How to buy a nice gemstone…

I want a 3ct blue sapphire….

Over the years working in jewellery, one of the most common lines I hear is ‘I want a 1.0ct diamond’. Now, I haven’t titled this blog ‘I want a 1ct diamond’ because the market is flooded with those colourless gems (yes, I know they come in numerous colours). Instead, I’ve gone with a sapphire, my favourite gemstone.

What is wrong with the above statement? Well, ‘ct’ (for gemstones) represents weight, carat weight to be exact. So, when we ask for a 3ct sapphire, we could get an 8 x 6mm, we could get a poor cut 10 x 8mm or we could get a fantastically cut 9.0 x 7.0mm (sizes rounded for the sake of this topic). The problem this causes unfortunately is that sapphires are priced similar to diamonds; by colour, clarity, cut and weight, one big factor being weight. Consumers need to readjust their approach. We can’t see weight properly. We can see spread. In fact, if you have a sapphire that has a high carat weight which is deep, not only will this effect the light performance of the stone (how good it looks to the eye), it will have a small spread therefore looking possibly like a 2.0 or 1.0ct stone. A waste of money.

When we buy, we should focus on what we can see and not what we have been told. If you want a sapphire that has a beautiful vibrant blue colour and has a nice size to it, then ask for exactly that. Keeping it simple in the jewellery industry will give you the best results. There is so much on the internet to read that you will give yourself a headache and wind up more confused compared to when you started.

For more advice on this topic, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

George Ojaimi | F.G.A.A. Gemmologist
Lecturer at the Gemmological Association of Australia
Registered NCJV Valuer V0355
Director Jewellery Valuers Melbourne

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