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Understanding Sapphire Valuation: Factors, Market Trends & Appraisal Tips

Sapphires have captured our attention for around 200 million years. Historically believed to attract wealth, these gems have long been worn by royalty and come with many mystical associations. Rarer than diamonds and versatile enough to be worn every day, the allure of sapphires is undeniable. But how valuable is the sapphire you own, or the one you’re thinking of buying? A regular sapphire valuation is the best way to find out.

What is sapphire valuation?

A sapphire valuation estimates the value of a sapphire.


Keep in mind this is different from “price”, which describes money spent in a single transaction. Determining “value” involves researching multiple transactions and examining the current market to come up with an accurate figure.

The factors influencing sapphire valuation

A look into the characteristics that impact the value of a sapphire.


- Colour: The most important element in estimating a sapphire’s value. Within the colour category, saturation matters. So, a vivid blue sapphire has a higher value than a greyish blue sapphire of the same size and cut. Blue sapphires currently command the highest prices, followed by pink and pink-orange variations.

- Clarity: You can expect several inclusions in most sapphires. Sapphires with extremely high clarity are rare, which makes them very valuable. 

- Cut: Cut affects the clarity and brilliance of a sapphire. Well-cut gems are more valuable.

- Carat weight: Large fine-quality sapphires are rarer than large commercial-quality sapphires. So, carat weight is more important in the valuation of fine-quality stones.

- Origin: While origin isn’t a guarantee of beauty or quality, stones of particular regions do command higher prices than like-stones of other regions. Sapphires from Kashmir are the most valuable. Other major sapphire-producing regions include Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Australia.


The current market value of sapphires

The demand for coloured gemstones has skyrocketed. This is down to sapphires being less available (thanks to a lack of workers, increased fuel costs and other factors), and more jewellers promoting their products online.


Jewellery as a whole appears to be taking off, with Mastercard reporting a 75% increase in online jewellery sales during the first half of 2021, compared with the same period the previous year.


US sanctions on Myanmar gemstone exports and the economic crisis in Sri Lanka are also affecting the sapphire supply chain at the moment.


With COVID disrupting the global supply chain, there has been an increase in demand for Australian certified sapphires. Certain factors are coming into play, like Queensland imposing a moratorium on the granting of new, small mine tenures, which suggests the price of Australian sapphires will continue to rise.


As of last year, we saw a bigger increase in the value of coloured gemstones compared to coloured diamonds. Of course, there are nuances based on factors like origin. Kashmir sapphires are selling for 300-500% more than Burma sapphires, because they’re so difficult to obtain.


Though there are a handful of famous sapphires throughout history, some high-value sapphires are still causing a stir in the modern world.


In 2013, the Richelieu Sapphires sold for $8,358,520. Regarded as “the finest sapphires of Kashmir”, Sotheby’s Geneva said it was the highest-priced sapphire jewellery in an auction. In 2015, a Kashmir blue sapphire ring sold for $7,357,999 at Christie's Geneva, to a lucky anonymous buyer. 

$200,000

The cost (in USD) per carat of some blue Kashmir sapphires 


30%

Increase in the use of coloured gemstones in engagement rings, compared to the last decade

$25

The approximate cost (in USD) per carat for the cheapest sapphires on the market 

Appraisals = formal documents stating the value of your jewellery

How important are periodic appraisals?

Imagine if your sapphire jewellery got lost or stolen.


If you don’t have an up-to-date appraisal, your insurance company might not cover the full value of your jewellery. Put simply, you could miss out on thousands of dollars.


Even still - the point of appraisals goes beyond monetary value. Jewellery usually carries sentimental significance, so getting yours appraised by a professional and understanding its true worth is crucial.


Aim to get your sapphire jewellery appraised every 2-3 years.


This helps to:

- Establish its accurate value in a fluctuating market

- Ensure your jewellery is adequately insured

- Determine the distribution of assets when passing jewellery down to your loved ones in future

- Get a fair price when selling your jewellery

- Assess the quality and authenticity of your sapphires

How to get your sapphire jewellery appaised

1. Find a reputable appraiser

Appraisals are carried out by certified appraisers and gemologists. 


When you’re on the hunt for a reputable appraiser, make sure they’re recognised in the industry and hold relevant qualifications. Read client reviews and don’t be afraid to ask for references.

In Australia, there’s no need to be a member of professional bodies to provide jewellery valuations.


2. What to expect during the appraisal process

During your appointment, an expert will examine your jewellery and provide an estimation of its current market value.


The process involves an initial examination to evaluate the jewellery’s overall condition. Jewellers will progress on to a more in-depth gemstone evaluation, metal analysis, and evaluation of the craftsmanship and design of a piece.

They’ll finish with a comparative market analysis and prepare an appraisal report for you, covering their findings in a clear, straightforward way.


3. Documentation and certification following appraisals

After the appraisal, you’ll go away with some important documentation. You should keep this safe.


The document will provide a sapphire valuation as well as a valuation of the metals and other gems in your jewellery. The expert may also include a detailed description of your jewellery, which helps with insurance purposes if it’s ever lost or stolen.


The appraisal should also include photographs and any special features or gemstones in the piece.

You’ll also get a value estimate and insights into the valuation methodology, including a comparative market analysis. 


4. The costs involved with appraising sapphires 



Protect your investment

With the right care, your sapphire jewellery can shine with lasting beauty, so you can love your stone just like the day you first laid eyes on it.


Follow our care tips, making sure to set time aside each month to clean your sapphire jewellery at home. And don’t neglect a yearly professional clean - it makes all the difference to your stone’s allure and lifespan.


Today, you can buy sapphire jewellery you’ll love forever. Our collection comes with a lifetime warranty that protects you against defects or imperfections. (T&Cs apply)


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