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With the increase in popularity of black gemstones, black sapphires have begun to garner more attention. While not as valuable or sought after as their blue counterparts, black sapphires are being increasingly used in jewelry.
With the combination of durability and beauty, black sapphires are a perfect gemstone choice. Here we highlight the pros and cons of black sapphires, and how it looks when set in jewelry.
What Is a Black Sapphire?
Black sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum. It is formed within the earth’s surface over many thousands of years and gets its color from the impurities that are present during its formation. Most black sapphires come from Australia and are found in large quantities.
Unfortunately, black sapphires are considered low grade, low quality gemstones, and are not as valuable as other colors of sapphire. As a result, they’re much more affordable than those varieties.
However, with the surge in popularity of black gemstones, especially black diamonds, black sapphires are slowly being treated with respect.
How do I Evaluate a Black Sapphire?
Black sapphires are found in translucent to opaque varieties and can appear solid black. They often do not reflect much light and can seem to absorb all the light that touches it. Look for a black sapphire that has even saturation and tone and is opaque.
Black sapphires are generally faceted into fancy shapes to give depth and enhance the luster of the stone. They are also often cut en cabochon.
Because black sapphire is affordable, take care if the price of the stone seems to high. While the sapphire itself may be quite affordable, the setting it is placed in could be more valuable than the stone itself.
Black Sapphire Jewelry
Black sapphire works for any jewelry type, especially engagement rings. It’s easy to maintain, looks amazing in any setting color, and as we’ve already said, it is affordable.
For engagement rings, you have the option to choose a large center sapphire and a ring setting in either rose, yellow, or white hues. When paired with melee diamonds, the sparkle of the diamonds complements the stark blackness of the gemstone.
For men, black sapphires can add a decorative touch to wedding rings. Whether you choose a single black sapphire stone or a series, the choice is yours. This is ideal for men who don’t like the sparkle of a diamond in their ring.
Black Sapphire vs. Black Star Sapphire
Although black sapphire is not a very popular or sought-after gemstone, this is not the case for black star sapphires.
Black star sapphires are black sapphires that display asterism, a clear star-like effect caused by the presence of tiny needle-like inclusions, often consisting of the minerals rutile or hematite. These gemstones are cut en cabochon and when viewed under direct light, display a 6-rayed star.
Expert cutting is required to bring out a symmetrical and well-defined ‘star’ on the stone. However, if the star appears to look too perfect, this may be an indication of a synthetic, lab-created stone.
Black star sapphires can command high prices and are highly sought after. They are especially popular among gemstone collectors. When set in jewelry, black star sapphires are eye-catching and unique. They shimmer with movement and are more dynamic than solid black sapphires.
Should I Buy a Black Sapphire?
If you are interested in purchasing a black gemstone, a black sapphire is an excellent option. Here’s a recap on why:
- Black sapphires are not as pricey as black diamonds.
- Sapphires rank 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamonds in the gemstone world. They are extremely scratch resistant and due to their crystalline structure, sapphires are also very tough.
- As a gemstone for every day wear, sapphires are excellent and can be used in all types of jewelry. It is able to withstand daily exposure and rough wear and tear and often only requires minimal maintenance.
- Black sapphires look similar to the more popular black onyx gemstone but are much more durable than onyx (which ranks at only 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale). This makes black sapphires an excellent alternative to onyx and most other solid black gemstones.
You will be hard-pressed to find black sapphire jewelry in brick and mortar stores as they are not a common sapphire color.
Searching online will give you many more options and you will be able to compare and contrast prices and quality of different black sapphires before you buy.
Not everyone wants brilliant diamond jewelry – for some, the black density and stark beauty of black sapphire is much more beautiful and appealing. Hopefully this guide gives you the information you need to find the perfect black sapphire jewelry.