In several forms, jewelry is admired and praised. For years, both women and men have loved the combination sapphire and diamond gemstone jewelry. When brought together, owners feel sensations of elegance and brilliance beyond imagination.
These two gemstones have several factors in common. In addition to being the most sought after stones for their quality and durability, both have a 4 C’s scale to determine their value. In heirloom stone quality and larger sizes, their value and premium pricing grow exponentially. Diamonds and sapphires express serious sentiments of eternal love and commitment. They are the perfect gemstones for engagement rings, but also stand out in earrings, pendants and necklaces. These two gemstones are known to greatly complement one another.
Undoubtedly, both are lovely gemstones, but what about their differences?
Diamonds have the hardest composition of pure carbon, and are considered to be in their own gemstone family. In other words, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, and no other element or atom is found in its structure. For this reason, diamonds are most popular in their colorless form.
These crystallized carbon rocks are formed at great depths at extremely high pressure and temperature. These stones come to the surface with rising magma. Found in kimberlitic pipes and alluvial deposits, diamonds in their most initial rough appeal dull and even opaque, but clearly the end results are brilliant.
On the other hand, sapphires are considered as a variety of the corundum mineral family, and discovered in metamorphic and igneous rocks. Sapphires are hexagonal crystals of aluminum oxide, which is formed due to constant earth shifts deep inside the earth’s crust. The heat and pressure solidify these stones into hard crystals. The impurities or coloring agents are responsible for their deep saturated colors. They are the second hardest gemstone, rated 9 on Moh’s scale of hardness.
Shape and Cut
Diamonds in their roughest form are octahedral, cubes, rhombic dodecahedral and mackle. Whereas, sapphire crystals are found in shapes of barrels, tabloids or double pointed hexagonal pyramids. Both gemstones are cut into various shapes to enhance maximum beauty and brilliance. Additionally, the cuttings of both gemstones vary greatly and require a different set of skills. The focus of cut emphasizes the stone’s overall brilliance, clarity and luster.
For diamonds, the cut is generally very sharp. The ideal vision when cutting a diamond is to make them appear flawless and transparent because a finely cut diamond has optimal opportunities of light reflection and refraction, adding to the stone’s brilliance and fire. Diamond cut is divided into brilliant cut, step-cut, mixed-cut and rose-cut. Brilliant-cut is most noticeably the best because the focus is on fire and brightness. Cutters apply a step-cut when the focus is on extreme transparency and clarity.
Unlike diamonds, sapphires are cut to enhance their variable optical properties. The focus in colored gemstones always remains on enhancing the color and clarity. A sapphire exhibiting high color and brilliance has impressive luster, but may have inclusions that are not always visible to the naked eye. These are more natural imperfections that appear during heat treatment and polishing. Finally, there is more variance in sapphire’s 4’ C’s as opposed to diamond, which increases the gemstone value.
Both diamonds and sapphires come in an array of colors, but sapphires have more hues. Colored diamonds (I.e. Yellow, brown, red, pink and etc.) are called fancy diamonds and they make only 1% of the total diamond deposits. In contrast, sapphires are commonly available in many colors such as blue, pink, yellow, green, orange, and white. Whether we discuss diamonds or sapphires, color is considered the most important quality deciding factor for any gemstone.
Colorless diamonds are graded on a color scale from D to Z, where D is completely colorless and Z is closer to a yellowish color without as much intensity. However, the color grading scale does not apply to colored diamonds. For sapphires, a similar system is used to determine the value, but the focus is more on color with consideration of hues, saturation and tone.
As mentioned earlier, color, cut, clarity and carat decide the value of a diamond and sapphire. Along with these checklist points, a certificate from a genuine diamond and gemstone testing lab (or Certificate of Authenticity) is also important because without such a certificate, you may not realize or know the true value you are receiving.
These are the major differences between two of the finest gemstones discovered.