Sapphires come in many different colours, but what colour sapphire is the most expensive?
There are several factors that determine the value of sapphire, including shape, cut, size (carats), colour and clarity. The most expensive colour of sapphire is red. Most people know the red sapphire as a ruby. Rubies are also made of the mineral corundum, but the higher presence of chromium in the soil creates the beautiful and rare red colour of the ruby.
Rubies can fetch anywhere between $6,000 and $25,000 per carat. The rarest and most vivid of all rubies is the Burmese Ruby which cost approximately $20,000 to $60,000 per carat.
The next most expensive is the padparadscha sapphire. This beautiful and rare colour is really only found in Sri Lanka. Padparadscha appears orange-pinkish in colour, they are extremely rare and their value is subsequently very high. Some stones have been sold between $3,000 to $6,000 per carat.
Pink sapphires can also attract quite high prices. For example, a 2-3 carat pink sapphire would be valued at $3,000 per carat.
The more traditional blue colours are the next most expensive – Ceylon Blue and Cornflower Blue (some called Kashmir blue). These beauties, once again depending on their size and cut, can fetch anywhere from $2,500 per carat to $6,000 per carat.
Australian blue/royal blue is the next most expensive stone of the 1-2 carat size. Top-quality Australian blues will demand $2,000 per carat, whereas lower-quality dark blues will be as cheap as $300-500 per carat.
Brighter colours seem to attract higher prices as they tend to shine and sparkle more when worn in jewelry. Darker sapphire, especially dark blue, whilst attractive, can sometimes lose its brilliance when placed into rings or pendants. In some instances, they can look similar to onyx if too dark.
Heat treatment can be utilised to enhance dark sapphires to become more brilliant and bright. Heat treatment involves heating the stone to very high temperatures with the use of coking coal and a crucible.
Some people argue that heat treatment reduces the value of the sapphire, however, this doesn’t really matter. After heat treatment, the stone is still 100% natural as long as no chemical treatment or filling has occurred.
If you wish to know the value of a specific sapphire, the best thing to do is speak with a gemmologist to determine an estimated value.