Do you want to purchase sapphire jewelry online?
In this guide, we will help you find the best place to buy sapphire jewelry online. We will also answer some frequently asked questions such as:
- Do sapphires make a good engagement ring?
- What should one lookout for when purchasing online?
- What should you consider before buying any online sapphires?
- What makes a great deal when buying sapphires online?
Here is a quick list of the top picks. They are a credible online store where you will find quality sapphires for your jewelry.
For more details, keep reading this article.
- James Allen (for the best value and prices)
- Helzberg Diamonds (great physical store)
- Blue Nile (great choices)
- Leibish & Co. (for the high-end pieces)
What is Sapphire Jewelry?
First, let us understand what sapphires are. They are colored gemstones common in the jewelry market these days. They are commonly known for their dark blue color. Sapphire also serves as September’s birthstone.
Just like rubies, sapphires come from Corundum. So if corundum is red, it makes a ruby but if it nears other colors then it is called a sapphire. Therefore, sapphires come in a wide range of colors such as white, pink, and many other colors, which you will easily find at Jared and Zales.
There is plenty of information you need before making any online purchase for sapphires.
1. Buying Sapphire at James Allen
At James Allen, there is a wide variety of sapphire colors. They include but are not limited to green, yellow, blue, and pink sapphires. This makes James Allen the largest carrier of sapphire jewelry and loose pieces.
James Allen has embraced modern technology and diversity in their sapphires. Their sapphires are carried in different saturations, hues, colors, tones, and shapes. When using the 360-degree viewer, you can see 20x magnification. These stones have their color enhanced since they are heat treated. This makes their sapphires a quality product.
Unlike diamonds, viewing the sapphire stone that is in a setting is not possible. This means you can’t envision the stone you plan on buying. However, you can trust that you know just how the stone looks like.
By simply going to the birthstones section, you will easily get the blue sapphire jewelry at James Allen. The common blue sapphires in their jewelry are darker. There are some lighter pieces. The collection here includes a variety of blue sapphire bracelets, necklaces, and rings. Here are gorgeous pearl and sapphire drop earrings:
Finally, there is a nice lifetime warranty offered for free. It covers all the routine maintenance needed by your jewelry. This includes cleaning, inspection, prong-tipping, and rhodium plating the white gold sapphire jewelry. Additionally, you can take your sapphire jewelry to be checked at any Jared store.
2. Buying Sapphire Jewelry at Blue Nile
Blue Nile does not have loose sapphires like James Allen. However, their sapphire jewelry inventory is way larger. Although most of the sapphires here are blue, there is a good number of pink-colored sapphire.
For those who want something extraordinary, then go for rainbow-like sapphire colors. Look at this bracelet made of diamond and sapphire:
If you are looking for a high-quality product yet affordable, Blue Nile is where to go. Here you are less likely to get a relatively cheaper sapphire piece set in any sterling silver. You’ll see more pieces set at 14kt gold. These pieces go for about $500 plus. this means if your wallet can accommodate a diamond ring yet you want a high-quality sapphire ring, then you will find it here.
You may be wondering if this store has some amazing sapphire jewelry. Yes, they do. Just check Blue Nile’s Extraordinary Collection. Just as extraordinary as the pieces are, so is the pricing. As for their colors, they are so vivid and untreated. They are also as natural as they can get. Other sapphire pieces not in this collection are also natural. To enhance their color, however, they are heat treated.
Here is an amazing $34,000 diamond and sapphire ring gotten from the mentioned Extraordinary Collection:
At this store, there is a 30-day jewelry return policy and an awesome lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. It, unfortunately, does not cover the routine maintenance of your jewelry. This means you’ll need to pay for the maintenance.
Why James Allen is Better: You are to control the final cost since there are loose sapphires instead of pre-designed stones. James Allen has put in place settings that allow you to purchase your stone without a long expensive process. They also have a wide range of sapphire colors well priced for any buyer. Be it high or low-end customers, you will get a favorable piece.
To top it up, there is a free lifetime warranty. The warranty covers all the routine maintenance. This favors the high-end-priced pieces.
3. Buying Sapphire Jewelry at Leibish & Co
If you have a tight budget but still want something fabulous, then shop at Leibish & Co. they offer affordable untreated sapphires. These sapphires have way better shapes and cuts compared to those at James Allen.
They have a set of unique sapphires labeled Ceylon. These stones come from Sri Lanka. This online shop is favorable to either premium buyers or collectors. This is because they have a page containing loose sapphires costing less than $5000. Others are in less than hundreds.
If you want to examine your stone, there is room to use the high magnification or 360-degree viewer. Their jewelry collection has few pieces of about 100. The common sapphire in the pieces is blue with a few pink and yellow. Look at this elegant sapphire engagement ring.
There is a lifetime warranty put in place. It covers prongs, cleaning, inspection, and rhodium plating for your jewelry. In the first two years of purchase, you can get a free resizing once. However, if there is a repair out of the warranty, you need to pay for it. Shipping is payable too.
Why James Allen is better: At Leibish & Co. there are prestigious sapphires. they are however not easily accessible for the everyday customer. Not everyone can afford these pieces as there are only a few pieces costing below $5000. The good news is that there is a diamond engagement ring for less than $2000.
4. Buying Sapphire Jewelry at Helzberg
Similar to Zales or Jared, Helzberg has both online and physical stores. Helzberg is owned by a family. The other stores are under the larger corporate umbrella. They have relatively quality sapphires.
Buyers looking for affordable sapphire jewelry will get plenty of options at Helzberg. It is common to find lab-grown sapphires in sterling silver pieces. Lab-grown sapphires are grown in the lab and not mined from the ground. They are real sapphires though. Since they are quite easy to make, they go for a lower price.
Something cool about Herzberg is that you can design the sapphire of your choice. This is unlike Jared and Zales. While online you are allowed to select the settings you like with sapphire gemstone. You can also customize the melee stone of a diamond engagement ring to sapphire. A good example is this blue and yellow customized sapphire ring.
You can see your stone in real-time. You are therefore able to see how your stone will look like. There are different ring settings available for you. These settings dictate what is at your disposal. For this case, I chose from the available options which were pink, blue, and yellow sapphires for the center stone. I chose between pink and blue for the halo stones. The results were just amazing.
White and blue sapphires are commonly used for predesigned jewelry. Since white sapphires are common for diamond simulants, they are common for melee stones on a gemstone. They are quite cost-effective as melee stone. They are also common in carats with larger weights or which have plenty of small ones. Check out this blue sapphire cocktail ring that is set in white gold.
If you buy from Helzberg, you get a 30-day return policy. To uphold their warranty, your jewelry has to be checked every six months. This is a similar case to Zales and Jared. This applies if you pay for it too. Normally, when you pay for a warranty you do not need to uphold it. At Helzberg, if you do not uphold the warranty you lose the coverage.
Why James Allen is better: There is a better and wider selection of sapphire colors at James Allen. Additionally, they have a vast of fancy and elegant shapes. The free lifetime warranty sounds way better.
FAQ When Buying Sapphire Jewelry Online
Are Sapphires Good for an Engagement Ring?
Sapphires come from corundum and corundum rates at #9 on the Moh Scale of Hardness. This makes sapphire quite durable. As a result, sapphire makes a good engagement ring since it can stand daily wear.
Most of the time, sapphires are placed in diamond engagement rings. You will always find one sapphire diamond engagement ring in your local jewelry store. However, watch out for treatments as they change the sapphire’s appearance.
Is Sapphire Jewelry Expensive?
Generally, sapphires cost less than diamonds. Simply check the best sapphire engagement rings and compare them to the prices of the best diamond engagement rings. The value and price of a diamond are commonly determined by the clarity it has with regard to its color.
Blue sapphires are valued by their color hence they are the costliest of the sapphires. A diamond that has lower grades may be less costly compared to a high-quality Vivid sapphire like this one from Leibish & Co.
Just like a Vivid sapphire, an 8-carat pink sapphire costs more than a single carat diamond. However, putting colored gemstones against real diamonds is unrealistic. Sapphires and diamonds have different systems of grading and qualifiers that make them more valuable.
There are a few exceptions though. Kashmir blue sapphire has a unique velvety blue color. It is a rare stone more than a diamond. Very few people have a fat wallet for them to by this stone. You can go view them at some museums.
RECOMMENDED: Blue Gemstones Names and Pictures
Tips for Buying Sapphire Gemstones Online
You may be familiar with the 4Cs used for diamond grading. It was created by the Gemological Institute of America. These basic guidelines are used for gemstones as well. The real grades however are not used.
Among the 4Cs of diamonds, Cut is the most crucial. For colored diamonds, the cut does not have much effect on the stone’s value. Even so, you still need a well-shaped and cut sapphire.
Sapphires in jewelry are commonly known as faceted gems. However, they have a position in cabochons. They come in a variety of shapes and cuts. The most common shapes are princess cuts and round cuts.
The star sapphire is the most Coveted sapphire cabochon. They occur after the rutile is included in the crystal. To get the star shape, a gem cutter cuts the cabochon into a star look.
Since the cut has little impact on the value, there is no standard cut for sapphires. When buying just check if the table stone is at the center and the shape is even. The shape should not affect the price.
Colour is what mostly determines the value of the stone. Colour hue, saturation, and tone are the factors considered.
Tone refers to how light or dark the stone looks. The colors range from Very Light, Light, Medium, Medium Dark, Dark, and Very Dark. The optimal color tone for sapphires is medium to dark. If corundum is colorless, it receives a 0.
Hue refers to the color that is seen when light passes through a gemstone. GIA developed a hue scale that goes from red to orange, yellow, green, and blue, violet, to purple. Sapphires can also have secondary hues of green or violet.
So hue may not be the actual color.
Sapphires get their different names depending on their hues intestine. There are different shades of color blue for the sapphires such as royal blue sapphire from Burma, Ceylon sapphire from Sri Lanka, steely grey sapphire from Montana, and finally the priceless Kashmir sapphires.
Hues in sapphires range depending on the color of the sapphire. For the valued blue sapphires, secondary hues like violet and green. Pure blue-colored sapphires are valued most. However, those with violet hues are also well prized.
When reporting hues on a gemstone grading report, blue sapphires are normally shown as Slightly Green, Slightly Violet, Strongly Green, or Strongly Violet. If it has different hues, then the main color’s initial is always capitalized. For instance, if a sapphire is displayed slightly violet blue it would read slvB.
Saturation refers to the intensity of the color in the sapphire. If a gemstone appears greyish or brown then it has a lower saturation. This, however, depends on the stone’s color.
If cooler colors such as green, blue, or violet look greyish then they have a lower saturation. Warmer colors like orange, red or yellow appear brownish then they have lower saturation. Below are the common saturation terms used in grading reports from GIA.
Clarity is described as how transparent a gemstone is when it reflects light. If a sapphire is dark, then it won’t show inclusions in the stone as a lighter tone would.
It is difficult to find an eye-clean sapphire. If you find one, then it’s really costly. If you are not a gemstone collector, then clarity is not such a big deal. When buying, focus on sapphires whose inclusions are deep or closer to the stone’s girdle.
When stating the clarity of gemstones, a scale similar to that of the diamonds is used. This is the I2, I1, SI2 SI1, VS, VVS, and IF scale. A gemstone whose clarity does not have any inclusions is called eye-clean. On the scale, it is type I.
Type II clarity is included at times but type III clarity is always included. So if a sapphire is eye-clean, then inclusions should not be visible to the naked human eye.
If you come across an advert for a sapphire that is flawless, untreated, and natural always check the grading report before proceeding. They will of course come at a higher price. Do not use shortcuts when buying an expensive high-quality sapphire.
Change in carat does not cause a big change in the cost of the sapphire. Since it is easier to produce larger stones, it is easier to get sapphires that are more than a carat. Sapphires less than a carat are rare.
In commercial markets, it is rare to find sapphires above 5 carats. Prices tend to increase if the clarity of a larger stone is pristine and its color is fancy vivid. If a larger carat weight has these two factors, then the cost is very high.
Red Flags When Buying Sapphire Online
There are so many options for sapphires on the internet.
You may come across adverts that say simulated sapphires or use the word sapphire as the headline, except the contents are different. A man-made gemstone or other types of stone passed off as sapphire is known as a simulated sapphire.
Common sapphire simulants include cubic zirconia, spinel, zircon, and thermal shocking colorless quartz. Keep an eye out for such words when searching online. Check out this example below.
In the video, we see as soon as the word sapphire is mentioned the word CZ comes right after. CZ refers to cubic zirconia, a man-made stone. It is meant to act like it is a different gemstone. Here it pretends to be sapphire. Be very keen with such words.
If you wish to buy sapphire on the internet, check for this so that you can know whether the stone you are looking at is cubic zirconia or white sapphire.
To improve the clarity of sapphires, it is normal for them to be heat-treated or receive other treatments. If a sapphire is heat-treated, then it costs less than an untreated stone. By subjecting a sapphire to beat treatment, then rutile inclusions are removed, saturation and tone of the stone on the other hand are improve.
Heat-treated sapphires of the same quality as untreated sapphires cost about 20%-30% less. Gem sellers ideally are supposed to apply heat treatment on the stones. This is a normal thing to do. Sadly, not all of them do.
A grading report is the only way you’ll know if the stone you want to purchase was heat treated or not. Using these reports assures you quality for your money.
Get the Best Deal When Buying Sapphires Online
Here are some free tips to keep in mind anytime you buy gemstones online.
Make sure you can see the stone
It is very important to always check the magnification of the stone you wish to buy. A good store will let you see the magnification. If the sapphire is blue then, that’s dark enough, and seeing inclusion is not easy.
If you are buying online you can choose between the 360-degree viewer, gemoscope magnification, or seeing a video clip. If you are buying from a physical store, then showroom viewings are the best. Brian Gavin are well known for their quality stones, hence there is no need to scrutinize the stone.
Buy from a reputable dealer
There are many sapphires available in the market. Nevertheless, a high-quality sapphire that is untreated costs a lot of money. People always turn to private retailers on social media platforms like Whatsapp or Facebook
It is possible and easy to find credible jewelers on these platforms. The challenge comes in when you want to track them. Unless they have a formal and registered business, it is hard to track them. Remember to buy from a store you completely trust. All the stores mentioned in this article are legitimate.
Don’t compromise on Cut
Since sapphires come in second after diamond durability, it is best for wearing daily. Visually, color is very important. However, a bad cut spoils everything. Poor cuts make the stone vulnerable to breaking and chipping, weak and unpresentable. Cut equal importance to what you give the color.