How Much Are Green Sapphires Worth?
Green sapphires captivate with their lush, verdant hues. Ranging from yellowish medium greens to rich emerald greens, their colors reflect serene landscapes – towering trees, rolling hills, and deep forests.
These gemstones command high prices thanks to their stunning looks and durability as part of the corundum family. Their value varies widely depending on color, clarity, cut, size, source, and treatment. By understanding what impacts worth, you can better evaluate green sapphires when shopping.
What Determines the Value of Green Sapphires?
Like all colored stones, several key characteristics influence the price of green sapphires:
Color is the chief value factor for any gemstone, especially one named after its signature shade like a sapphire. Greens span the spectrum from yellowish to bluish:
- Medium greens – Subtle green with secondary yellow and brown tones
- Pure greens – Vivid green lacking any secondary hues
- Blue-green – Tones closer to teal and light blue shades
The most coveted and expensive green sapphires display a vivid, intense green reminiscent of emeralds. These pure greens with no secondary colors can fetch up to $8,000 per carat.
Stones with medium green tones tend to cost far less, closer to $500 per carat. Blue-green sapphires fall somewhere in between depending on how much blue they contain.
Additionally, some rare green sapphires exhibit different colors in incandescent vs fluorescent light. These color-change stones also garner high valuations.
Like all corundum, green sapphires tend to contain few eye-visible inclusions thanks to their sturdy crystal structure. Eye-clean stones – those with minor inclusions only visible under 10x magnification – fetch the highest prices. Heavy inclusions that impact transparency significantly decrease value.
Fractures, chips, and cavities also negatively impact an emerald-green sapphire’s worth.
Well-cut gemstones display exceptional brilliance, fire, and beauty. The standards differ slightly between classic cuts like ovals and cushions and innovative cuts like triangles.
But in general, excellent polish, symmetry, and proportions maximize green sapphires’ sparkling dispersion and allure. The finest cuts highlight the alluring green tones while poorly cut stones appear dull and lackluster.
While cutting green sapphire rough does require skill, well-cut gems do not command the same premiums over average cuts compared to other diamond cuts. But bargain cuts with poor workmanship severely reduce worth.
Larger green sapphires cost exponentially more per carat. Market demand drops significantly above 2 carats, and the price per carat levels off.
But exceptionally large crystallized green sapphires over 5 carats fetch astronomical valuations. In 2020, Christie’s sold a record-setting 30.28 ct cushion-cut green sapphire for over $527,000!
In general, the price per carat follows this trend:
|Price Per Carat
Certain localities like Sri Lanka and Madagascar produce the most coveted green sapphire rough. Stones from renowned sources tend to attract higher bids.
Ethical and sustainable mining practices also influence prices in recent years. Sapphires associated with environmental damage or unethical treatment of miners sell for less.
Like most sapphires, many green specimens undergo heat treatment to intensify their colors. Heated stones sell for approximately 10-20% less than untreated ones of comparable quality.
However, diffusion treatment where beryllium is infused into the gem to alter its color drastically reduces value. Diffused sapphires sell for 50-90% less than natural green stones.
Green Sapphire Value by Quality
By evaluating these different factors, gemologists assign green sapphires into quality grades. Each grade corresponds to a different price range:
Exceptional: Over $8,000 per carat for flawless vivid green sapphires
Fine: $3,000 to $8,000 per carat for eye-clean stones with rich green hues
Very Good: $1,500 to $3,000 per carat for lightly included medium green sapphires
Good: $500 to $1,500 per carat for average clarity lighter green sapphires
Fair: Under $500 per carat for heavily included pale green sapphires
For example, here’s how much three different green sapphires might cost:
- 0.5 carat, VS2 clarity, medium green oval - $700
- 1.8 carat, VVS1 clarity, rich green emerald cut - $14,000
- 3.2 carat, SI1 clarity, blue-green cushion cut - $9,500
As you can see, the range varies greatly depending on the balance of cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
Tips for Buying Green Sapphires
When shopping for green sapphires, keep this guidance in mind:
- Have any stone you’re considering set by a jeweler, then view it under various lighting conditions to best evaluate the color.
- Seek a grading report from a reputable gem lab like GIA, AGS or Gübelin to verify factors influencing the price.
- Work with jewelers who specialize in sourcing fine green sapphires and can explain the pros, cons and prices in depth.
- Legitimate dealers will disclose any treatments performed on the stones. Be wary of any unbelievable deals, which often indicate treatment, fakes or poor quality.
- Consider responsible mining practices and sources as part of your decision criteria.
Investing the time to research and find the right green sapphire ensures you’ll be delighted when you finally acquire one of these scintillating stones. Their captivating green shades will remind you of lush forests and rolling hills whenever you catch a glimpse.
Green sapphires offer a unique pop of color, with inviting green tones ranging from crisp lighter shades to dramatic deep hues. Their high durability and multitude of cuts makes them ideal for all types of jewelry.
Understanding what makes these gemstones valuable allows you to make informed decisions when buying. Optimal color, clarity, cut and ethical sourcing should all be weighed carefully alongside the price and carat weight when selecting your perfect green sapphire.
Are green sapphires rare?
Yes, natural green sapphires are quite rare compared to other colors like blue. Their uniquely verdant color is challenging to find in nature.
What is the most expensive green sapphire ever sold?
In 2020, Christie’s auctioned a 30.28-carat cushion-cut green sapphire for over $527,000. This remains the priciest green sapphire on public record.
Do inclusions affect the value of a green sapphire?
Yes, heavy inclusions that impact transparency will decrease a green sapphire's value. Eye-clean stones with only minor inclusions fetch higher prices.
What are some trusted green sapphire dealers?
Reputable green sapphire dealers include Caldera Gem, Columbia Gem House, Nordic Coast Sapphires, and SwissGemlab.
Should I ask for a gemological lab report when buying a green sapphire?
Getting a grading report from GIA, AGS or another esteemed gem lab allows you verify the quality factors that influence price. This gives you peace of mind about your purchase.
What’s the difference between a medium and a pure green sapphire?
Medium greens have secondary yellowish or brownish tones mixed with the green. Pure greens are vivid hues lacking any noticeable secondary colors.
Is heat treatment common for green sapphires?
Yes, many green sapphires undergo heat treatment to improve their color. This can reduce their value by 10-20% compared to untreated comparable stones.
Which green sapphire cuts showcase color best?
Cuts with open facets and reflective pavilions like ovals and emeralds excel at displaying a green sapphire's lush color tones.