Blue Sapphire Engagement Rings Guide
Blue sapphires are a popular gemstone with a distinctive beauty that has made them a firm favourite of royalty for centuries. In recent years, the gemstone has grown in popularity to be a fashionable choice for bridal jewellery, offering an elegant alternative to diamonds. The popularity of the stone was helped in 2010, when Kate Middleton was given a stunning blue sapphire engagement ring by Prince William.
While most people are familiar with shopping for a diamond engagement ring, shopping for a sapphire ring adds a few other challenges. In our blue sapphire engagement rings guide, we will show you everything you need to know and look out for.
Sapphire is the birthstone of September. The name comes from the Latin word, “saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros” which both mean blue. There is some belief that the name sapphire also comes from the planet Saturn. This is because in some languages, the name can be translated to mean “dear to the planet Saturn” in various languages.
For many the sapphire is believed to promote wisdom and accurate thinking, and is also considered to be a symbol of commitment and fidelity, making it a popular stone in engagement rings. Because of its relation to commitment, sapphire is a traditional gift for a 45th wedding anniversary.
Sapphires have been sought after gemstones since 800BC. Ancient Persian rulers believed the sky was painted blue by the reflection of sapphire stones. One particular quote which has been attributed to stone describes sapphires as “the blue of a clear sky just minutes after sundown.”
Blue sapphires were also a holy stone to religions, including the Catholic Church, with the blue colour designed to represent the heavens. There’s also some evidence to suggest that the tablets upon which the Ten Commandments were written on were made of sapphire. Meanwhile, Buddhists believe the sapphire adds a calming presence that helps with prayer, meditation and spiritual enlightenment.
Today, sapphires have been found all around the world, with Sri Lanka being their largest producer. However, you can also source sapphires of various colours and shades in Burma, Kashmir, Australia, China and the USA to name a few.
Famous Blue Sapphire Engagement Rings
The popularity of blue sapphires with royalty has meant there are a few famous engagement rings that incorporate the precious stone.
Kate Middleton’s 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire ring is a famous example of a beautiful blue sapphire engagement ring. It was first worn by Princess Diana throughout her marriage to Prince Charles.
Other figures in history to have bought a blue sapphire engagement ring include Napoleon for his bride, Josephine, in 1795. He bought her a unique “You and Me” blue sapphire diamond ring to confess his love and commitment to her.
Notable names who were also given blue sapphire engagement rings include Blake Lively, Jackie Kennedy, Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood.
What to look for when buying a Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring
With blue sapphires the process is a little different, with more focus on the colour of the stone. This is because the stone is treasured more for its colour above everything else. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider its cut, clarity and carat, however.
A blue sapphire’s value is affected by the natural “true” blue colour. When choosing the sapphire, the closer you make it to being a “true” blue, the more valuable the purchase is likely to be.
The colour of blue sapphires can vary from a pure, “cornflower” blue to blue stones with tiny hints of green or purple. The more hints of green or purple in the blue sapphire, the less “true” the colour is.
Two key factors of a sapphire’s colour are its tone and saturation. The tone is based on how light or dark the blue colour of the sapphire is. A lighter tone will make a sapphire look less impressive, while an overly dark tone makes it hard for the blue to be seen.
You should keep the tone around the middle of the scale, ensuring the blue comes to the fore while not so dark that you cannot see the striking details of the gemstone.
When choosing the right saturation, keep in mind that the better quality sapphires usually have a consistent and vivid colour that lacks brown or grey areas.
Royal blue, or cornflower blue, is considered the favoured colour when choosing a blue sapphire. These stones feature a medium to dark hue in high saturation. Sapphires of this colour are usually vivid and feature no brown or grey hints. There are others who prefer a more violet-blue tone with a high saturation.
Every natural sapphire contains inclusions known as rutile needles, making a flawless sapphire very hard to come by. You should also know that most sapphires are heat treated to improve their clarity and colour.
While inclusions are an issue with diamonds, they aren’t so much with blue sapphires. This is because diamonds are usually analysed with 10x magnification while sapphires are judged by the eye.
If a sapphire is “eye clean”, with no obvious inclusions when looking at with the naked eye, its clarity will be acceptable for an engagement ring.
There are no standardised cuts for blue sapphires. To ensure its beauty is displayed, a blue sapphire must be cut symmetrically, so it can reflect light at the correct angles to best display its undeniable beauty.
Popular sapphire cuts include emerald, round cushion and oval. As there isn’t one cut that is considered “the best”, you can choose the one that best matches your special someone.
Much like diamonds, blue sapphires are available in a range of carat weights. Sapphires are typically heavier than diamonds, one carat sapphire often looks smaller than a one carat diamond.
When comparing blue sapphires, always look at the carat weight and measurements to pick the right size for your special someone.
Blue Sapphire Engagement Rings
If you’re looking for inspiration for choosing your ideal blue sapphire engagement ring, here are just a few examples available at Diamond Heaven.
You can browse our full range of blue sapphire engagement rings online today. If you need extra assistance, you can book a free appointment online or at any of our stores across the UK, or call us on 0121 200 1300.