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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Year of the Sapphire Cinq

I told you I was going to talk about purple sapphires in my next post and this is the beginning of it.  I'm actually going to do two posts on them because I just had this ring of mine come in for a cleaning and I want to talk about this one specifically.

Purple sapphires come in a range of tones of purple ranging from a pinkish purple to a pure purple (what I like to call amethyst colored) to a bluish purple.  Many of the blue/purple sapphires actually exhibit a color change (or as I prefer to refer to it, a color shift) when viewed under different light sources (these are generally the most valuable if the colors are good).  Personally I tend towards the blue/purple sapphires just because I think the color is so interesting.  Either that or the pure purple color tones I find particularly appealing.  I'm less enamored of the pink/purple tones, but that's just a personal thing.  I believe if you want a pink sapphire than get one that screams pink!

Anyway, this ring and stone were purchased from me in 2002.  I believe, if my memory serves me, that the customer had me make up this ring with her diamond in it prior to this and that it was lost.  She decided to use the insurance settlement to get a nice big sapphire instead.  This stone is a 3.85 ct. NATURAL color (*unheated*) bluish purple sapphire.  I sold it to her at the time for $5000 for the stone.  Seven years ago she had me do a new appraisal (at my recommendation since I knew prices had gone up quite a bit) and it appraised out at about $13,000.  Today when she came in for a cleaning she asked for an updated appraisal and the stone is now valued at $20,000.  This is a result of how rare, large, untreated stones have skyrocketed in price in the last decade.  I have talked about this in previous blog posts.

Now before everyone gets too excited, let me throw out a few caveats.   This kind of extreme price increase happened on this stone because of the fact that it is LARGE (almost 4 cts.), UNHEATED and a great color to begin with.  If  you're looking at a stone on your hand that is a half carat sapphire that's pretty ordinary, the value has NOT gone up this much. Also you need to be aware that the appraisal price is a retail replacement price. This is the amount she would need to pay to get an equivalent stone today.  If she wanted to sell the stone, she would get nowhere near this price.  However she would get significantly more than she paid for it back in 2002.  This is actually fairly rare unless you're dealing with exceptional stones and that includes when you're talking about diamonds.

I don't ever sell or recommend jewelry or gems as an investment vehicle. But every once in awhile it can happen that you make a good purchase.  It's a good reason to always buy the best possible quality available and as large a piece as you can afford.

More on purple sapphires in my next article.