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Yellow Sapphires: 10 Things You Need To Know Before You Buy

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

Nothing puts our mind into summer mode quite like a yellow sapphire. Their bright, crisp brilliance sparkles like a late August sun. Fancy yellow sapphires are not only pretty, but amazingly affordable. Their popularity as engagement ring stones has been growing steadily over the last decade and is only set to increase in 2020 for yellow sapphire engagement rings.

Essential Details About Yellow Sapphires

Yellow sapphires are the best yellow diamond alternative, if not coming in as even better! Sapphire engagement rings have increasingly been the choice for brides looking for more economical, personal, and unique choices.

Yellow sapphires are being seen more and more as a popular choice for an engagement ring center stone. They come in a wide range of yellows from light to dark, with varying levels of vibrancy. Far more affordable than yellow diamonds and boasting a greater variety in shades and cuts, there’s really no question why yellow sapphires have become the top choice.

And the engagement ring trends for 2020 are continuing what we saw in the previous years, only stronger: lots of color and more variety of personalized choices. The moved towards colored gemstones for engagement rings has been steadily growing and it’s no surprise – a colored gemstone is the epitome of something unique and personal to the wearer. And a yellow sapphire engagement ring is guaranteed to be incredibly flattering and so memorable.

If you’re thinking of heading down the yellow brick road, so to speak, the tips below are designed to give you the knowledge that will help you with a successful and rewarding purchase of your perfect yellow sapphire engagement ring. And considering that yellow sapphires are only set to continue their rise in popularity well into 2020, we didn’t leave out anything that would be valuable!

There Are Many Shades of Yellow Available

Like all colors, yellow covers a huge range. From natural pastel light yellow and lemon yellow, to a deep orangey-yellow or golden yellow, all are magnificent. Color is a personal preference, and you should always choose a stone with color that you and your partner like best. But the most sought-after yellow, is a medium vibrant canary. The brighter and purer the yellow color, the more valuable the sapphire.

The main causes of yellow coloration in sapphires is the trace element iron. In general, increased iron concentrations will produce higher color saturation, leading to a richer hue. Yellow sapphires can also be color-enhanced naturally by low-level radiation within the earth or by lab-induced irradiation. Irradiated yellow sapphires are not dangerous, but their color has been known to fade with exposure to heat and light. At the Natural Sapphire Company, we test all our yellow sapphires for signs of irradiation treatment and don’t sell these stones.

Yellow Sapphires Can Have Excellent Clarity

A sapphire with no inclusions is often viewed with suspicion; it may be a synthetic stone or a glass imitation. It’s important to check that there is genuine documentation for the stone you are purchasing.

The best clarity grade for sapphires is “Perfection”, which means it is completely clear to the naked eye, or ‘eye-clean’. This is followed by VVS (Very Very Slightly included) and VS (Very Slightly included) grading, which recognize very small inclusions, but not enough to seriously impair the sapphire’s appearance.

Yellow sapphires tend to have fewer inclusions than other colors, which is quite convenient, since the medium tone at which the color shows best does little to hide inclusions. But what exactly are inclusions? Inclusions are a natural consequence of crystal growth and even the best stones are not expected to be totally inclusion free. For surface blemishes, like scratches or chips, it is important you inspect the stone carefully yourself.

Where Are Yellow Sapphires Found

Yellow sapphires are found in Tanzania, Madagascar, Thailand, and Australia, although Sri Lanka is the primary source. While many of our customers worry about how origin might affect the value of their sapphire, with yellow sapphires, the mining origin doesn’t affect the price.

The Cut Is Incredibly Important

The cut is the main factor affecting your sapphire’s sparkle. If the cut is poor it will look dull and lifeless. Cut does not refer to the shape of the stone, rather to the facets on the gem’s surface, which allow light and color to shine through at their best.

Yellow sapphire rough has traditionally been less costly than blues or pinks, so cutters don’t compromise brilliance in favor of weight retention. As a result, well-cut yellow sapphires are easier to find than other sapphire colors and are more readily available in specialty cuts. A good cut is especially crucial if the stone color is light. Dark gemstones can look lively and dramatic, even if the cut is not perfect. However, with light or colorless gemstones, the stone’s ability to reflect light is very important.

You Must Ask About Any Heat Treatments Used

Traditional heating is widely used for yellow sapphires. This process can enhance the color and transparency of some stones, and the changes made are permanent.

At the Natural Sapphire Company, we specialize in offering untreated sapphires, the ‘real thing’. We believe there is no substitute for the beauty of a natural, untreated sapphire. They are much rarer and consequently hold greater value. Again, it is important to check any documentation or reports linked to your stone. They will tell you if it has been treated.

A Rare and Unique Gemstone

Fine natural yellow sapphires are still rare. There was a time when jewelers did not know or recognize any other color but blue sapphires. In 1980, some dealers in Thailand began experimental heating of pale-yellow sapphires which were cheap and in abundance. The experiments were successful and the sapphires were transformed by heating from soft pastel shades into much richer golden and orangey-yellows.

The Mineral Make-up of Yellow Sapphires

Yellow sapphires are made up of the mineral corundum, that is colored by trace elements of iron. This is how they get their beautiful color. As with all sapphires, they are incredibly tough and scratch resistant, and rate 9 on the Mohs scale (the third hardest mineral, right behind diamond at 10 and moissanite at 9.25). This actually makes them incredibly useful in a lot of wearable technology!

The Price Is Extremely Affordable

If you were considering a yellow diamond ring and were put off by the daunting price tag, then yellow sapphires are the right choice for you. You are very likely to find a beautiful sapphire comparable in color and quality that is within your price range.

You can refine and filter your choice by price range and carat weight. Prices vary depending on the size and quality of each stone. Carat weight plus a combination of color, cut, and clarity grade. There’s something for everyone depending on their budget and wants!

Yellow Sapphires Are Lovely In Any Metal

There are two schools of thought for the choice of metal that will best highlight a yellow sapphire.

The lighter, more pastel yellow, tends to suit more silver colored metals, such as platinum and white gold. The richer yellow stones on the other hand are very popular with darker metals, like rose or yellow gold.

Wisdom and Prosperity Follow Yellow Sapphires

Well known for being the bringer of wisdom and prosperity, sapphire is also the September birthstone, the gem of the fifth and 45th wedding anniversaries, and the zodiac gem for Virgo.

Yellow sapphires specifically are heavily used in India for Vedic Astrology and this has been a major contributor to the rise in price of this gemstone. We find that many people have a cultural need that stipulates natural sapphire use (specifically yellow ones) for good luck and good energy.

Bright and cheerful, everyone loves yellow sapphires. We’re sure you’ll be glad you picked it for your colored-stone jewelry piece. See all of our gorgeous yellow sapphires ready for you here, and contact us with all your yellow sapphire questions – we love to talk sapphires!

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