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Gemstones Diamond Or Yellow Sapphire

Aug 17, 2007
Yellow sapphires are beautiful gems and price varies as with other gemstones according to color and clarity. A stone fairly free of internal flaws and of an attractive color and "saturation" (deepness) of that color will bring a higher price than a cloudy gem with a faded color. With colored gems of all sorts, it is difficult to specify a particular shade of color, yellow in your case.

As you likely know, the stone blue topaz is available in several shades of blue. The shades and intensity of yellow in sapphires is also quite variable. The best thing to do when getting two or more stones is to ask the jeweler or other supplier to "Match The Stones." You might also want to see a sample of the color.

Most vendors will send a jeweler a selection on "memo", meaning the goods are not invoiced or billed for a period of time. This method allows the customer to see the stones and accept or reject. Some jewelers will charge you shipping for this service but those anticipating a sale of a ring, a diamond or two and labor will often get the stones for you to see at no charge. When you go shopping for the yellow sapphires, it is worth asking if they will obtain stones for you to see before making your decision.

Natural or Treated.I am not opening a can of worms here, rest assured of that. Most colored gems are treated one way or the other to improve the color nature provided. The topaz I mentioned is naturally more the lighter blue color of aquamarine until treated by irradiation. Tanzanite is not the lovely electric blue until it is heat treated.

Most all rubies and sapphires are heat treated to improve the color. Heating to a certain temperature and carefully cooling the stones results in stronger and improved colors, while masking or driving away unwanted tones. Yellow sapphire is available either totally natural as from the earth or heat treated.

Do not consider heat treating a bad thing. This is the standard in the trade for many gems and is the least intrusive of stone treatments and the closest to what nature does. Natural stones of the intense color of heat treated stones do exist but command a higher price if sold as totally natural gems.

Then again, that price is affected by the availability of the treated stones. I doubt you could even start to sell a natural untreated blue topaz. The color is much too pale compared to the irradiated ones on the market today and the darker colors are the "accepted" color for blue topaz! Yellow sapphires are neither so common nor nearly so inexpensive as blue topaz. Yellow sapphire, whether heat treated or not is a wonderful gemstone and the fact that a stone was treated would not affect my purchase one bit. The bottom line is what color do you like and what is available in that color.

"Stone Size". Remember that I said carat is weight and not size. A carat is simply a weight measured on a scale like a gram, an ounce,or pound would be measured. A pound of feathers weights a pound, just like a pound of chocolate candies. But the pound of feathers takes up a lot more space. Feathers are not as dense as chocolates and simply take up more space for the same weight. The same is true with gemstones. A diamond has a specific gravity (a scale of density or compactness of the material) of around 3.52.

A Sapphire has a specific gravity of about 4.00. A Sapphire is heavier. Sapphires will take up less space for the same weight. This is what to keep in mind even if you skip the rest of this paragraph: A 1 carat sapphire will be a tad smaller than a 1 carat diamond of similar proportions. In fact a sapphire of 1 carat is close to the size of a 0.90 carat diamond. The sapphire will be slightly smaller across the top when cut to similar proportions.

Sometimes sapphires are cut deeper than diamonds. This means the stone will be even smaller looking from the top. The reason I mention this is to suggest you shop for a particular "Size" rather than a weight like 1 carat or .75 carats. For your information, a decently cut yellow sapphire of .75 carats is about 5.5 millimeter across the top (round stone). A one carat stone is about 6 mm. A diamond of .75 is about 5.8mm and a 1 carat diamond is right at 6.5mm. The difference is small in visual size but you need to be aware of this.

Price varies some with heat treated and totally natural yellow sapphires, however, the price differences are not great. Competition sees to that as does the fact that most totally natural gems are paler and sometimes carry a greenish tone with the yellow. Please keep in mind the price will vary with clarity, intensity of color and depth of cut. Ask for stones in sizes you want to see, look at the stones and go from there. That is the simple answer and you don't need to worry so much about carat weight but the look you want. What I show are nice gemstones at normal to high retail.

The price may be lower at some retailers:
0.75 carat very nice stone, dark to medium yellow, treated $400/carat
0.75 carat very nice stone, canary yellow to golden, natural 650/carat

0.33 carat to .28 carat, 4mm quality same as above, treated 350-400/carat
0.33 carat to .28 carat, 4mm natural, golden or canary 400-490/carat

These are not expensive gemstones compared to some others and offer the wonderful color and durability of sapphire. Again, please ask for stones of a particular size more than carat weight and get a good look at all of them!

"What Size Stones?" The answer here is totally dependant on the setting you choose. Three stone rings generally will have stones of the approximate proportions between center and sides. That means a three stone ring with a 5.5 mm(.75 carat sapphire) will need 4mm diamonds, or diamonds of about 1/4th carat each if you choose diamond side stones.

I suggest you go to a good jewelry store and ask to see catalogs of ring settings. You can find one, I am certain, suitable for a yellow sapphire of about 3/4 carat with free form shape and multiple side stones. The smaller diamonds and smaller side yellow sapphires will run less money overall compared to going with larger sapphires. A 5 stone ring with side stones might call for a center the size you like and side stones of perhaps 3mm, which is 0.10 carat diamonds and close 0.12 to 0.15 carat sapphires (depending on cut).

Mountings like this of good quality in 14k will run about $200, give or take some dollars for the three stone with 5.5 mm center stone. So many settings styles are out there I hesitate to try and mention other prices. But like I said go to other jewelry stores in your area and talk to them about prices, see if you get the price that you want or around the price that you would like for the kind of style of ring that you would like to have. Don't be scared to talk to them about it and get as much information on the stones, size, color, ect.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.DiamondGems.info/. DiamondGems.info carries the best selection of loose diamonds, diamond rings, and diamond jewelry on the market. Browse through our selection of loose diamonds by size, cut, shape, type, and other features here: http://www.DiamondGems.info/subcategory/loose-diamond.html.
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