What is The Difference Between Sapphire and Diamond
Jewelry in any form is loved and adorned by people. Not only women but men also equally like gemstone jewelry especially when it is studded with diamonds and sapphires. Diamonds and sapphires since ages are known for their remarkable elegance and brilliance beyond imagination.
Both the gems have many things in common. They are the most sought after stones with extremely high value depending on the quality. Both have a 4C scale for eminence check. They are the dearest gems of royals and occupy a niche in every jewelry loving heart. Diamonds and sapphires are famous for their beauty and brilliance. And they express the serious sentiments in a very romantic way.
As a treasure and heirloom these stones enjoy the most prestigious place in vaults and hearts of many people. Symbol of eternal love and commitment these stones make an ultimate pair. Sapphire rings with accent diamonds are in vogue and they are the best alternate for diamond engagement rings as they exhibit the opulence of both the stones together.
With so much similarities are diamonds and sapphires same? The answer is a big NO.
Both diamonds and sapphires are two distinct gemstones with many visible and invisible differences.
Diamonds are classified as a distinct stone and many people considered diamond a different gem family. The reason of such classification is the unique tetrahedral carbon structure. Diamond is an allotrope of carbon and no other element or atom is found in its structure. This is also the reason why diamonds are mostly colorless. When any element or atom replaces even a single atom of carbon from the crystal, it results into the absorption of a certain color from the spectrum, making the crystal a colored diamond.
The strongly bonded structure makes diamond the hardest gemstone. These crystallized carbon rocks are formed at a very great depth at extremely high pressure and temperature. Then they come to the surface with rising magma. Found in kimberlite pipes and alluvial deposits, diamonds in rough form are a bit dull and opaque.
Sapphires as contrast to diamonds are considered as a variety of corundum mineral family which is found in metamorphic and igneous rocks. Sapphire is a hexagonal crystal of aluminum oxide which is formed due to constant shifts, mixing and chemical changes deep under the earth crust. They solidify into hard crystals due the shifts in heat and pressure. The impurities or coloring agents are responsible for their specific colors. They are the second hardest gem with 9 on moh’s scale of hardness.
Shape and Cut
Diamonds in rough form are octahedral, cubes, rhombic dodecahedral and macles, whereas sapphire crystals are found in shapes as varied as a barrels, tabloids or double pointed hexagonal pyramids. Both the stones are cut into various shapes to enhance their beauty and brilliance. Rough diamonds have a very strong adamantine luster but sapphires generally have vitreous to dull, greasy luster.
Cutting of both the stones also differ greatly. The focus of cutting a gem is to boost the visual features of the stone with increasing its brilliance and luster. That means a cut helps in improving the clarity and appearance of a gem.
In case of diamonds the cut is generally very sharp. The vision of cutting a diamond is to make it flawless, transparent and more reflective because a finely cut diamond has the ability to reflect the light in a proportionate manner which results in maximum brilliance and fire. Diamond cut is divided into brilliant cut, step-cut, mixed-cut and rose-cut. Brilliant-cut is exceptionally the best when the focus is on the fire and brightness whereas step-cut helps in making a diamond extremely transparent and clear.
Unlike diamonds, sapphires are cut to enhance their variable optical properties. The focus in colored stones always remain on enhancing the color clarity so a perfectly cut sapphire is thought to exhibit even color with good brilliance and luster while it may have few acceptable inclusions.
As cut is a major factor of quality check so is an important difference between the two pristine gemstones. Other Cs of a value measuring scale, i.e. color, clarity and carat can also be affected by the cut.
Both diamonds and sapphires come in an array of colors. It’s only that natural color diamonds are rare and cost very high. Colored diamonds are called fancy diamonds and they make only 1% of the total diamond deposits.
Sapphires in contrast are commonly available in many colors like blue, pink, yellow, green, orange, and white. Color is considered the most important quality deciding factor for any gemstone. Colorless diamonds are graded on the scale of D to Z color where D is for colorless diamond and as the grade scale goes towards Z the color intensity increases gradually.
The color grading system for colored diamonds does not follow this scale. There the intensity from very light to deep measures the color. In sapphires a similar system is followed where the color with balanced hue, saturation and tone stands best.
As said earlier color, cut, clarity and carat decide the value of a diamond and sapphire. These factors including other things like the historic importance of any piece or any old mine stone etc add more stars to the price. Along with these checklist points a certificate from a genuine diamond and gemstone testing lab is also important because without such certificate purchasing a diamond or sapphire could be risky.
These are the basic differences between the two finest stones of the gem world. Instead of these differences both diamond and sapphire enjoy a healthy partnership and they are considered the best friends of each other.