may have secondary hues of yellow or violet making it much more difficult to define. Probably the best word to describe the best color of a Padparadscha is delicate. Most gemologists believe that for a sapphire to be called Padparadscha it must contain both pink and orange. The need for a gemologist to define whether or not a specific sapphire can be called Padparadscha is critical given the rarity and cost of these sapphires. All too often, orange sapphires are offered for sale as Padparadscha as are pink sapphire that have been treated with beryllium to create the Padparadscha color. Always get a gemological report when purchasing a Padparadscha sapphire. Loose Pink Sapphire Gemstones
Pink sapphire can range from a soft pastel yet lively baby pink to a intense hot pink to very intense vibrant magenta pink. The line separating a pink sapphire from a ruby isn't always clear and can sometime be difficult to define even among gemologists. It is the depth of color that most easily separates ruby from pink sapphire. Some believe that the closer to the red of a ruby, the more valuable the pink sapphire. See below for an example of pink sapphire grading. New deposits of pink sapphire were found in Madagascar in the late 1990's making pink sapphire much more available. Many of these sapphires seem to glow from within even in low light. If you are a lover of pink then pink sapphire could be the gemstone to collect as it comes in a wide range of pink tones. Violet / Purple / Lavender Sapphire Gemstones
The color range of purple or violet sapphire might surprise many. Violet sapphire in the 19th century was mistakenly called Oriental amethyst but with the advances in gemology and better gemstone identification, that name is no longer used. Violet or purple sapphire is a color of sapphire that many would appreciate if they knew it existed. It is not a color of sapphire that you easily find in most jewelry stores. Violet / purple sapphire can range from a violet blue to a violet red to a violet pink with a myriad of tones in-between. The color of a violet or purple sapphire can put a top quality amethyst to shame. Violet / purple sapphires are very rarely found in carat weights over 10 carats, but are available in smaller carat weights. Of particular note, there are now sapphires available that the gemstone trade is calling berry sapphire. They are natural in color and not subject to any kind of thermal or heat treatment that most sapphires undergo. Their colors range from purplish red to pinkish purple, fuchsia pink, violet to blue lavender. Just picture blueberries and boysenberries and you get the idea. Interesting Color Change Sapphire Gems
Color change sapphire is almost never seen in jewelry stores. They are truly a rare phenomenon. Top quality color change sapphires can completely change color depending on the light source. They can change from an amethyst purple to a shade of blue violet in direct sunlight. Some believe that the best color change sapphire change from a bluish green in daylight to a red or reddish purple in incandescent light, much like the color change of an alexandrite. White (colorless) Sapphire
White sapphire has been used as a diamond substitute in jewelry for years. While it is a little more expensive than white (colorless topaz) it sparkles more like diamond making it a better substitute. Slices of white sapphire are often used as watch crystals because of the resistance to scratching and the overall durability of sapphire.
Green sapphire is a relatively uncommon color of sapphire and most usually found in only small to medium sizes of carat weight. In the 19th century it was often mistakenly called oriental emerald. Green sapphire can be a strong, bright green or a bluish or yellowish green or an olive green or it can be very pale. Yellow Sapphire Gemstones
Yellow sapphire can range from soft pale pastel yellow to intense vibrant sunshine or canary yellow. Yellow sapphire can be a gold, honey or brownish yellow. Bright canary yellow sapphires have been used as substitutes for canary yellow diamonds and are a less expensive alternative. One has to be a real connoisseur or a gemologist to know the difference and when someone is looking at a set yellow sapphire from across the room (yes they can be bright enough to be seen across a room) no one but you would know the difference. Top quality yellow sapphires look beautiful in just about every light from direct sunlight to incandescent indoor lighting. Lighter yellow sapphires are not necessarily less desirable or valuable than canary yellow sapphire. When it comes to yellow sapphire, the intensity of the color is more of a personal choice than one set by a standard. Some believe that a medium vibrant canary yellow is the best as it typically is the most in-demand yellow sapphire. What is The Best Quality Sapphire Gem?
Bottom line, what color of sapphire is best for you may be a subjective thing. The best blue sapphire may be too dark for you when seen in artificial light and you might prefer a lighter blue that will still sparkle in artificial or low lights. Or you may prefer pink or yellow in general as they are inherently brighter colors. Or you may prefer pastel colors in general so the lighter hues and tones of any of the colors of sapphire may be the best choice for you. Someone else may prefer the bright vivid darker colors and that works too because sapphire comes in such a wide range of hues and tones and colors. Star Sapphires
Star sapphires are sapphires wherein the rutile inclusions (needle like inclusions) create a phenomenon known as asterism. If Mother Nature has done her job right, these inclusions create a six legged star that appears in the gemstone. If she has done her job right, they star will have perfect symmetry and center of the star will appear to move when the light source is moved. The star should be clear and crisp when viewed under a single light source such as the sun or a flashlight but it will be less defined in diffused light. And sometimes the rutiles are so perfectly arranged that the sapphire will appear to have two or more stars in the sapphire when there are two or more powerful light sources closely aligned as each light source will produce its own star. It's a marvel of reflection. Star sapphires are typically cut as cabochon gemstones. Star sapphires can be just any color including a grayish white or black. Unfortunately the more transparent the gemstone the less pronounced the star. Sapphire Gemstone Evaluation
Color, color, color!
As with all gemstones, one needs to consider color, clarity, cut and carat weight. When thinking about sapphire, color is the most important factor with clarity second and cut and carat weight after that. The difficulty may be picking a color you like more than another. Hue
Sapphires have primary and secondary hues so pure blue or pink or yellow with no secondary hue is just about impossible to find. Using the GIA rating system, a ratio of 80% / 20% is probably the average for good sapphires on the market today. Tone
The color tone in a sapphire should be between 75 and 80 percent to be ideal. No matter what the color of the sapphire it should not be too dark or too light in tone. If they are below 60% they will appear washed out and those with tone above 80% will be very dark.
Example of Blue Sapphire Grades:
Examples of Pink Sapphire Grades:
Saturation ranges from "grayish / brown" to "vivid". Think of the word "intensity" when evaluating saturation. There are 6 levels of saturation. Bottom line, a buyer should look for a bright luminescent color sapphire. Clarity
Sapphire is a Type II gemstone and by nature has natural inclusions. Sapphires have rutile inclusions - threadlike inclusions often called "Silk". Those inclusions are noted in a range from VVS (Very Very Slightly included) to Included 3 - Prominent (Inclusions which have a pronounced affect on the beauty of the stone and possibility the durability). Unlike the clarity scale for diamonds which starts at IF (Internally Flawless), the GIA clarity chart for colored gemstones starts at VVS. Other types of gemstone reports can show a sapphire with more descriptive report - for example, an GEM Grade and a description of eye clean, medium dark color, brilliance, excellent cut and polish would be a real prize and very expensive - a true collector-connoisseurs gemstone. Cut
The cut of a sapphire is almost as important as the clarity. Well cut sapphires will show off the color and clarity and the sapphire will be positively brilliant. Sapphires are cut in just about every shape with some gemologists believing that oval, pear and cushion cut are the best for sapphires because those shapes work best with the outline of the rough. But round shapes can be more brilliant but are not commonly found in larger carat weight sapphires. Carat Weight
Carat weight is arguably the least import of the 4Cs when it comes to sapphires. Just be aware that a smaller sapphire of top color and clarity can be much more valuable than a larger sapphire of lesser color / clarity. In fact a top quality sapphire can be more valuable per carat than a diamond of similar size because there are far fewer top quality sapphires than there are top quality diamonds, especially when one is looking at carat weights over 3 carats.Buying A Loose Sapphire?
A buyer who is considering the purchase of a loose sapphire gemstone of any color should request a professional gemological report in order to help them know exactly what they are purchasing. Grading reports may be shown using a numerical value and / or percent or be given an overall letter (B thru AAA to GEM) and description "grade" for the clarity and color - it will depend on with which laboratory the gemologist trained. There are several recognized laboratories like Gemological Institute of America (GIA - uses the numerical scale), International Gemological Institute (IGI), International Gem Society (IGS), European Gemological Center (EGC) and more.Sapphire Treatments
Without question a completely natural, untreated and unheated sapphire of top color and clarity will be more valuable than a heat treated sapphire. Some will quote a price as much as 3 times the cost of a heat treated sapphire of the same size. For example, a Padparadscha sapphire that has not been heat treated could easily be even more than 3 times the cost of a heat treated Padparadscha give the rarity of Padparadscha to begin with. That said it is estimated that 90+% of all sapphires are heat treated. Heat treatment is considered a natural treatment, i.e. a continuation of what Mother Nature started. Heat treatment helps improve the color and clarity of a natural sapphire and is considered a permanent treatment requiring no special care.Diffusion Treatments
There is a newer heat treatment used by those that may less than scrupulous. It is called lattice deep diffusion. It takes heat treatment to a whole new level. Basically, the process adds chemicals to the heat processes and it can take a near colorless sapphire and actually add color. It was improved so that it could be used on sapphire that started with some color but that was heavily zoned and the color could then be evenly distributed through the gemstone. Those selling diffusion treated gemstones should not be stating heat treated or natural when advertising or selling these treated gemstones. They should be disclosing the gemstone has been chemically colored by diffusion.Sapphire Treatment Disclosure
In the US, gemstone treatments must be disclosed. Some large retail chain stores may have a generic statement to the effect that precious and semi-precious stones may have been treated or enhanced but the sales personnel do not have the specifics about any treatments for a specific gemstone or gemstones especially for "accent" gemstones. If purchasing a large gemstone, 1) ask for an individual gemstone report from a gemologist or baring availability of that, ask the sales person to write on the sales receipt any treatment types that they are aware of for that specific gemstone, what the return policy is for the store is and take your gem to an independent gemologist - appraiser. If you didn't get what you paid for then take it back to the store. It is best to buy loose gemstones from a gemstone dealer you trust when purchasing an expensive gemstone.Synthetic Sapphire
Synthetic corundum, either sapphire or ruby has been around since the beginning of the 1900's. That 3 plus carat exquisite blue sapphire that Grandma left to you may not be a natural sapphire unless Grandma just happened to be very wealthy. Much of the synthetic corundum is being manufactured these days mostly for industrial use in lasers, medical equipment, as a polishing aid and for watch crystals. Laboratory created sapphire does have a place in jewelry but it should be sold as laboratory created and priced accordingly. There are glass imitations on the market pretending to be sapphire but these are usually found in costume jewelry.Sapphire is one of the most durable gemstones next to diamond. Sapphire is rated a 9 on the Mohs sale of hardness making it suitable for jewelry that can be worn every day. That isn't to say that one should wear sapphire jewelry while gardening or doing other activities where a gemstone is exposed to hard knocks or exposed to chemicals or solvents. Like all gemstone jewelry, jewelry set with sapphire it is meant to worn and enjoyed but not put to the test to see how much abuse the gemstone or the setting can take.
Top Quality NEW Blue Sapphires Just In! We just received an incredible shipment of Blue Sapphire gems that are indescribably beautiful. Each stone in this new collection has a superior clarity of eye clean plus, even and lively coloring, excellent proportions and a spectacular cut. This new batch of Blue Sapphires also includes some spectacular, fine gem blue sapphire matched pairs. Don't wait on these exceptional stones! Find your favorite high quality Blue Sapphire today! These rare finds are perfect for centerpiece stones in rings and pendants.
Unbelievable Collection of Fancy Sapphires Just Arrived!
An amazing selection of the highest quality, premium Sapphiregemstones has just landed here at AfricaGems! We are ecstatic about this new and varied collection that boasts gems from Ceylon and Madagascar. These exotic stars of our stock exhibit radiant shades of icy pink, dazzling peachy-pink, magenta, vibrant purple, brilliant yellow, and clean, colorless white. For any design or color scheme, you are sure to find your perfect match here at AfricaGems. All of these stunning stones would be ideal for custom jewelry- imagine a 1.74 carat, oval cut, deeply colored Pink Sapphire set in a white gold or platinum ring - Perfect!
Resources & References for Sapphire Gemstones: