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Why Sapphires Make the Best Engagement Ring Gemstone

Updated: Apr 6

Sapphires continue to reign as the most popular coloured engagement ring gemstones in New Zealand and Australia, and for good reason! Let's explore these reasons and see if a sapphire engagement ring is the perfect pop-the-question solution for you and your significant other. 

A sapphire engagement ring is one-of-a-kind 

An assortment of Sri Lankan Sapphires
An assortment of Sri Lankan Sapphires

Sapphires are individual. Each one has a slight variation. Whether it be the colour, the cut, the clarity, or the exact carat sizing, no two sapphires are identical. Each is as unique as a fingerprint. When you custom-make a sapphire engagement ring, it will be the only ring like this in the whole world. Truly individual. Though marketed as rare, diamonds are, in fact, over-supplied and often identical. They are a dime a dozen. 

A sapphire engagement ring can tell a story of your unique journey

Parti Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring
Parti Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring

Design your sapphire engagement ring to represent you and your significant other. The scale of colour in sapphires is enormous. Approximately 1400 unique shades (a combination of hue and tone) cover the yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green spectrum. Additionally, there are bi-coloured and tri-coloured sapphires (known as parti sapphires) and sapphires that display pleochroism (changing shades of colour when moved from different angles). This spectacular array of colour choices allows you to play with the personality and style of your sapphire engagement ring in a way that cannot be achieved by using diamonds alone. Let your custom sapphire engagement ring tell your story!

A sapphire engagement ring is durable and stands the test of time

Sapphires, and rubies, rate 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them the second most durable precious gemstone after diamond. A sapphire engagement ring can be worn day in and day out and sustain life's knocks and bumps without causing damage and scratching to the gem. A sapphire will look as good as the day you brought it, 30 years on and beyond!

A sapphire is almost always a sapphire; you know what you are getting

Emerald Cut Teal Sapphire and Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring
Teal Sapphire and Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

Lab-grown sapphires are rare and are barely seen on the market. They are used in cheap jewellery (often by chain store jewellery shops). They are easy to distinguish from their natural earth-mined counterparts due to the intensity of colour, flawless clarity and low price. Lab-grown diamonds are becoming increasingly common, and it is impossible to tell whether it is a lab-grown diamond or a natural diamond using sight alone. This adds to the authenticity of a sapphire engagement ring.

A sapphire engagement ring give you more for your investment

Larger carat sizes on sapphires are more cost-effective than larger carat sizes with diamonds. This is because the diamond market is tightly price-regulated, and the marketing around diamonds has been extremely clever. The retail price of a diamond is greatly inflated from the actual cost price. We associate diamonds with being rare and high value when, in fact, sapphires are rarer. The base value for sapphire is much higher than for a diamond of the same size, shape and clarity, and the margin from wholesale price to retail price is much tighter. Though diamonds retail at a higher price, sapphires are the more valuable choice.

Princess Diana Style Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring
Princess Diana Style Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring
A sapphire engagement ring is an ethical choice

Unlike diamonds, which are commercially mined, cut, and calibrated by machines, sapphires enjoy a more heartfelt journey from mine to market! Sapphires come from artisanal family mines, where small teams of men work, hand mining to bring up the sapphire rough. This mining style is gentle on the environment and ensures the natural vegetation of the land is preserved. The rough sapphire material then makes its way to local uncut gem markets, where it is purchased by gem dealers who specialise in hand-faceting the rough. The skill of faceting is often generational and is passed on from father to son. It is an absolute labour of love.

A sapphire engagement ring supports small family-run businesses in developing nations

When you choose a sapphire engagement ring, you can rest assured that your investment filters down through the gemstone economy, which many hardworking families rely on for their livelihood. The diamond market is an impersonal beast controlled by a powerful company that monopolises the diamond market. The profits don't reach small businesses in the supply chain like purchasing a sapphire does. When you choose a sapphire, you consciously choose to value and support small businesses.

What is a heated sapphire, and what is an unheated sapphire?

Heat or thermal treatment is applied to the mineral corundum (sapphire and ruby) to clarify and improve the gemstone's brilliance and accentuate the colour. Heat treatment is a standard treatment that 98% of gem-quality sapphires undergo before reaching the retail market. Heat treatment of sapphires does not affect the quality or stability of the gemstone's colour. Unheated sapphires command a price premium; however, sapphires that have undergone heat treatment still sell for high prices. Overall, heat does not affect the high value of a sapphire. It is still a luxury item, whether heated or unheated.

The Sapphire Merchant CAD Design Service
The Sapphire Merchant CAD Design Service
Design and make an engagement ring with The Sapphire Merchant

We travel to source and handpick our sapphires, offering one of the most comprehensive sapphire catalogues in New Zealand. The Sapphire Merchant specialises in one-off custom jewellery pieces, and there's nothing we love more than working in collaboration to design the perfect sapphire engagement ring for you.

Buying a sapphire in New Zealand is easy

Choose any sapphire from our website, and we can hold it for you while we complete the CAD. With our 7-Day Return Policy, we can courier the sapphire to you so you can view it before committing to your custom sapphire engagement ring. Our process is streamlined and makes building a sapphire engagement ring stress-free! Contact us today to find out more!



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