A pink sapphire diamond ring - as in a ring that contains both sparkling diamonds and stunning pink sapphires - is a jewelry choice that is as bold and unusual as it is beautiful. Such rings, socially when it comes to diamond engagement rings, have enjoyed something of a renaissance recently, ever since Princess Eugenie debuted a pink sapphire and diamond accented engagement ring a few years ago.
However, when she did, some people were a little confused. Aren't sapphires blue?
Blue is certainly the color that springs to mind when anyone mentions sapphires in general, but sapphires can indeed be pink. But just what are pink sapphires, and why are they well worth considering if you are looking for a less than usual engagement ring, or simply just a really stunning piece of gemstone jewelry? Read on to find out.
What are Pink Sapphires?
Although blue sapphires are the most common, they can also be discovered in pink, yellow, greens, and even white. Pink sapphires are stunning gemstones that range in color from pale to dark pink. Secondary colors such as purplish pink sapphires and orangish pink stones, such as the rare padparadscha sapphires, are also possible. (The pink sapphire diamond ring worn by Princess Eugenie is a padparadscha.)
Pink sapphires belong to the corundum mineral family. Iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, and chromium are all present in trace amounts, contributing to the color's tint in some way.For instance, the higher the chromium level, the deeper the pink color.
In some cases, distinguishing between a pink sapphire and a ruby might be difficult. Only a gemologist can make this distinction in some cases when it is very hard to tell. To be classified as a ruby in the United States or United Kingdom, a gemstone must have a minimum color saturation. In other countries, the term ruby is often used more generally and what may be sold as a ruby might instead be a pink sapphire.
Where are Pink Sapphires Mined?
In the 21st century, Madagascar is the world's biggest producer of natural pink sapphires. Prior to the discovery of a cache of the gems in the Madagascar mines in the 1990s, pink sapphires were thought to be extremely rare.
Pink sapphires from Madagascar are more readily available and affordable because of their abundance, but they are still of the highest quality. Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and East Africa all have pink sapphire mines too, although these are not quite as productive.
The provenance of a pink sapphire has no bearing on its price or value, though. That, as is the case for other colored gemstones, will be determined by each stone's cut, clarity and color.
What to Look for in a Pink Sapphire
Intrigued by the idea of a pink sapphire diamond engagement ring? We don't blame you, they can be truly stunning choices, perfect for the bride searching for something that is out of the ordinary and yet still breathtakingly beautiful. But what should you look for - and ask about - when searching for the perfect for your pink sapphire? Here are some of the basics.
As it is the most striking thing about any pink sapphire, color is obviously very important. The hue of ink sapphires ranges from pastel pink to bright magenta. The most valuable pink sapphires have a deep pink color with purple undertones.
While diamonds have a complex, defined color-grading scale, sapphires lack such a system. It's more difficult to compare pink sapphires because of this lack of homogeneity.
Instead, use your best judgment - and your own personal preferences - to determine which pink sapphire appears to you to be the most brilliant and attractive, whether it's a brighter pink or a darker stone. However, in general, the richer the sapphire's hue, the greater the price. However, that's not always the case, as evidenced by far less usual pink sapphires like the padparadscha.
For sapphires, clarity grading is a more generic process than for diamonds, and it has less of an impact on the stone's value.
The inclusions in a diamond are usually examined at 10x magnification by gemologists. Colored gems, on the other hand, are examined in non-magnified conditions. Above all, we examine the gemstone to check if it is "eye-clean" to the naked eye. The more flawless the stone is, the more expensive it is.
However, finding a pink sapphire free of flaws or imperfections is extremely unlikely. Gemologists frequently think that a sapphire has been treated or is a fake if it has no flaws at all and that is often the case.
These flaws, however, often only add to the beauty of the pink sapphire, as is the case for other colored gemstones like emeralds and rubies, which are also gems that are rarely found without flaws.
As is the case for a more usual diamond engagement ring, cut is very important when it comes to the stone for a pink sapphire diamond engagement ring.
However, unlike diamonds, there are no defined cut possibilities for pink sapphires. To highlight a diamond's color and fire, you can choose an "ideal" cut. We depend on the gem cutter to optimize the individual sapphire's distinctive combination of clarity, color, and brightness, as we do with most colored gemstones.
Well-cut sapphires are often symmetrical and reflect the light at the correct angles to boost the stone's shine. If the pink sapphire has a light tone, gem cutters usually use a deeper cut. The deep cut gives the stone a richer, darker appearance. If the sapphire is exceptionally dark, the gem cutter may opt for a shallow cut to allow more light in and brighten the overall appearance of the stone.
The pink sapphire will appear dull and lifeless if it is improperly cut. All of these factors, as well as flaws and imperfections, are taken into account by skilled cutters. Imperfections are more visible in lighter colored stones, but a skilled cutter will often be able to get around such hurdles to make that far less apparent.
You will also need to choose a metal for your pink sapphire diamond engagement ring. Once again, this will primarily be a matter of personal preference. White gold will ensure that the pink sapphire itself and surrounding diamonds really pop and are very noticeable at a glance, which is, if we're honest, is what most brides want.
It's not your only choice, though. Going back to Princess Eugenie's ring, hers is set in Welsh gold. This is a royal tradition, and it's a very rare metal, as it is only found in two small Welsh mines. You can replicate its warm color with rose gold however, and if you want to warm up the cooler tones of a lighter pink sapphire this may be an excellent choice.