Sapphires are some of the most valuable and sought-after jewels on the planet, but which color is the rarest and most valuable?
There are two types of sapphire that claim each individual award. The rarest sapphire is the Padparadscha, an extremely rare pink and orange stone that is stunning to behold. However, the most valuable sapphires are the Kashmir variants, which are blue.
Read on to learn more about these beautiful and rare sapphires, and the price they command.
Blue and Beautiful
Reportedly, the price of sapphires can vary wildly, even more so than most other gemstones. There are many factors that come into play when valuing a sapphire, such as clarity, color, weight, cut, origination, and shape.
In fact, diamonds.pro reports that sapphires can be sold for as little as twenty-five dollars a carat. At the upper end of the spectrum, they’ll fetch a value of around eleven-thousand dollars a carat.
However, depending on the quality of the stone, a fine blue sapphire of around one carat in weight could start at around four-hundred and fifty dollars. This value could climb to around sixteen-hundred dollars, on average.
Allegedly, the ‘big three’ colored jewels hold their value more than any other stone on the planet. The big three include emeralds, rubies, and of course, sapphires.
It’s these blue sapphires that command the highest cost over any other kind of sapphire. They’re traditionally uncovered in Asia and can be found in a diverse range of hues.
They can be anything from a pale sky blue, to deep and dark royal blue. When examining the list of the most valuable sapphires ever sold, it’s clear that they were all blue.
In 2014, a single blue sapphire was sold at auction in Switzerland, fetching a mind-blowing seventeen million dollars. It was affixed to a diamond necklace and weighed almost four hundred carats.
The piece proudly boasted the title, The Blue Belle of Asia. It was uncovered in Ceylon, otherwise known as Sri Lanka, in 1926, passing from owner to owner over the next century.
Really, Really Rare
However, while a blue sapphire commands a dramatically high price, it isn’t the rarest type of sapphire. There is another variant, incredibly rare, and almost never seen in the world of gemstones.
This stone is known as the padparadscha, a super-rare collector’s stone that is uncovered, quite literally, once in a blue moon. It’s a completely different composition to the traditional blue sapphires and boasts a unique orange-pink hue.
Although they can fetch prices of a few thousand dollars per carat, they’re obviously not as expensive as blue sapphire. They’re often asymmetrically cut, and not as ‘beautiful’ as blue sapphire, but they’re still a sight to behold.
Their rarity comes from the locations in which they occur. They can only be found in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Tanzania.
Sri Lanka is obviously well known for its gemstone trade, as is Tanzania. The two countries both boast massive exports of jewels.
In fact, one of the rarest stones in the world originates from the latter – Tanzanite. It’s intensely rare and beautiful, being found in just one place on earth.
Tanzanite is also a very ‘young’ gem, with the first having been found in 1967. They’re quite similar to sapphire in appearance, but they’re valued at a much lower price-per-carat.
The Gemstone Stakes
There have been some incredibly expensive and oversized sapphires sold at auction over the years. It’s a fantastically vibrant market and jewelers all over the world marvel at the beauty of a fine sapphire.
In 2011, a single blue sapphire affixed to a platinum and diamond ring sold for just over three million dollars. It was known as the Rockefeller Sapphire, weighed more than sixty carats, and boasted a storied legacy.
However, the most expensive jewel, even more so than sapphire, is the blue diamond. It’s common knowledge that diamonds are treasured and famed for their durability, but the blue diamond goes even further.
It’s an incredibly rare hue for a diamond and commands seriously high prices at auction. In 2016, a single ‘emerald-cut’ blue diamond sold at auction for almost sixty million dollars.
It was known as The Oppenheimer Blue, and it topped the roster as the most expensive jewel ever sold. The price-per-carat for this diamond was staggeringly high, at around four million dollars per carat.