16

Sep.

White Sapphires vs Diamonds for Wedding and Engagement Rings

By Calla Gold

Cushion Cut Diamond in a Halo Setting

That Diamond Just Sparkles!

White Sapphires vs Diamonds?

I could make a case for setting white sapphires in wedding and engagement rings. Then again, I could make a much stronger case for using diamonds.

Both white sapphires and diamonds are rare and valuable and each is steeped in rich history. They’re both great gems. However only of these gemstones is suitable for wedding rings.

Many Colors of Diamonds

Many Colors of Sapphires

White, Blue, & Yellow Sapphires—and Rubies: They’re All Corundums!

White sapphires are corundums—the same gem family as blue sapphires and rubies. That’s right! Chemically, they’re all aluminum oxides. It’s the different trace elements in each that give them their unique hue.

In fact, depending on those tiny amounts of other elements, corundums come in just about every color of the rainbow. Chromium gives rubies their red color. With blue sapphires, it’s iron and titanium. Pure corundum—white sapphire—without any trace elements, however, is colorless!

Diamonds and Sapphires;  Hardness vs. Durability

Although diamonds are four times harder than sapphires, they’re not necessarily as chip resistant. It all has to do with their crystalline structure. Don’t worry, I’m not going to put you to sleep with the gory scientific details.

Even Very Old Diamonds Still Sparkle!

Even Very Old Diamonds Still Sparkle!

Sapphires can be scratched and abraded. With diamonds, this practically never happens. For this reason, diamonds rarely, if ever, require re-polishing.

Soap, water, and an old toothbrush used on an old diamond will usually make it look as good as new. (Note: the gold or platinum setting will still need to be professionally cleaned and polished to bring the whole ring back to its original shine.)

On the other hand, because of their crystalline structure, diamonds actually chip easier than sapphires. Some say sapphires are tougher. So don’t expect to see chips on sapphires. Do expect scratches.

In my personal experience of having done many wedding ring repairs over the years, I have observed that though diamonds do chip, sapphires are more prone to damage. They scratch and abrade easily. Sapphires end up needing a lot more repair with re-polishing and re-cutting topping the list.

This is yet another reason that I prefer diamond to white sapphire for a marriage gemstone choice.

Fire, Shine and Pizzazz;  or Light Refraction

Light Dispersion and Light Refraction Chart

Light Dispersion and Light Refraction Chart

Refraction is the phenomenon of light entering a gemstone and bouncing back out.

Reflection is the phenomenon light bouncing off its surface.

Diamonds refract more light than white sapphires by far and therefore, show more fire, color, and brilliance. This is in great part the source of their value.

Diamonds are valued for their fire, shine, and pizzazz. Sapphires are valued for their color. Except, for white sapphires which have no color!

The best way to compare the two gems is to look at them side by side. Assuming they’re similarly sized and both of equal quality, the diamond will show more colors and the contrast between the internal facets will be more pronounced.

An Emerald Cut White Sapphire, Showing its Colorlessness and Lack of Fire

An Emerald Cut White Sapphire, Showing its Colorlessness and Lack of Fire

What Difference Does This Make? So White Sapphires Aren’t as Sparkly!

It makes a great deal of difference. Your wedding and engagement rings will be worn daily. That means they’ll get dirty.

You seriously will not be cleaning them daily. Diamonds with their superior refraction, glitter and sparkle wonderfully, even when they are dirty. I love that.

However white sapphires, when they get dirty, lose that little bit of refraction they had. They end up looking like a cloudy piece of glass. Or a really bad diamond.

The Bottom Line

Calla Gold Jewelry pink sapphire heart gem engagement ring

Heart Engagement Ring with a Vibrant Pink Sapphire.

If you want color in your engagement or wedding ring, by all means look at sapphires. They come in just about every color you can think of, they’re very durable, and they’re great for everyday wear. But if  you really  want a clear stone, get a diamond!

Your Personal Jeweler,

Calla Gold

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128 Responses to “White Sapphires vs Diamonds for Wedding and Engagement Rings”

Dr. Lynn K. Jones September 16th, 2013 at 4:18 pm


Thanks for the great information, Calla. I realize that I am very uninformed on the attributes of different gemstones, which is why I really appreciate your knowledge of jewelry and trust your expertise when it comes to advising me on all my jewelry needs!
Appreciatively,
Lynn

Calla Gold September 16th, 2013 at 5:56 pm


Hello Dr. Lynn,
It is such a pleasure to share gem knowledge with people who love gems. I’m pretty besotted with them myself!
Calla Gold

Kyre Adept September 18th, 2013 at 7:32 pm


Useful article Calla. From the spiritual aspect the only other difference worth considering is that in Vedic astrology, white sapphire is the best Venus stone, encouraging receptivity and pleasure.
Diamond is also a Venus stone, but according to spiritual thought, wearing it on the left ring finger is too hard an energy for most people. It should rather be worn on the middle finger. So, given that white Venus stones are unhappy on the left ring finger, it’s better to have a ‘lesser’ stone as an engagement ring. Of course, this is a minority report!
Dr. Kyre

Calla Gold September 19th, 2013 at 5:36 am


Hi Dr. Kyre,
Thank you for weighing in with the Vedic Astrology view on white sapphires and diamonds. That is fascinating.
Calla Gold

Linda Menesez September 23rd, 2013 at 2:06 pm


Your knowledge of the different attributes of gemstones you work with is amazing, Calla! When we put your knowledge and your outstanding creativity together, your clients are in very good hands!

Linda

Calla Gold September 23rd, 2013 at 4:59 pm


I’m blushing! Thank you Linda!
Calla Gold

Linda Havlik September 25th, 2013 at 9:35 am


Calla, You are a wealth of information on jewelry. The science of jewelry? I’m digging learning it. You made finding out about the difference between white sapphire and diamond interesting. I never thought about it…until now. YOU ROAR!

Calla Gold September 25th, 2013 at 4:44 pm


Hi Linda,
I kinda geek out on the science and love it. Thanks so much for your comment!
Calla Gold

Calla Gold September 25th, 2013 at 4:46 pm


Hello Lisa,
I’m so happy to write something you’ve enjoyed! Come again!
Calla Gold

Lisa Darsonval September 25th, 2013 at 11:51 am


I actually had no idea that there was such a thing as a white sapphire, but like you said- sapphires are valued for their color. Like Dr. Jones, I appreciate that you share your knowledge with us in a way that is not dull so everyone can understand. Thank you for always bringing something new to the table Calla!
Lisa

Jennifer Watson September 25th, 2013 at 7:12 pm


I love diamond for rings but white sapphire is good alternative too. Both gemstones are perfectly fine with me. They had this unique beauty that one would totally fall in love.

Calla Gold September 25th, 2013 at 7:57 pm


Hi Jennifer,
White sapphire are pretty, as you say. However for a daily wear gemstone they look cloudy. This is because your daily wear gemstone gets dirty and you’re not going to clean it daily. It will look like a poor quality diamond. That is why I don’t recommend white sapphires as engagement ring gemstones.
Calla Gold

Chacho October 22nd, 2013 at 8:22 am


Dear Calla,

While you don’t recommend white sapphires in an engagement ring, would you recommend them in an earring set for a 1 year anniversary gift?

Chaco

Calla Gold October 22nd, 2013 at 5:29 pm


Hi Chaco,
I’d definitely recommend them for earrings. White sapphires make great earrings.
Thanks for asking,
Calla

Ashley November 5th, 2013 at 9:22 am


Hi, you might have a typo in the first paragraph, I think. Isn’t saphire one p?

“However only one of these gemstones is suitable for wedding rings.” I guess diamond wins. I really didn’t think about the fact that when your gems are dirty that’s when you really see the difference.

Great info!
Ashley

Calla Gold November 5th, 2013 at 6:31 pm


Hi Ashley,
Sapphire actually does have two p’s. I don’t know why.
Thanks for your opinion!
Calla

Georgette Reader December 31st, 2013 at 8:06 am


Hi Calla Gold,
I’m a corundum girl through and through. I have been married 7 months and have not yet purchased a ring…because I’m afraid I’ll wish I’d made the “other” choice. As far as sapphires go, I think it must be in my blood. My mother wears a gorgeous white star Sapphire (which I’ve been told is actually a blue star), and my daughter just got married in June with a very impressive 3.4 carat un-included oval yellow. I love rubies, but the corundum connection is rarely made, so I don’t want that. It’s between padparadscha and color-change, neither of which I know much about. Do you have any pointers for me as far as most desirable, valuable, durable, etc.
Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to offer.
George Reader

Calla Gold December 31st, 2013 at 8:57 am


Hello Ms. Reader,
Thanks for writing. I love the vividness of the orange padparadscha, and that you knew how to spell it! I also like color change sapphire. My recommendation is to pick a vivid color whichever you choose. The more delicate colors when they get dirty don’t look as nice as a full of vivid color sapphire.
I’d hold each gem between the fingers to check how the hue compliments your skin tone. Hold your hand parallel to the ground with your fingers together and lay the gem between two finger. I’m speaking not of the palm of your hand but the back of your hand.
One gem or the other will just make your hand look better as it relates to your skin tone. Choose that one.
Value-wise both fine padparadscha and fine color change sapphire (blue-purple) cost a good bit as neither one is terribly common.
This is a great article about padparadscha, how it got its name and more:
http://www.ruby-sapphire.com/padparadscha-sapphire.htm
When I help my clients I go out and physically look at gemstones. I don’t memorize prices of gems as there are so many colors, qualities and sizes.
Since both of the gems you are considering are both in the corundum family they should be equally strong. Corundum is 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The Mohs scale is not 1 for 1 from one number to the next. See this explanation of the scale:
http://chemistry.about.com/od/geochemistry/a/mohsscale.htm
From a desirability point of view, the bluey purple of color change is the hot color of the year 2014. But that’s other people’s viewpoint. Get the color you connect with best.
Hope this helped.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

David Leslie February 25th, 2014 at 12:56 pm


Hi Calla. Great info on this post. I was interested in learning more about white sapphires, googled it, and your site called out to me from all the search results. You certainly do make a great claim that a diamond is better for engagement than a white sapphire,
“They end up looking like a cloudy piece of glass. Or a really bad diamond”, that’s just about all the convincing one needs right there.

Calla Gold February 25th, 2014 at 4:47 pm


Dear David,
Gosh I love to be quoted! Thanks for your response. How nice to hear that Google is sharing me on this question!
Diamond Jeweler,
Calla Gold

michelle March 10th, 2014 at 11:40 am


I am looking at purchasing a fire opal with white sapphires circling the stone. Will the white sapphires stand up to the fire opal?? And what is your take on the fire opal?? The fire opal and the tanzanian ruby are my favorite gems.

Calla Gold March 11th, 2014 at 9:54 am


Hi Michelle,
As long as your white sapphires stay clean they should look good. However when dirty they will lack luster and look like bad diamonds. That is the problem with clear gemstones that are not diamonds, people look at them expecting them to look like diamond and they do not.
As far as the look with the opal it depends on the level of fire the opal gives.
You could email me a picture if you’d like my opinion.
I think if the opal is just medium firey that the white sapphire wouldn’t look out of place.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Darnell March 20th, 2014 at 9:48 pm


Dear Calla Gold,

Me and my lover decided to use the white sapphire AAAA plus. What the difference between a diamond and the sapphire we picked? We are not exchanging rings for our engagement, we are using bracelets meaning a circle of love. We feel that diamonds are a girls best friend. And how do you feel about The emerald cut black fancy and the great black fancy.

Looking forward from hearing from you.

Calla Gold March 21st, 2014 at 6:41 am


Hello Darnell,
Congratulations to you and your lover on your plans to marry.
Regarding your question about AAAA plus white sapphire, the color quality of whiteness and clarity do not change the fact that as a daily wear ring, this gemstone will spend most of its life looking like like a bit dull version of a diamond.
White sapphire cannot refract light like a diamond does. (Unlike reflection that reflects light off the surface, refraction is light bouncing back from inside the gemstone, which is the cherished and celebrated “sparkle” we seek.) So when your sapphire gemstone gets oils and dirt and hard water deposits on it, it will not refract light well. This differs from a diamond which will refract light even when dirty. That is diamonds killer attribute. That is the reason that diamond has retained its popularity for so long. There just isn’t a fine gemstone that will sparkle like a diamond in a daily wear ring.
As to lasting gemstones, since sapphires are not as strong as diamond the facets will wear over time creating a dullness that cleaning cannot fix.
As far as black sapphires go, I do design with them, but I use black diamonds in wedding rings since they are worn daily. Black diamond and black sapphire have only reflection for sparkle since they are visually opaque. Diamonds being stronger keep their neat facets. Sapphire facet junctions wear down over time leaving them unable to even reflect light and looking very poor.
For non-everyday rings, I like black sapphires very much.
I hope I have answered your excellent questions well.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Darnell March 21st, 2014 at 10:08 am


What is the difference between white sapphire with AAAA plus and diamonds.

Atlanta diamonds March 22nd, 2014 at 4:58 am


Hello Calla, I search about white sapphires on Googled about them many times. But the knowledge you share here is extraordinary.This comment comes after much research and interest in gems. It is very true that diamond is always the better choice than white sapphire, especially for that pretty girl who is going to become engaged.

Calla Gold March 22nd, 2014 at 5:50 am


Dear Atlanta,
I really appreciate that as part of your Google research on gem choices for wedding rings you came by my blog. You and I agree that diamond is the better choice.
Please come visit again sometime!
California Jeweler,
Calla

Darnell March 23rd, 2014 at 10:31 am


Dear Calla

Your the only one I can talk to that make since about GEMS where I can understand it. and I thank you. One question what is the different between Heated an un-heated gems.

Thank you

Calla Gold March 24th, 2014 at 9:30 am


Hi Darnell,
Many people want beautiful gemstones. In their natural right out of the ground state, perfect color and clarity can be rare in the colors people really want.
Years ago gem cutters who experimented anyway with the best cuts started exploring how heat would effect the mined gems they had. After all mother earth created her beautiful colorful gem bounty with heat and pressure. When experiments were done it was found that in many cases that final step of heating a gemstone permanently improved the color.
Heating gemstones has become a common practice for certain gems. Especially ruby and sapphire.
The difference shows in a deeper color usually.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Atlanta Diamond March 25th, 2014 at 2:56 am


Dear Calla

Thanks for replying to my comment. I am really impressed with your blog. I always prefer diamond to CZ, white sapphire or white topaz as it looks very good on any woman.I really think you are on an excellent track and your research shared helps a lot of grooms to be to give a beautiful gift that’ll last a lifetime to their companion. If someone is made for me then I will give her the best diamond ring.

Calla Gold March 26th, 2014 at 7:13 am


Atlanta,
Thank you for your return visit.
Calla Gold

Olen April 28th, 2014 at 1:54 am


Who would expect a jeweler to recommend a sapphire over a much more expensive diamond? I’m not sure that you can call this article and opinion an unbiased source of info.

Calla Gold April 28th, 2014 at 7:27 pm


Hi Olen,
Thank you for visiting. You are right that diamond is a lot more expensive than white sapphire. It is also more durable, sparkles more when dirty and lasts a lot longer. It’s true diamond is more expensive, but there are advantages that diamond offers for a daily wear ring that sapphire cannot match.
Who better to give that opinion than a jeweler who repairs wedding and engagement rings and sees what gems hold up and what ones need replacement or disappoint their owners?
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Melissa April 29th, 2014 at 12:14 pm


Hi Calla,
Thank you for a very informative post. I have both diamond and white sapphire wedding sets. I bought the white sapphire set because my finger swells 2 sizes so I wanted something that I could wear when my diamonds don’t fit and that I wouldn’t be devastated if I lose. I haven’t owned the white sapphire set long enough to see it get dirty and dull yet but I now wear it more than I wear my diamond set. I fell in love it so much that I bought a matching bracelet, necklace, and earrings. I don’t wear it daily, only when I go out (I don’t wear jewelry in the house and I work from home). There’s just something about their sparkle that seems “clean” to me.
So my question to you is, if I take it in to be cleaned every 4-6 months, will they last long?
Thanks in advance.

Calla Gold April 30th, 2014 at 5:45 am


Hi Melissa,
Having your white sapphire wedding rings cleaned professionally every six months will help to retain their sparkle and beauty. The fact that you aren’t wearing them daily will make their beauty last. I’m glad you have jewelry you are so pleased with.
Santa Barbara Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Rachel June 20th, 2014 at 8:13 am


Hey Calla,

Which stone, in your opinion, would be best for a promise ring?

Calla Gold June 20th, 2014 at 8:44 am


Hi Rachel,
I have sold a number of promise rings. In all cases the gem chosen was diamond. Many of them were super tiny, but we made sure they were good sparkly ones.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Rebeca July 5th, 2014 at 6:41 am


Calla Gold,

Im am very grateful that you choose to share your knowledge with me. I was considering a blue sapphire as an engagement ring, but for everyday wear I would enjoy a clear stone more. So who wouldn’t love a diamond with all it’s light refraction glory? However, when the cost of a ring almost matches the price of throwing a wedding, I thought it was worth considering other options. Then I stumbled upon Moissanite. What is your stance on this lab created stone?

Calla Gold July 7th, 2014 at 6:07 pm


Hi Rebeca,
Thanks for your question. I do approve of moissanite. Here is the link to my blog post about moissanite as an engagement gem:
http://www.callagold.com/wedding-rings/moissanite-for-your-engagement-ring/
Having a clear gem is a really nice choice as long as it sparkles! And moissanite will sparkle.
Hope that helps!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Patti July 21st, 2014 at 12:24 pm


I recently bought a ring (blue topaz surrounded by white sapphires) while vacationing in the Bahamas. I didn’t realize there was such a thing as white sapphires, so I took the word of the salesman. After a couple of days of wear, the blue topaz seemed to get a black cloud in it and yes, the sapphires became dull. Does it sound as though I got ripped off? And how do I clean it?
Thanks for any help you can give me.

Calla Gold July 21st, 2014 at 7:14 pm


Hi Patti,
Have you been ripped off? That is a great question.
I personally think that jewelry manufacturers shouldn’t make fine jewelry with white sapphires. People don’t know that white sapphires look dull as dirt the minute they get dirty. Since we are conditioned by looking at diamonds to want clear gemstones to sparkle prettily, when white sapphires, not much of a sparkly stone to begin with, get dull and dirty they look especially bad.
I do not know what you paid for this ring so I cannot pass judgement. Your blue topaz which is probably just dirty will look better when dirty any day than white sapphire will.
I feel that had you known how disappointing white sapphire was as an accent gemstone you wouldn’t have bought that ring.
I feel you unknowingly tripped into a very disappointing purchase. I do hope you didn’t pay too dearly for this ring.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Frank September 28th, 2014 at 10:18 am


Calla,

I am thinking about getting a blue sapphire engagement ring instead of a diamond because my lover wants something different, What are the disadvantages of having the blue sapphire instead of a diamond? I am concern about scratches and other damages to the gem.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

Calla Gold September 29th, 2014 at 8:42 am


Hello Frank,
Thank you for writing. I think blue sapphire is a nice alternative to diamond. It is stronger than many other colored gemstones. It will scratch more easily than a diamond, but certainly not as much as an emerald, amethyst or tanzanite.
I think blue topaz in a vivid color is an excellent choice.
Here’s an engagement ring I made recently with a sapphire:
https://www.facebook.com/callagoldjewelry/photos/pb.276561805413.-2207520000.1412005070./10154384680330414/?type=3&theater
Corundum, the gem family of sapphire is 9 on the Mohs scale.
Read about that hardness and the scale in this blog post:
http://www.callagold.com/wedding-rings/white-topaz-vs-diamond-engagement-ring/
I hope this helped.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Mauris November 19th, 2014 at 9:35 pm


Diamonds are not rare.

Calla Gold November 20th, 2014 at 6:35 am


Hello Mauris,
Your comment is short and true. My point is that diamonds are the most sparkly and beautiful. Here is an article on whether or not diamonds are rare from the Gem Society:
http://www.gemsociety.org/article/are-diamonds-really-rare/
Thank you for coming by the blog and joining the conversation Mauris.
Diamond Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Ian November 23rd, 2014 at 12:03 pm


Calla,
I would love to buy a diamond engagement ring but at this time my budget doesnt allow for something i consider ‘worth it’ as far as diamonds go, I don’t want to give my girlfriend a ring with a tiny 1/4ct diamond and I do not want to wait any longer before proposing. Do you think a white sapphire ring would make a good ‘temporary’ engagement ring until I am able to afford something I know we will both be happy with?

Calla Gold November 23rd, 2014 at 8:23 pm


Hi Ian,
I’d recommend a colored sapphire, like blue or pink. The reason being that when it gets dirty it’s a bold color and will look nice. A clear white sapphire which looks like it’s trying to look like a diamond, just ends up when dirty looking like a bad diamond.
If a diamond isn’t in the cards for you for now, don’t put off the proposal, just choose a more vivid center gem.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Gabrielle December 7th, 2014 at 9:34 pm


Hello! Very interesting article.
I always wanted a diamond but I also love sapphires and just recently I stumbled after the fact that sapphires come in other color than blue. Then I fell in love with the peach/champagne pink color. It’s so soft and feminine. (Also why I prefer pink gold!) but then I’m now worried about sapphires getting dirty. My question is, is there a product you can recommand to wash it at home, or is there a color equivalent for diamonds? What would it be called?

Calla Gold December 8th, 2014 at 8:04 am


Hi Gabrielle,
The more vivid a color you choose for your center gem the less the dulling of the gemstone through daily wear will be problematic. The lighter and paler the gem, the more this will be a problem.
Sapphires are harder than morganite which may be another gemstone on your radar.
As far as gem-cleaning goes if you opt for a sapphire with side diamonds you could clean it in a home ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Not all gemstones are safe in an ultrasonic cleaner. I talk more about home jewelry cleaning in this article:
http://www.callagold.com/jewelry-education/professional-jewelry-cleaning-steps-and-home-jewelry-cleaning/
Alas, I don’t know of a peachy color equivalent to diamond.
Thank you for writing and I hope that helped.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

kevin February 16th, 2015 at 11:07 am


Would you recommend moissanite since it has a hardness of 9.5 on the mohs hardness scale as a temporary stone if folks cannot afford a good size diamond for an engagement ring?

Calla Gold February 17th, 2015 at 9:19 pm


Hi Kevin,
I do recommend moissanite for an engagement ring. Here’s my blog post about it:
http://www.callagold.com/wedding-rings/moissanite-for-your-engagement-ring/
I appreciate your question and hope you’ll come again!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Manasa March 2nd, 2015 at 8:09 am


Dear Clara,

I am from. Bangalore, India. Was searching for the difference between white sapphire and diamond and landed on your website. Thank you for sharing the information. I was looking at white sapphire around 2 to 3 carat to be set in 14 carat yellow gold BT when I saw the white sapphire at few shop, I was disappointed since they looked like “Quartz” crystal, totally transparent and would cost my half the price of a 50 cent diamond solitaire. Decided to save more money and then but a round cut solitaire. I would prefer diamonds over white sapphire any day for a daily wear.

White sapphire was suggested by my astrologer to be worn on middle finger. It is believed that White Sapphire, Opal and diamonds represent Venus. So I bought a white Opal as a substitute. But the stone is too soft, hardness of mere 7 for a daily wear. But I loved the hues it emit, than the white sapphire.

Could you advise white sapphire of high quality? If it could be worn as a pendant in sterling silver or gold. Appreciate your response.

Regards,
Manasa

Calla Gold March 2nd, 2015 at 11:51 am


Hello Manasa,
Thank you for writing. I believe a nice quality white sapphire would make a beautiful pendant. It would look well in gold or sterling silver.
Thanks for sharing your gemstone adventures.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Geraldene Smith March 21st, 2015 at 5:39 am


Hi,i have been left in a will a single stone ring set in 18ct gold with platinum shoulders. One jeweller told me it was a sapphire nearly 4cts,another said it was glass.It is quite an old one.How do you tell the difference please?
Kind Regards Geraldene

Calla Gold March 21st, 2015 at 8:34 am


Hi Geraldene,
Thanks for asking your question. Generally it is difficult to tell glass from sapphire from just a visual inspection. One telltale of probably glass is if there are many tiny chipped away bits on the facet junctions. Sapphire is stronger than glass and tends to abrade rather than chip. These are the cues I use visually to make a guess at what the gem material is.
To know for sure I’ll go to one of my appraiser friends. They have a machine called a refractometer. It measures the light refracting of light from the gemstone. I explain refraction as different from reflection in this post:
http://www.callagold.com/wedding-rings/white-topaz-vs-diamond-engagement-ring/
This refractometer in measuring light return, will tell you with no doubt what the gem material is. A visual guess will not tell you for sure what it is.
As the appraiser if they have a refractometer. I say this because some jewelers seem to suggest that they are appraisers when they are not. Their opinion would be just that. An opinion. You want a scientifically based answer.
If the appraiser does have a refractometer, ask what the cost is to check your stone. Hopefully they will offer a low price for what is a fairly quick check.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Manasa March 25th, 2015 at 9:13 pm


Dear Calla,

Sorry for my typo in the earlier comment. Thank you for your kind response. I was looking up google images for White Sapphire rings and loved the emerald and octagon cut. But I already wear a Zambian Emerald which is an Emerald cut. I enquired at a few shops and was advised that the White sapphires are available in round or emerald cut. Whereas, Diamonds are the available in any shape such as pear or heart shape. Is this true?

Kinds Regards,
Manasa

Calla Gold March 27th, 2015 at 8:51 am


Hello Manasa,
I have found that there are more shapes available in diamond because the demand is so high. If you look at many suppliers you’ll find more shape choices for white sapphire. If you go through a gem cutter then you can get any shape you want. I work with a gem cutter so many times I can get the shape and size I need for a custom job in whatever gemstone type I am working on.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla Gold

Manasa March 28th, 2015 at 12:40 pm


Dear Calla,
I do not know any gem cutter here and saw the white sapphires at few shops. I ordered a White Sapphire 2.4 carat today made in a silver ring and it cost me 800 $ for octagon cut, looks very similar to emerald cut but the edges are not sharp. 800 $ for 2.4 carat isn’t bad you say?

Regards,
Manasa

Calla Gold March 29th, 2015 at 6:20 pm


Hello Manasa,
Are you speaking of American dollars? If so it sounds expensive to me.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

angela owen April 4th, 2015 at 6:39 pm


i am looking to get a flush set stone in a sterling band to wear when i work. i am scared to damage my platinum and diamond set. would you recommend sapphire or topaz?

Calla Gold April 5th, 2015 at 7:01 am


Hi Angela,
I’d go with sapphire which is the harder of the two gemstones.
Calla

Barbara April 16th, 2015 at 8:28 pm


Hi Calla,
Thank you so much for your clarification of an issue that had been puzzling me! I buy some jewelry from tv on 30 day approval, and always wash my hands for at least two days before deciding to buy a ring. I had always noticed my diamonds sparkling even when dirty, but e.g. white topaz quickly becoming cloudy. I also wondered if the surface of diamond might shrug off soap/detergent deposits more easily? Also I notice my one zircon solitaire keeps very clean. A question-my best friend is very into csarite, a very new so called colour change gem. Her stone seems very sparkly and I wondered if you happen to know if this gemstone is also very internally refractive. Thanks again for such an informative website. I must have a look at your designs! I always say each purchase is the last, but know I will be buying again in a matter of days. Do you think jewellery can become an addiction? But what else-in terms of a purchase- gives such lasting pleasure? I love earrings and rings best. You see earrings every time you check your make up, and you see rings almost all the time as you type etc. You helped me decide to choose a one carat marquise diamond-my partner and I are celebrating 20 years together this year.

Calla Gold April 17th, 2015 at 6:14 am


Dear Barbara,
I like your gem testing method, it separates the nicely refractive gemstones from the poor performers. And really no matter how pretty a gemstone sparkles under pretty lights when clean, the acid test is how does it look when real life intrudes? That is why I love diamonds. They will sparkle beautifully in spite of dishwashing, gardening, and all the daily indignities of using our hands in a variety of ways.
You asked about csarite from Turkey. I thought you might enjoy this National Jeweler article about it:
http://www.nationaljeweler.com/colored-stones/market-developments/Inside-the-Csarite-M-5172.shtml
On the refractive index csarite is measured at 1.7 – 1.75 with diamond at 2.4. Topaz is 1.6 to 1.64 for comparison.
For the record I never say never when I buy a piece of jewelry. I know that there will always be another design to love in my future and I love my today jewelry and look forward to the next piece. I call my jewelry a collection. If you are a collector then there are no limits and you don’t have to feel funny about your passion.
See one of my early blog posts, “You’re Not a Packrat, You’re a Jewelry Collector”:
http://www.callagold.com/custom-jewelry-design/you%E2%80%99re-not-a-jewelry-packrat-you%E2%80%99re-a-jewelry-collector/
Congratulations on twenty years and your beautiful marquis diamond!
You sound like great fun I hope you’ll come again.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

sangeeta savla April 23rd, 2015 at 8:15 am


thank you calla your article is superb , its got just the right information and at the same time not lengthy or boring . i loved reading it

Calla Gold April 24th, 2015 at 6:10 am


Hi Sangeeta,
Yay! It’s not boring! I love hearing that. As one of my goals I want to keep it simple and useful and not be boring.
Thank you for letting me know you loved it. Music to my blogger’s ears!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Barbara April 24th, 2015 at 5:37 pm


Hello again Calla,
Thank you so much for the article on csarite you forwarded to me, I’m still digesting the info. Do you think-as I’ve heard-that it will rise sharply in price? And what is your view on tanzanite as an investment? Do you agree with opinion that it isn’t an investment unless you bought heavily in the 1990’s?

Also, what do you think of Kunzite? Am I right it’s the so-called Tiffany diamond? I know it’s called the evening diamond; I think Jackie Kennedy was bought one by her husband, just before he died, and it became inseparable from her. Mine is the palest apple blossom pink. The company I bought from, Gems, actually makes what are, as far as I can see, false claims, that it literally phosphoresces, and literally glows in the dark. I spoke to a gems expert who said they shouldn’t say that, as the Kunzite only does that under ultra violet light. So I feel a bit mis-sold, but, I have to notice, that in the low light of our living room lit only by quite dim side lights, it really does glow brighter than my best marquise diamond. (Though it definitely doesn’t glow in the dark!) I’d be interested in your views-also on Morganite.

Re csarite, I don’t completely understand why my closest friend is so in love with csarite-but she is, and as I love her, I’m trying to understand and “get into it” too. I do think it is the closest colour to what I imagine gold would be in gem form-far more so than e.g. citrine. That IS interesting. I ordered a stack of them to try to get enthusiastic about investing, as I do think they most likely will go up in value-but I returned them all. The owner of Gems, Steve Bennet, sent a gift of csarite to our Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles’ wife. What an excellent PR move! In no time, it was getting around how much Camilla liked it, and then apparently celebs started wearing it. So I think prices will rise-but would value your view.
The largest carat weight stone of the rings I ordered did show some colour change, the smaller stones not. Trouble was, it changed between colours, none of which I was especially interested in! I don’t like peridot (it’s personal) so I don’t like the so called “kiwi” flashes. I don’t like the khaki base colour though as I say it can look like liquid yellow gold a bit. But then, why not just have yellow gold? There might be a faint hint of aqua, but it’s a greyish aqua-unless I haven’t seen a big enough carat weight. Then there’s the hint of raspberry-but again, not a colour I value. In any case, diamond has every colour, in their purest form, as highly refractive light, and in dazzling intensity under strong light. I can’t get into anything as much as diamond at present, and have felt the same since I was a little girl, though then all I’d seen in the way of colourless stones were aurora crystal and my mother’s diamond engagement ring. I still feel both of those are special, even crystal!

May I ask, if it’s not unacceptable to name names, if you know about a South African shop called Browns? My friend dragged me there before I committed to my marquise in a local shop. I must say, I was very impressed by the brilliance of their diamonds, apparently their cut is way above average-and it really really shows. I have a fairly low value 1.4 carat solitaire-(bright enough-and you have to start somewhere-you don’t go straight from not owning diamonds to big and top grade diamonds in one step, unless you are very well off) and the Brown’s diamonds made it look like cloudy glass! I was mortified! The new marquise I mentioned, did hold it’s own in that shop last time I visited, but it all got me thinking, and I found an article about investment grade diamonds.

I don’t trust banks anymore since we had a run on a bank here in the UK, and the various other financial scandals eg the crash in 2010 which mercifully self corrected-but might not have! And now, we will shortly have faster-than-light algorithmic trading, due to a hollow cable that is being laid under the ocean, with a vacuum inside it that will allow trading many times per second, at speeds that terrify. Who can regulate the geniuses that make these deals? And who can feel safe if money is held in a bank?
I prefer commodities to cash in banks, consequently, but they do go up and down and test your nerves.
The article I cite, says investment grade diamonds seldom lose value and most likely increase, worst-case scenario is you get your initial investment back. I can’t say that of my commodity investments (though we don’t see the commensurate losses in cash, due to how the system works they are concealed).
I wish I had done more research on diamonds instead of commodities. Still we can’t be too hard on ourselves for decisions made in fear (in 2008).

I would love to know your views on investment grade diamond investing. Of course the love of the stone is primary, but, why not put savings into a thing you already love, and can trust, and can even wear? Bricks and mortar and diamonds do it for me, as far as investing goes. Though it would be nerve racking to have investment diamonds in your house, and did you hear of the recent raid on a safe/vault in Hatton Garden, London’s gem and gem storage district? So where could you store them? What are your views?
Thanks again for the great site,
Barbara.

Calla Gold April 25th, 2015 at 7:29 am


Hi Barbara,
My area of expertise is de-mystifying jewelry custom design, repair of jewelry, re-purposeing and re-designing of older, old boyfriend or inherited jewelry.
I personally do not invest to have a place to put cash into gemstones. If I did however I’m a fan of very vivid with strong blue hues tanzanites. They only come from one place in the world. The vivid larger ones are getting more scarce. To buy right you’d want to create a relationship with someone who goes to the mine or is close to the source. If you buy one at a store there is mark-up involved between the mine and you that could be quite significant.
However if you show yourself to be a collector and work with a gemologist who specializes in unusual gems and caters to other collectors you can create a relationship where you can get fairer prices.
I have a number of clients who buy gems for investment from television stations devoted to this. I have seen some very not investment grade gemstones. It can be uncomfortable to have someone show me their gem collection and see commercial quality, read not great, and be expected to say something nice.
Buying smart involves probably a team, you, your research, a disinterested party who is knowledgable about gems, in other words someone who isn’t making money by selling gems to you, but will tell you the value and advise you. Perhaps this would be a gem specializing appraiser that you find yourself. You’d pay that person for their expertise.
If you bought one of the gems you mentioned have this appraiser tell you the scarcity of the quality you’ve chosen and if it is a very high quality example of that gemstone.
You will have to decide if you love it enough that even if it barely increases in value you’d still want to own it.
I’d avoid investing in diamonds because they are not scarce. They are available in Australia, Russia, Canada and other places. There are a lot of diamonds in this world and a there is a lot to know about them before successfully investing in them. I love diamonds, don’t get me wrong but if I had money to invest I’d get a premium color and clarity ruby above 5 carats, that is a gem that will surely increase in value.
That said that’s me and it’s not my passion and what I spend my time on.
I am unfamiliar with the store you mention. I find the czarite to be a color I don’t like. So it wouldn’t be a get to hold onto.
My problem with kunzite is that the color is naturally unstable and fades with time.
If I did invest in gems I would keep them at a band in a safety deposit box. Perhaps you hoped I’d say something more fun than in a safe behind a picture in my home or in a false space in my desk drawer. That does sound way more fun, but I’d go plain vanilla on keeping my valuables.
And for the record before you freak out about where the world is going, the super rich power brokers don’t benefit from a broken economy, they may make it creak, but I doubt they’ll make it fall. I give little thought to the high speed trading and it’s freak out potential. There’s nothing I can do about it, but know it goes on and cross my fingers and hope we don’t experience high-speed-trade-geddon!
Me I’ll be happily designing wedding rings here in Santa Barbara, loving the beach and running into happy couples I’ve made bridal jewelry for and marveling at their kids and loving growing life.
Thank you for writing to me. Good luck in your investing. Pick fantastic quality examples of the gems you choose and love their awesome beauty.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Barbara April 27th, 2015 at 8:42 pm


Dear Calla,
Many thanks for your so informative reply.
I did consider tanzanite for all the reasons you mention. I looked at a pear shaped pendant around 2.7 carats, with very nice accent diamonds-I wouldn’t wear coloured stones on my fingers unless very pale, I think pale stones flatter caucasian skin tones very well. That pendant was from a tv store, The Jewellery Company or TJC, they actually have an option on a tanzanite mine, and I have found their stones to be good, and as they manufacture their own designs, and have cut out all the middle men, I think they are fair value-but I’m not an expert and found it very hard to arrange an independent appraisal-as you rightly recommend-and so returned it within the 30 days. Would this be the sort of carat weight you had in mind re tanzanite, or bigger? I will put my mind to finding an expert such as you mention, who I can pay for assistance. Not sure where to start at present but will research-it doesn’t sound like this is the sort of work you would be interested in-?

My reason for possibly going for diamonds as an investment, is that I love them so much, whereas I was a bit lukewarm about the tanzanite and really only looked at it AS an investment. I know diamonds are common, but, and I’m only just starting to research, I have read and been told, that really clear well cut ones will at least hold their value, and as mentioned, even that is a better performance than one of the commodities I went for.

The store I mention, Browns, say in general diamonds do increase in value. Their store has the best cut and most brilliant stones I personally have ever seen-and again I am not an expert-but in their store, some of my own diamonds (thankfully not all) as mentioned look terrible against theirs. With stones over a certain carat weight they (Browns) will buy them back if you change your mind within 5 years, or, again with stones over a certain carat weight, you can “grow” your diamond with them, i.e. buy a bigger carat weight, and only pay the difference between the one you already own from them, and the new one. That seems a fair deal, and, they advised as mentioned (-and of course I need to check this out-) that good quality diamonds do increase in value, despite being common, as I say if they are especially well cut. They only stock very good grade of cut and only above a certain level of inclusion and clarity, though surprisingly they said colour is much less important than cut. I was pretty blown away in their store, I do realise it’s under electric light and there’s no option to see the stones in daylight as it’s in a mall, but as I say it was the difference between their incredibly refractive stones and some of my own, under the same light, that struck me. Also as they will buy back their stones. That would mean one could look in daylight later and return the item if not happy. Not all stores offer these sorts of reassurance so I am interested though as I say ready to do more research.

Like you, I would store investment stones at a bank. If they were insured that would be the best bet, I also wouldn’t feel at all comfortable with any large investment at home. Except that it would make it difficult to wear the jewelry and then one might have to resort to getting copies in less exciting zircon, and it all gets a bit convoluted. I’m still attracted to owning things of value that I love, as an investment, though. I know I am one of the most easily scared of people regarding potential disasters, financial or otherwise! I’ve tried to change myself, but couldn’t, and so I have to make allowances to accommodate my fearful nature, or I wouldn’t sleep. Ultimately I do have a strong faith in the Higher Power-or life would be unbearable-but I also do what I can to protect myself! And fiat money is just backed by the prosperity of nations now that most don’t back their currencies with gold, and with all the printing of paper money that is being done, I can’t feel enthusiastic about banks, as mentioned, especially as the Chinese and other governments are currently buying and stockpiling gold hand over fist, whilst other nations have been re-patriating gold stored overseas. Whilst insiders at Fort Knox say it is empty but still guarded to make things look good. One of our less clever chancellors sold of most of our UK gold for next to nothing some decades ago. Great move, not! And all the “liberated” gold is moving East whilst the West is heavily in debt to the poorer East, who also keep buying our utilities etc, and we now only have paper money. Yes I am a worrier, and I act on what I see!

Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of rubies, I prefer, apart from diamonds, emeralds especially the Siberian ones that seem to glow, and of course opals especially “black”-I mean all colour no white, and Ethiopian.

I am so enjoying exchanging views with you, though I see you are less interested in the money vs gems issue than me. You are so knowledgeable and I love increasing my knowledge base. I really didn’t know that about Kunzite, thanks for telling me! It’s never mentioned on tv shopping channels-what a surprise! I do still like mine’s evening glow, which as I say seems brighter even than my diamonds, and I’d still love it even if it lost all its’ pink, as I do so love colourless stones anyhow. I feel reassured you share my misgivings about the colour of csarite. I think it is also very heavily hyped.

As I say I’m so enjoying talking to you, but conscious I’m not ordering from you at present, and I am respectful of your time, so do tell me to go away if I am taking up too much of it, though I think I’ve covered all the questions I had in my mind arising from your article re diamond vs sapphire.
Unfortunately I sold most of my “old boyfriend” jewelry! Too many memories even if re-set I think. However you are so interesting and I have been browsing your site, so you never know. I am very grateful for your replies and the time you have spent on them. Your life style sound wonderful especially that you have access to the beach, and I think where you are must be a lot sunnier than the UK! What a wonderful life to combine your passion with your job, and to witness the love of the couples you design for!
Kind regards,
Barbara.

Calla Gold April 30th, 2015 at 6:36 am


Dear Barbara,
I’ll address the tanzanite question first. A 2.70ct. tanzanite is considered small for a tanzanite that you’d want to to invest in. It is a common size. A larger size like 5cts plus would be better. I am still not giving you investment advice here, just my opinion. Before you think how awesome it is that the TV show has no middlemen and a partnership in a mine let me rain on that parade. A TV show is not a jeweler, but a sales operation selling gemstones. In order to pay for the cameraman, studio time, air time and a talking head they are laying out quite a bit of money and they have to make a profit.
There is nothing wrong with making a profit, but I do believe you are better off finding a Gemologist who specializes in gemstones to sell you gems and an appraiser not connected to that Gemologist to give you a second opinion on the value of the gemstones.
Since you are not expert at gemstones my further opinion is that investing in an area you are not expert in is fraught with peril. And not a good idea.
Buying gemstones from television sounds like a pretty bad idea. Again my opinion. I don’t want to rain on your parade, but I don’t want to aid and abet your losing money buying gemstones.
You need a team to protect you.
Regarding the Brown’s store you speak of, that is very nice that they’ll credit you for the diamond you bought when you come back to buy a larger one. That does not mean that the $4,000.00 you paid for your .75ct diamond that they credit you is an amount you could resell your diamond for in the open marketplace. They can afford to do this because you are buying a larger diamond and will be spending more money with them and maybe re-doing your ring and spending money on that too. It is a smart business practice to offer this nice service to keep your business. I applaud their excellent customer service and customer first policies. Just don’t confuse that with the idea that they are buying it back from you because they sold it to you at a wholesale price and they now want it back because it has increased in value.
It is an excellent store policy, not a proof of investment value.
I am not an appraiser. So I can not help you with your quest to invest in gemstones. I can merely point to pitfalls and hope that you can invest wisely if you decide to go down that road.
This store is correct that good diamonds increase in value if they are excellent color, cut, clarity and of a good size, for example over 1.5 carats.
Investors often invest in 3 carats and above sizes when investing in diamonds with the colors F and better and clarity SI1 or better and excellent cut grades. Investors in diamonds do not accept the certification given them, but take their diamonds to an impartial (not connected to the jeweler) appraiser to have their diamond re-certified. I recommend never mentioning the name of the store or individual you purchased from in case they know each other. That way you can get an honest appraisal and not one shaded by opinion.
I will repeat that because diamonds are not that scarce that they are not considered a good investment unless you are investing in the scarcer diamonds. Ones that are larger and of very fine quality.
Since you’d like to wear the gems you invest in maybe diamonds are a good choice as they are less likely to get scratched and need re-cutting.
Well I’m going to sign off and write up some engagement ring designs!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Ashton May 7th, 2015 at 6:54 am


I have 3 Children and I need an engagment ring that if i bang it up a little doesnt just break so Im hoping a sapphire will do that i dont mind polishing it up but if it chips that will not make me happy

Calla Gold May 8th, 2015 at 7:03 am


Hi Ashton,
Sapphires are harder than topaz. But the real issue is that it’ll end up looking like a cloudy diamond. If you are going for a diamond alternate I recommend moissanite which will be sparkly. If you like sapphire go for a bright color. That way when it dulls which if it’s not diamond or moissanite, it will dull, you’ll still have a pretty color that looks nice on your wedding ring.
If you’d like to read about moissanite, here’s my blog on it:
http://www.callagold.com/wedding-rings/moissanite-for-your-engagement-ring/
Enjoy your three kids and your wedding ring!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Nash Shiva June 3rd, 2015 at 8:51 am


Dear Calla,

Thank you for this blog and various helpful comments. Since the messages and conversations here are now asking with variety of your expertise on different stones, I thought maybe I can shoot in my question. I’m trying to make a choice between star burmese ruby 10cts red unheated cab, versus 3 cts diamond D, XXX as an engagement ring. I know your choice was for diamond as regular wear, but can you give comparison for cabs as an alternative too? Your reply would be really greatful.

Your admirer,
Nash

Calla Gold June 4th, 2015 at 6:20 am


Hello Nash,
This is an interesting question because not only are you asking about the suitability of a gemstone choice from a hardness perspective, but adding cut into the mix.
Generally gemstones are cab cut because they aren’t clear enough to look nice faceted. That curvy un-faceted smooth look shows off the color as opposed to the clarity of a gemstone. In the case of a star ruby, rutiles, lines of silk like intersecting growths within the gem are so numerous as to be visible. The gemstone is cut parallel to the base of the prism as a cabochon to let the rutiles catch the light. In a perfect world the star you see in the sun or under a lamp is six sided and moves when you rotate the gem.
Many cabochon ruby and sapphires have a lot of grey in them.
If you have noticeable red color and not a super strong grey tone with a hint of red in the ruby star sapphire you are considering, I say go with the ruby star sapphire. It is more rare than the diamond you are also considering. And at 9.5 on the Mohs scale of gemstone hardness should hold up well to wear. Maybe every ten years it’ll need to be re-polished.
Where faceted rubies get scratched and have their facet junctions abraded over time, cabochons just get scratched and lose their shine. It can be re-gained by re-polishing by a lapidary. That’s a gem polishing and faceting professional.
Color is a very important factor in your choice of whether to choose the ruby star sapphire or the diamond. The ruby is only a suitable choice for daily wear if it has a nice and pleasing color. You say it is Burmese and some of the most beautiful rubies are Burmese. Hopefully it is one of the rare lovelies with a beautiful star and red color.
Thank you for asking,
Calla Gold

Nash Shiva June 5th, 2015 at 9:48 am


Hi Calla,

Many thanks again for your insights and detailed reply. That was really helpful and has helped me to decide with my purchase. I have finally purchased star ruby, the stars are sharp and all the rays intersect at center with pinkish red color tone. Your ideas on polishing the stone and easily renewing it also gave me lot of comfort. I’m sure that she will really love it. Not sure how to post and send you how the ring looks but pasting the link in case you can have a look. Many thanks once again for your support.

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s107/sh/c853563c-9335-4c8e-be8f-db4c777484b0/23a607f64bd98b9e5ac8940ab9d6a510

Your admirer,
Nash

Carol June 12th, 2015 at 7:53 am


Hi Calla
We have just uncovered a old 18 caret gold ring with a white sapphire, and as you have said previously it looks very cloudy and lost its sparkle.
We believe this ring is from 1920 and would like it to have a second life – what would be your recommendations to restore the ring please
Loving your knowledge and honesty
Many Thanks
Carol

Calla Gold June 13th, 2015 at 11:11 am


Hi Carol,
It’s nice to hear from you. I’d probably prefer to speak on the phone about your wishes. I’d ask if you’d considered replacing the dull white sapphire with a diamond or a different colored gemstone like a ruby or sapphire.
If you plan to wear it frequently and just replace the white sapphire, you’ll get that same dirty diamond look that is just flat out unattractive and not worth doing in my opinion.
You can reach me at my office at 805-963-4157 or email me at calla@callagold.com to set up a time to talk. I’d want to see pictures of it before we spoke on the phone, top, side and edge views. The above email needs a back and forth email cycle before putting images on it to successfully dodge the occasional overzealous spam folder abduction.
I look forward to seeing your pretty vintage ring.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Wade June 14th, 2015 at 2:46 am


The sparkle comparison is pretty biased.
The image is an emerald cut, one of the types of cuts that has the lowest sparkle factor regardless of gemstone. The lighting is also pretty poor, almost intentionally made to look dull. White sapphires have a superior refractive index to diamonds giving them an inherently better sparkle than diamonds.

Calla Gold June 14th, 2015 at 6:56 am


Hello Wade,
You are right that the quality of the photo is poor. It is not intentional. Just what I could find. You are also correct in your statement that emerald cut gives a much poorer opportunity for sparkle.
Now the refractive index comment I take issue with. Diamond’s refractive index is 2.47 while sapphire is 1.70. Diamond further leaves white sapphire in the dust by is dispersion of .044. Dispersion is the ability to somehow reflect the colors of the spectrum. Diamond also has great luster compared to sapphire when side by side.
These differences are particularly obvious when they are both a bid dirty from wear. And seriously who really takes the time to clean their ring every few days.
I’m a jeweler and have the equipment and I don’t. Life lives and I’m off and running. And I appreciate that my diamonds continue to glint and sparkle and look beautiful in spite of the slings and arrows of outrageous life and living, to misquote the bard.
Sapphires will never look like diamonds because they are a completely different gemstone. I’m personally not a fan of white sapphires as a daily wear gemstone. People will assume it is a diamond because it is a clear gemstone and it’ll just read as a poor quality diamond if they are assuming diamond.
I’d take a small diamond over a 1 carat white sapphire myself.
Calla Gold

Zephyr August 21st, 2015 at 10:49 am


Hi calla,
I was wondering if you remembered the source of the emerald-cut white sapphire engagement ring photo? I realize you used it on here as a negative example but I’m actually really in love with that ring and trying to find it:P

Calla Gold August 21st, 2015 at 9:39 pm


Dear Zephyr,
I am sorry that I do not remember where I got it. I believe it may have been an EBay item. It is a beautiful style and I see why you like it.
Calla Gold

Gembob August 21st, 2015 at 3:50 pm


Hi there,
Can you advise on peach coloured or champagne coloured sapphires? Will they look dull if not regularly cleaned professionally?
Many thanks,
G

Calla Gold August 21st, 2015 at 9:26 pm


Hi Gemma,
If you wear your peachy champagne-y color sapphires daily you’ll need to clean them regularly to keep that pretty look. You could use a toothbrush and toothpaste or a nice ultrasonic cleaner. Try to stay ahead of soap scum, hard water deposits and lotion deposits.
Here is my blog post about cleaning your jewelry:
http://www.callagold.com/jewelry-education/professional-jewelry-cleaning-steps-and-home-jewelry-cleaning/
If they aren’t cleaned regularly they will become dull looking. With their pretty color they will look better than white sapphires.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Trent August 31st, 2015 at 8:31 am


So regarding colored gemstones, would you prefer a colored blue diamond to a blue Sapphire for an engagement/wedding ring for the same reasons as the difference in white stones?

BTW, your comments about the difference between Diamond and white Sapphires were VERY helpful!

Trent

Calla Gold August 31st, 2015 at 8:15 pm


Hi Trent,
If I were given a choice of a blue diamond and a sapphire, I’d take the blue diamond because it would sparkle more. I love sparkle!
I’m pleased you found your reading helpful. That makes me really happy!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Fred Komen September 17th, 2015 at 8:57 am


Hello Calla,
Your knowledge in coloured stones intrests me alot. I’m a student in Kenya.
Regards,
Fred

Calla Gold September 19th, 2015 at 1:58 pm


Thank you for reaching out Fred.
Gem loving jeweler,
Calla Gold

Penny Zupp September 19th, 2015 at 3:53 pm


Calla Gold; I purchased a sterling silver antique ring for 50.00. It was so dirty! Brought it home, soaked it in warm soapy water, brushed it with fine brush, and it’s beautiful, but I cannot tell the stone. I’m thinking white saphire. May I email picture to you for opinion?

Calla Gold September 19th, 2015 at 4:45 pm


Hi Penny,
I’d be happy to see your special find. Well done on rescuing it from dirtiness and cleaning it up.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Jenelle E September 23rd, 2015 at 9:44 am


Hi,
Love the ring in the picture that says “Even very old diamonds still sparkle”
Is that a ring that’s for sale?

Calla Gold September 23rd, 2015 at 8:43 pm


Hi Jenelle,
I love the ring in that picture too. It is not my design, nor do I know where it came from, other than that I found it online.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

ShreeNandita October 1st, 2015 at 5:11 am


Thanks for sharing this informative article with us. I loved read about jewelry trends and your post is really interesting.

Calla Gold October 1st, 2015 at 6:20 am


Hello Shree,
Thank you for your nice response.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Sue October 8th, 2015 at 7:48 pm


My husband/I have been married for 35 years now and he finally decided to buy me a diamond ring. We are Seniors living on a fixed income and so we visited NUMEROUS jewelry stores comparing diamond solitaire rings that you didn’t need a pair of sun glasses to see them 🙂 We weren’t looking for anything with all the bells/whistles–just something plain. We went to 1 store that had a machine that you could look into and see “the star” in the middle of the stone. I must admit, I really didn’t know what I was suppose to be looking at, but I was polite 🙂 Anyway, we were looking for a half karat in the diamond in yellow gold so it would match my wedding ring. We even looked into “fake” diamonds but I have to admit, I wasn’t really impressed with them. The prices of the “real” diamonds at the many jewelry stores ranged in price from $2500.00 to 1 that we saw at Sears for $350.00 (due to a sale). I must admit, I still really hadn’t found that “perfect ring.” I went online and Googled “created” diamonds/sapphires and your site was very informative without talking “over my head.” Anyway, to make a long story short, we finally did find that “perfect” ring ( in yellow gold in 1/2 karat) and we found it at the local Pawn shop where it was normally priced for $900.00 (but because of the sale going on) we were able to purchase it for $350.00 🙂 I have put your website in my favorites on my computer so I can visit it from time to time.

Calla Gold October 9th, 2015 at 9:29 am


Dear Sue,
I love that you shared your story. I love the part where you were polite after looking in the star spotting contraption. The microscopic details can be nice, but really, how your diamond looks in your kitchen is what really matters. And you don’t need stars, just good color and clarity. You really did your homework and I applaud you for doing that.
I love being in your website favorites.
I also wrote a blog post about buying from Pawn Shops:
http://www.callagold.com/antique-diamonds/how-to-buy-diamond-from-pawn-shop/
I think you are a stellar example of someone who made that option work. Well done to you and your husband.
If you’d like to see some of the projects I get up to please check out my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/callagoldjewelry
In case you aren’t on Facebook, you can see it without being signed up.
Thank you again for sharing your story!
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

EliteDesigns October 14th, 2015 at 10:37 pm


Nice blog for jewelry lover. I enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing this.

Calla Gold October 15th, 2015 at 9:15 am


Thank you Elite Designs!
Calla Gold

Happy.savings November 1st, 2015 at 7:02 pm


MY husband bought me a white sapphire ring for our 12 year anniversary last year and I do notice that it does get cloudy. Lucky the place where he bought it, I get my ring cleaned every 6 months and when it comes back to me it’s pretty and shiny. Although I have a question. The ring he bought me is 2 small on the sides and a big one in the middle plus 4 more tiny ones on both sides. It’s a big ring but lately I have been noticing that when I washed my hands, every one of them turns black or have an outside circle black look inside the gem, except the middle one? But when it’s all dry Up it turns back to normal? So why does it do that? Thanks for a wonderful article. 🙂

Calla Gold November 2nd, 2015 at 7:29 am


Hello Happy,
I have no clue why your sapphires turn dark then light again. I haven’t ever heard of that effect.
Thank you for writing.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Catherine November 7th, 2015 at 2:09 pm


Hi Calla,

Does the cut of the sapphire make a difference in the sparkle? I do not want a diamond engagement ring or a colored stone, so I’ve been looking at white and light peach sapphires, but I am concerned after reading this. I was thinking of a cushion cut and a diamond halo on a rose gold band. Will I just end up disappointed with a white diamond, or do you think that a diamond halo will save some of the sparkle factor? Are there any other stones I should look into?

Thanks!

Calla Gold November 8th, 2015 at 6:59 am


Catherine,
Thank you for writing. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the determining factor in sparkle with a white sapphire is its ability to refract light, which is not impressive compared to a diamond.
When you put a diamond halo which is very pretty around a white sapphire and your sapphire gets dirty your diamond halo continues to sparkle and your white sapphire gets dull and looks like a poor quality diamond.
When people see your clear center stone, they assume diamond. When it looks cloudy, they assume crappy diamond. If you don’t want a diamond in the center I recommend for color if your like peachy and pink maybe a Morganite. Or a peachy sapphire. I’d avoid a clear one.
The halo is a good idea because it does add sparkle.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Manasa November 21st, 2015 at 9:29 am


Hello Calla,

I have commented on your post earlier. Could you please advise how to indenty genuine white sapphire and American diamond(also called Cubic Zerconia)

Kind Regards,
Manasa

Calla Gold November 21st, 2015 at 10:10 am


Hello Manasa,
Thank you for coming back. For the record cubic zerconia is not American diamond. Here is a link about diamonds that are American diamonds as they are mined in America:
http://geology.com/gemstones/united-states-diamond-production.shtml
Cubic zerconia is an inexpensive material grown in a laboratory that looks like a diamond. It is different than diamond in many ways. This is my blog post comparing the two:
http://www.callagold.com/diamonds/cz-vs-diamond-engagement-ring-choice/
For comparisons of gem types you often need tools and technology. I recommend that gem identification books would be more helpful as there is much detail that goes into gemstone identification.
This author Antoinette Matlins PG FGA explains gem identification in an easily accessible way.Here is the link:
https://jet.com/product/detail/efc7cf711aed4e2096d43f24f77e63c3?jcmp=pla:ggl:media_a3:books_crafts_hobbies_home_a3_other:na:na:na:na:na:2&code=PLA15&k_clickid=9afe6168-107a-41d6-94a6-378f32780c91&gclid=Cj0KEQiAycCyBRDss-D2yIWd_tgBEiQAL-9RkpyhAa1pNxDO1UPXhGWAoCREkhSllwzqB3KJEUla2fAaArDp8P8HAQ
I recommend her book if you’re interested in gemstone identification.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Antoinette Matlins November 21st, 2015 at 10:35 am


Thanks for your nice comments Calla! It’s been too long since we last saw each other, but hopefully our paths will cross again at some “sparkling” event. Just thought I’d point out that the latest edition (the 5th edition) of my book, Gem Identification Made Easy, is sometimes difficult to find. I’m not sure which edition is available from the link you provide above, but it’s also available from my publisher and can be ordered online as well: http://www.GemstonePress.com. And for any of YOUR readers, if they get the book from Gemstone Press, since it’s in the same town where I live, I’d be happy to provide a personal autograph. Not sure you can request it on the website, but if they call the 800# — 800-96204544 — they can definitely request it and I’ll be happy to do it!

Calla Gold November 21st, 2015 at 10:54 am


Dear Antoinette,
Thank you so much for weighing in at this most appropriate place in this long comment thread. I love your offer to my readers, that is special. Happily the various authored by you books that I have on my bookshelf are all autographed. I was just using your “Engagement and Wedding Rings: the Buyers Guide” to help a client I am custom designing a ring for. So you are frequently on my mind.
My favorite thing about your books is how easy to understand they are.
Thanks again for coming to my blog Antoinette.
Your Jeweler Friend,
Calla

Manasa November 28th, 2015 at 7:36 am


Hi Calla,

Thank you for the response. I shall have a look at the links you mentioned.

Calla Gold November 28th, 2015 at 7:58 am


Hi again Manasa,
You are most welcome.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Deborah December 28th, 2015 at 9:53 am


The Diamond industry is an elite industry and a hoax perpetrated by the monopoly called De Beers.. it also uses small children as slave labor

Calla Gold January 3rd, 2016 at 4:32 pm


Deborah,
I am no apologist for the diamond industry but seriously? De Beers monopoly? That broke up years ago when Russia decided not to renew their contract. Then the huge Argyle diamond mine in Australia decided to sell their own diamonds. Canada sells their own diamonds too. De Beers new thing is the “Forevermark” diamond with high color, great clarity, great cut and a laser inscribed number on the side that you can only see under a microscope.
There are diamond mines all over the world and differing arrangements for labor etc. Let’s not be spreading untrue rumors here.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Nicola January 2nd, 2016 at 5:07 pm


Thank-you for your advise, which proved very helpful today when my partner actually let me choose my engagement ring before he has even popped the question!.

Out of curiosity for future purchases of diamonds, which cut or ring base is better to prevent chips? In today’s situation we have gone for the princess cut but I also like the Baguette, Emerald and Millennium cuts too.

Calla Gold January 3rd, 2016 at 4:08 pm


Hello Nicola,
I think we talked over in the comments on my cz vs diamond blog. Congratulations on your engagement. I think your fiance is a smart and collaborative person to involve you in the design of your engagement ring. And did I mention smart? He’s smart too.
Regarding cuts of diamonds, I actually have observed princess cuts to be most prone to little chips on the edges because they are so thin at the girdle or edge where the top meets the bottom. If you set them near other gems or a bit lower that helps very much to protect them.
Your other loves in special diamond cuts are pretty ones as well.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Jen April 24th, 2016 at 6:42 pm


I read this article and have to disagree with your opinion on white sapphires. They have different properties than a diamond and have their own unique and beautiful characteristics. I love the mellow, mysterious glow of a white sapphire. In some light, it appears to have a faint blue glow to it, very unique. Why do all clear stones have to be compared to a diamond? Your adamant and sometimes insulting opinions on anything other than a diamond has always left a bad taste in my mouth.

Calla Gold April 30th, 2016 at 3:21 pm


Dear Jen,
I’m sorry to have given you a bad taste in your mouth. My comments on encouraging diamond instead of white sapphire are prompted by the message I’ve heard frequently by women who have white sapphire. “It’s always so dull, one of my friends keeps mentioning I need to clean my diamond. I tell her it’s not a diamond. I think she has memory issues.”
I have swapped out white sapphires for blue sapphires and diamonds.
I have no ax to grind with white sapphire I merely state that when someone looks at a white gemstone on an engagement ring rightly or wrongly they’ll probably assume it’s a diamond. And if it is in its usual cloudy state, they’ll think it’s a dirty diamond.
For someone considering white sapphire or white topaz for that matter as an alternate gemstone to diamond, I want them to know that this is a situation to consider. That is all.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Katie May 23rd, 2016 at 9:11 am


Referring to the dullness when dirty – Would the same be true of lab created white sapphire? thank you

Calla Gold May 27th, 2016 at 9:26 am


Hello Katie,
You’ve asked an excellent question. If the lab grown material is chemically the same as sapphire, you will indeed have than same problem.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Tawnia June 29th, 2016 at 2:05 pm


Question. I am in the process of having an engagement ring made. I first thought yellow moissanite would be great and lend a lot of sparkle, but then read that the ‘layering’ of treatment a moissanite has to go thru to be yellow can fade or come off. So as it concerned me, I thought about a yellow sapphire as an alternative. The person who, so far, has been “contracted verbally only” to make the ring tells me that a lab created sapphire sized 9×7 will run me about $600.00 and the justification is that the Mohs on it will be 9.5 ~ ok, now wait. I can’t find anything in info that backs that up. They are wanting to use a place called Kesar. She claims to be a certified gemologist and has a jewelry making business off her home, I’ve seen photos and believe that part. What should I believe and what’s the best gem to substitute for a vivid, intense yellow diamond – because we cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars. Help! lol…

Calla Gold June 29th, 2016 at 8:20 pm


Hello Tawnia,
If the jeweler you are working with is a certified gemologist with GIA Gemological Institute of America that counts for a lot. She theoretically wouldn’t get all that education and pass tests and then mislead you. Have you seen her certification?
Has she given you any references to call or are there any online reviews so you can have third party validation that she is good? If you need it that should put you mind at rest.
A laboratory grown yellow sapphire would be between 9 and 9.5 on the Mohs scale and would be a nice choice.
If the yellow moissanite used a “diffusion” color treatment then it is surface only and will not hold up to daily wear. I do not know when it would start breaking down. I like the sparkle of moissanite better, but the reliability of the sapphire color better.
I wish you the best of luck in your quest for a beautiful engagement ring.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Tawnia June 30th, 2016 at 6:09 am


Calla ~ thank you for your quick reply. Next question. What would be considered a ‘fair’ price for a lab grown yellow sapphire. I realize the yellow is not as sought after as the blue, but I prefer the yellow.

Calla Gold July 9th, 2016 at 9:08 am


Hi Tawnia,
I love the yellow color, my favorite being the truly bright yellow.
Different companies make lab grown sapphires. The best known company with a great reputation is Chatham, http://www.chatham.com/yellow-sapphire-gems.
I do sell lab created yellow sapphires, but the prices vary for quality, size and cut.
I’d need more information to on your design to know what your gemstone need would be to let you know a fair price.
You can always email me at calla@callagold.com.
Do you already have your setting?
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Jenny July 12th, 2016 at 12:17 am


Hi Calla, thanks for the interesting article. I really love pale pink sapphires and that has always been my dream engagement ring. Would the light pink stone look cloudy and dull? Is there any way to keep it looking good? I wear a very pale pink, almost clear, rose quartz ring on my other hand which, with a wipe each day, always looks stunning.

Thanks in advance,
Jenny

Calla Gold July 13th, 2016 at 9:23 am


Hello Jenny,
With the increase in demand for cloudy and interesting gemstones, you may find that the slightly cloudy look your pink sapphire may get is dreamy and pretty. Rose quartz seems to have a dreamy slightly out of focus cloudiness that is quite appealing. You’ll probably love your pale pink sapphire for your engagement ring.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Runnet July 13th, 2016 at 2:31 pm


Hi Calla,
Thank you for the great information.
I dream of a soft pink morganite engagement ring. I would like to hear your comments for the morganite stone.
Thank you.

Calla Gold July 14th, 2016 at 6:40 pm


Hello Runnet,
The hardness of Morganite is 7.5 – 8 which is not super hard. If you are gentle in your treatment of it you’ll probably love it. The color is really pretty and high quality Morganites are quite sparkly.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Sonya Disinger August 1st, 2016 at 9:11 pm


I encourage you to look at the newly patented Night Glow Diamond. New Ocular Cut Diamond. First diamond developed to glow at night. Developed by Bill Disinger at Disinger Kruger Jewelers, Huntingburg, IN.

Calla Gold August 5th, 2016 at 9:30 am


Dear Sonya,
I am not familiar with this glow in the dark diamond. Does it have a lot of florescence? How does it manage to glow in the dark? Does it need a minimum amount of lumins to do its light reflecty thing?
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

GLWA Jayathilaka September 23rd, 2016 at 9:26 am


Hi Friends, Please let me know, Refraction value of white sapphire changes with its inclusions? Because I have a stone , with corundum qualities that has look like white sapphire, But its refraction value near to quartz refraction value.

Calla Gold September 24th, 2016 at 8:30 am


Dear Jaya,
You are right that the way light refracts from inside a sapphire is very much influenced by the inclusions inside. Each inclusion subtly blocks light and causes a less brilliant look in your gemstone.
Corundum is the sapphire family, so if your white gems looks like a quartz family gem it could indeed be sapphire with inclusions.
If you are unsure what your gemstone is, an appraiser could let you know.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

Naelia November 6th, 2016 at 12:55 pm


Thank you for your article. I have a white sapphire because we couldn’t afford a diamond ($1500 vs $4000 for the model I wanted), but I wish I chose a colored one because it gets cloudy super fast 🙁 When I clean it its beautiful, but it last one day at best.

Calla Gold November 7th, 2016 at 7:43 am


Hello Naelia,
I understand exactly what you mean about the cloudiness of your white sapphire and the swiftness with which it goes there. Thank you for sharing your story of being there after the decision. I believe your story will help someone in their decision find the gemstone that will work in their wedding ring. It is true that people are usually happier with colorful sapphires in their wedding rings.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

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