When Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana Spencer, he gave her a sapphire ring, which symbolizes faithfulness. While the spell didn’t work in that case, the sapphire remains one of the world’s most popular gemstones, ranging in color from deep, dark blue to light violet.

Things You'll Need

Begin your search at a reputable and trusted jewelry store. Be sure the staff knows gemstones in general and sapphires in particular.

Ask if the stone has been treated in any way. Some common treatments to enhance gems include irradiation, heat treatment, dyeing and coating. Not all of these treatments will devalue the stone, but always ask so you know what you’re getting.

Study the color of the stone. The most valuable sapphires are deep, pure blue, and do not change color when moved into different light. Stones that are too dark or too light are of less value than royal blue stones.

Make sure there are no visible inclusions in the stone or scratches on the surface.

Examine the cut of the sapphire. Oval shapes – like Princess Diana’s ring – are popular, but sapphires come in a variety of cuts. Make sure the light reflects evenly off the surface of the stone when it is held face up. Look at the surface of the stone from several angles to be sure.

Place several sapphires side by side and compare them. Look at the color and cut, then choose the stone you like best.


  • Sapphires and rubies are closely related and are formed from the same material, corundum. Sapphires come in a variety of colors but, in essence, a red sapphire is a ruby. So-called “fancy” sapphires range in color from yellow to green to pink to violet.

  • Sapphires can be heated at high temperatures to give them a better color and clarity. It is estimated that 90 percent of the sapphires on the market have undergone this process, which does not affect the value of the stone.

  • A cabochon-cut sapphire with a six-legged star in the middle is called a star sapphire. A star sapphire should have a prominent star with legs of equal length.