The Colour Range of Australian Sapphires

Wearing a sapphire means wearing a piece of the rainbow. With such a wide spectrum of colours, it’s no wonder people love to express their individuality through sapphires.

Explore the different coloured sapphires, along with their value, formation and popularity, with Sapphire Dreams.

Beyond the blue: The range of different sapphire colours

“Star-spangled rainbows” - Ella Fitzgerald

Think of a sapphire and you’ll probably think of a royal blue gem. In reality, sapphires come in virtually every shade of the rainbow, apart from red (which are known as rubies).

Unlike diamonds, stones like sapphire are valued for their colour. So exactly what colour are sapphires? The question isn’t as simple as it sounds, because it goes beyond blue sapphires, pink sapphires, etc. The concentration or depth of colour also comes into play, and many stones are a combination of more than one colour.

If that all sounds overwhelming, don’t worry - we’ll break it down as we go along. For now, take a look at the standard different sapphire colours with this sapphire colour chart.


Available in a variety of tones, from Light Blue to Royal Blue, the iconic blue sapphire is the most popular sapphire colour overall. 

Dull, very dark blues and blue-grey sapphires are perceived to be of a lower quality than brighter shades.


Green sapphires range from Light Green or Mint Green to Medium Green and Vivid Green. It’s the secondary colours, such as yellow and blue, that create such a rich variance in tones. 

Green sapphires are rare yet relatively affordable. 


The presence of iron, and the long-term effects of natural radiation, give the yellow sapphire its sunny shade. From Light Yellow to the sunflower-like Orange-Yellow, there’s a wide choice of hues here.A more affordable gem than blue sapphires, yellow sapphires are growing in popularity at the moment.


The orange sapphire is one of the hardest to find in its natural, untreated state. The majority of vivid orange sapphires have undergone an extreme heat process to make that shade possible. Generally, undertones of yellow, red or brown impact the overall shade, which travels from muted pastel to vibrant blood orange.


Pink sapphires are often mislabelled as rubies. However, the two can be distinguished because the pink sapphire has lower levels of the trace element chromium.

This is a romantic stone that has soared in popularity over the last few years, partly because its shades are some of the most complementary to all skin tones.


A relatively affordable stone, black sapphire is an aluminium oxide mineral that appears to absorb light rather than reflect it.

Often confused with onyx, this gemstone is formed naturally and is popular for its ability to add a modern, striking touch to jewellery.


Colourless sapphires, also known as “Leuco Sapphires”, are an ideal alternative to a diamond. 

Multiple facets of this tone are “White-Blueish”, “White-Yellowish” “White-Pinkish” and the beautifully delicate “Champagne” sapphires. Pure white sapphires are much rarer than these varieties, particularly when found untreated.

How do sapphires get their colour?

A Happy Accident

Sapphire colours aren’t an innate quality. They come from the presence of external trace minerals, such as iron, titanium and chromium.

Sapphires come from the corundum family. This crystal is made up of a lattice structure, but is colourless on its own. When the external elements enter, they disrupt the structure, so light is absorbed in a particular way that creates the colours seen by our naked eyes.

What’s remarkable is that the addition of external factors is accidental - they are mineral impurities and other elements that enter the gemstone during development. Without them, we wouldn’t have different sapphire colours at all.

Colour Banding in Sapphires

As we’ve already covered, a sapphire’s colour is rarely constant; they range from light to dark and everything in between. Australian sapphires are typically defined by a darker tone, although we also produce light and medium-toned stones.

“Colour banding” is a phenomenon that describes the variations of one colour within a gemstone. You can spot it by looking for visible lines that appear to divide a sapphire.

Traditionally, colour banding, or “zoning”, was viewed as a negative trait, but Australian sapphires have almost single-handedly changed the perception of colour banding. The striking visual effect has become desirable in the modern jewellery industry, showcasing one-of-a-kind designs that can be further enhanced by the sapphire’s cut.

Which is the most popular sapphire colour?

“One of his tears fell in my mouth, where it became a blue sapphire - a source of strength and eternal hope.” - Anita Diament, Author

Blue has always been (and maybe always will be!) the most popular sapphire colour. It’s also the most prevalent type of sapphire home-grown on our Australian shores.

Here at Sapphire Dreams, we’ve noticed a recent increase in demand for teal and turquoise sapphires. A local treasure, teal sapphires mostly originate in Australia as well as Thailand, Ethiopia and Madagascar.

That said, it’s no secret that all shades of green are having their moment in the emerald spotlight. 

Which colour of sapphire is the most expensive?

Sapphire lovers with an indulgence to feed should look to the far end of any sapphire colour chart. Since colour is the most important criterion to determine the quality of a stone, bright and vivid sapphires will cost more than pale or darker tones.

The rarest type of sapphire showcases a pink-orange hue and is known as a “Padparadscha”. However, the most expensive sapphire colour is an intense, velvety royal blue.

And that’s exactly what the famous “Rockefeller Sapphire” is. This masterpiece has passed through many famous hands throughout history. From being bought in 1934 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., to selling at Christie’s in New York in 2001 for over USD 3 million, this is one of the world’s most valuable sapphires.

Which colour of sapphire is the most expensive?

Put simply, diamonds are more expensive than sapphires. Of course, factors like size, shape, cut, colour and quality come into the equation. However, an average one-carat sapphire will cost less than a one-carat diamond.

Sapphire Colour Chart

Visualise the beauty of Sapphires

Get to know our sapphire colour chart for clarity on the different colours of sapphires available.

Sapphire colour focus: Blue

Is blue sapphire more expensive than amethyst?

Blue sapphire and amethyst might come from the same colour family, but that doesn’t mean they’re equal.

A blue sapphire provides exceptional durability and an intense blue colour. These features, along with their rarity, make sapphires more expensive than amethysts.  

Is blue sapphire better in gold or silver?

Its incredible versatility means we can use blue sapphire in both white gold and yellow gold - both types of metal complement the stone beautifully. We also work with customers who pair blue sapphire with rose gold, for a classic yet feminine finish.

Sapphire colour focus: Green

Are green sapphires valuable?

Green Sapphires, especially Australian green sapphires, fetch a slightly lower price than blue sapphires due to their availability and extensive spectrum of shades.

How can you tell the difference between a green sapphire and an emerald?

While both gems showcase a bold green shade, you can usually tell the difference between emeralds and green sapphires because the latter are more brilliant. In other words, their ability to reflect light creates more sparkle than an emerald can achieve.

Stunning in every form, green sapphires are appealing across the colour spectrum. 

Our favourite (and most popular) Sapphire Rings

Before we introduce our sapphire ring collections, we want to show you the unique beauty of Parti Sapphires. Parti is a favourite sapphire shade here at Sapphire Dreams, because of the distinct portions of colour within a single stone. Usually, they’re a mix of green and yellow, but rarer stones can combine blue, purple or other shades.

The versatility of this sapphire colour means it goes beautifully in most jewellery. For smaller stones, we recommend setting them in our Toi Et Moi Ring. For larger stones, a trilogy setting is stunning. 

Right now, there’s also lots of excitement about our solitaire rings. Here are some favourites.

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Maira Ring

A marquise-cut Australian Parti sapphire, in a four-prong setting crafted in 9ct rose gold. Modern and elegant, this makes a beautiful engagement ring.

A lovely trilogy ring design, featuring a beautiful emerald cut green Australian sapphire, set between two sparkling white diamonds.

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Endota Ring

A yellow pear-cut Australian sapphire creates a luxurious, elegant engagement ring. Pairs perfectly with other jewellery for everyday wear.

Explore sapphires of every colour at Sapphire Dreams 

“Our quality checks start from the very beginning when we’re buying from our mining partners. We view the sapphires and check their potential before they’re even cut!

Having experts in their field at each step of the process allows us to be thorough and conscientious in the selection of our sapphires. In other words, we can see and craft the sapphire to its fullest potential, rejecting those that don’t exude Sapphire Dreams’ level of quality.” 

Blue, green, yellow, black or another shade of the rainbow, Sapphire Dreams crafts jewellery made from 100% natural, sustainably sourced Australian sapphires. Whatever sapphire colour speaks to you, you can count on a stunning sparkle and a piece you’ll love forever.

Explore our different colour sapphires available online, or ask about our bespoke jewellery creation service by calling +61 1800 228 668.

Traditional engagement rings are easily imagined – beautifully sparkling, clear diamonds set in a simple cradle upon a golden band. Wonderful expressions of love, but after so many years, a little commonplace.

In recent decades, engagement rings have become more unique in aesthetics and designs. From being mere tokens of betrothal, they have evolved into statements of personality, style, and individual love stories. The modern couple doesn't just want a ring; they want a narrative, a piece that speaks of their unique journey together.

Why Personalise & Choose Unique Rings for Your Wedding

Choosing an engagement ring is a deeply personal experience. The ring should not only encapsulate the essence of the relationship but also remain a timeless piece. In this pursuit of perfection, many couples find themselves asking, "How much should I spend on an engagement ring in Australia?" While budget is undeniably a concern, the true value of a ring lies in its individuality.

Amidst this backdrop, sapphires have begun to shine brightly. Their rich hues and storied past offer couples an alternative that's not only beautiful but also steeped in history and symbolism.

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Maira Ring
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Australian Sapphire Round 1 Parti
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Merra Ring
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Scarlett Ring
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Numilla Earrings
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Ophelia Necklace
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Anya Earrings
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Gwen Necklace
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