White Sapphire Info
Most people normally think of sapphires as blue. The blue colour actually comes from varying amounts of iron impurities in the stone. When these impurities are absent the sapphire appears to be pure white or colourless ... just like a diamond! Indeed pure white sapphires (pure corundum )are precious because they are rare, have a great deal of brilliance and are extremely durable. As a precious gemstone they are an attractive alternative to diamonds whilst remaining far more affordable.
Diamonds have a hardness of 10 on the Moh's scale and white sapphires come a close second with a hardness of 9 making them very durable (corundum is the hardest mineral known next to diamond). This hardness also results in its brilliant sparkle - second only to a diamond.
Natural white sapphires have become very scarce in the marketplace and larger natural white sapphires in particular have become more and more valuable. They are increasingly being chosen to make engagement rings and other precious items of jewellery as it is one of only a few gemstones that can be found in a pure white or 'colourless' state.
Grading White Sapphires
White sapphires are graded in a similar way to diamonds but using the GIA Type II chart for coloured stones. Type II coloured gemstones, by their nature, usually have some natural inclusions. Therefore we believe it is important to select white sapphires that are graded within the top two categories of the chart illustrated below:
VVS - Very Very Slightly Included - Minor inclusions
VS - Very Slightly Included - Minor to Noticeable
SI1 - Slightly Included - Noticeable to OBVIOUS
SI2 - Slightly Included 2 - Obvious to Prominent
I1 - Included 1 - Prominent - moderate effect on appearance or durability
I2 - Included 2 - Prominent - severe effect on appearance & durability
I3 - Included 3 - Prominent - severe effect on beauty, transparency & durability
Most of our pure white sapphires are sourced and cut in India and are referred to as 'Ceylon' white sapphires. We select only the very best material available and all our stones fall in the VS to VVS clarity range.
White Sapphire as a Birthstone
The sapphire, September's birthstone, is one of the oldest known stones in written history. The ancients credited the sapphire to be endowed with the power to influence spirits, to be a charm against unfaithfulness and capable of making peace between foes. White sapphire is a good stone to wear for it has a self-nurturing tendency. It stimulates the crown chakra, revealing the talents of the self. It is a stone which supports morality, justice and freedom from greed. Sapphires are traditionally given for fifth and forty-fifth anniversaries.
How much do white sapphires cost?
Like all precious gemstone a number of factors will affect the price you are likely to pay. As with diamonds the clarity, colour, cut and carat weight all play a part in determining the value of white sapphires.