White Sapphires Make a Great Choice

intablogeducation, Engagement Rings, gemstone

For years diamonds have been prized for their natural hardness and beautiful sparkle, luster, and brilliance. In fact, diamonds have been labeled “a girl’s best friend,” but such a magnificent gemstone comes with a hefty price tag. However, after working at INTA Gems, I learned about a great alternative to diamonds…white sapphires. They make a great substitute because of their natural white color, durability, and are conflict-free.

White Sapphire Origin
Unlike other sapphires, white sapphires are considered colorless. There are two major sources of white sapphires. Over 90% of gemstones are heat treated to enhance or improve the color. And big sources of white sapphires are those that have been heat treated. Natural grey to light yellow sapphires have been treated to become clear. Natural sapphires are found in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and in the Western states of America. One of the main contributors of sapphires can be found in Sri Lanka. Another source of white sapphires are synthetic white sapphire. These sapphires are lab grown and tend to be less expensive, because consumers perceive lab-grown gems as inferior.

Why White Sapphires Make a Great Alternative to Diamonds
Diamonds have a hardness rating of 10 out of 10 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale (measures the resistance a stone has to scratching). And stones classified in the corundum family (crystal structure comprised of aluminum oxide that includes sapphires and rubies) have a rating of 9 out of 10, making it extremely hard versus other colored gemstones. Therefore, many choose white sapphires as an alternate engagement ring center stone to a diamond.

Like a diamond, white sapphires can be cut and polished to be extremely brilliant, refracting light in a bright and dynamic way. Although sapphires may not have the same cultural value as diamonds, they provide certainty for being conflict-free and the origin of the gemstone is traceable.

In conclusion, sapphires are perfect replacements for diamonds because they tend to be much less expensive, are very durable, and are perfect for ethically conscious consumers who are concerned about the origin of their diamond. Many consumers worry that they may purchase conflict diamonds. These consumers can avoid political issues by purchasing sapphires instead. Sapphires have been mined in conflict-free zones such as Sri Lanka. It is extremely rare to find naturally colorless sapphires. Therefore, most white sapphires are heat treated to obtain their clear color. Some may also be chemically treated, depending on the quality of the stone and its intended use. Featured in this blog are photos of a marvelous INTA Gems radiant cut white sapphire that weighs 2.71 ct. The stone costs only $950, making it tremendously affordable for its substantial size.

Advice: When selecting a white sapphire, one should search for many of the same traits as a diamond. Look for a sapphire that is cut in a flattering way to create magnificent brilliance and sparkle (like the radiant cut sapphire mentioned earlier). Also choose a white sapphire that is truly clear, without any clouds of coloration. Avoid white sapphires that contain a slight brownish or yellowish tint. And lastly, if size is an issue, look for a reasonably-sized white sapphire to ensure that all your gemstone needs are met.