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What is the most sought after sapphire color?

Sapphires come in a wide range of beautiful colors, from the classic deep blue to stunning pinks, yellows, oranges, greens, purples and more. But when it comes to popularity and value, one color reigns supreme: blue. Let’s take a closer look at why blue sapphires are the most coveted of all.

The Allure of Blue Sapphires

Blue sapphires have long been associated with royalty, luxury, and mystery. Their rich, saturated hue is reminiscent of clear night skies and deep oceans. The color blue has symbolic meaning in many cultures – it represents wisdom, truth, faith, and inspiration. Historically, kings and nobles adorned themselves with blue sapphires as symbols of protection, power, and divine connection.

Blue sapphires range in tone from pale sky blue to inky navy. The most prized and valuable shade is a vivid, medium-dark violetish blue, sometimes described as “cornflower blue.” This tone has an enchanting depth and liveliness that makes it stand out from all other gemstones. When cut well, blue sapphires exhibit a phenomenon known as “color change” – alternating between shades of blue and violet depending on lighting conditions.

While other sapphire colors have their own unique beauty, none possess the mystique and allure of blue. It is universally flattering and elegant, complementing all skin tones and styles. For these reasons, blue sapphires have remained the most popular and in-demand color for generations.

Supply and Demand

In the world of colored gemstones, sapphires are actually quite rare. Sapphire refers to all gem-quality specimens of the mineral corundum that are not red (red corundum is classified as ruby). Only about 20% of the world’s supply of quality sapphire is blue. Meanwhile, demand for blue sapphires has steadily risen, especially for top-grade stones needed for engagement rings and other fine jewelry.

The limited supply and ever-increasing demand puts consistent upward pressure on prices for fine blue sapphires. Production is dominated by just a handful of sources like Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Australia. Political turmoil in producing countries or environmental factors can further restrict output in any given year. This volatility adds to the appeal of blue sapphires as a rare and valuable commodity.

Sapphire Color Supply Level Demand Level
Blue Low High
Pink Very Low High
Yellow Moderate Moderate
Green High Low

As shown in the table, blue and pink sapphires have the highest demand coupled with very limited supply, making them extremely valuable. Green sapphires are relatively abundant yet see little demand, so they fetch lower prices.

Durability and Versatility

Blue sapphires owe their esteemed position not just to their outstanding color, but also to their durability and versatility. With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphires are exceptionally resistant to scratches, chips, and everyday wear and tear. Large, flawless stones can be used in statement jewelry pieces without risk of damage. Meanwhile, smaller accent stones can add pops of color to any outfit or style.

Sapphires work with both platinum and gold settings and complement both modern and vintage designs. They transition beautifully from day to night and can be worn casually or dressed up for formal occasions. Sapphires make meaningful and lasting engagement rings, anniversary bands, and heirloom jewelry.

While rubies and emeralds are also “precious” gems, they require more special care. Emeralds are brittle and susceptible to fractures. Rubies struggle with heat damage. Blue sapphires offer beauty and resilience in one striking package.

Blue Sapphire Prices

Given the scarcity of fine quality blue sapphires, they fetch premium prices on the market. Let’s examine some pricing factors:


Vivid medium-dark blue commands the highest per-carat prices. Paler stones are more abundant, so they cost less. Once saturation crosses into inky tones, value also starts decreasing. The most desirable blue is intense but not overly dark.


Most blue sapphires have some inclusions, so eye-clean stones demand a premium. Flawless, loupe-clean sapphires are exceptionally rare and expensive. At the same time, minor flaws that don’t impact brilliance have little effect on price.


Precision cutting allows sapphires to maximize their brilliance and color. Well-cut stones have greater sparkle and more life. The quality of the cut significantly impacts how the color is displayed.


Larger sapphires are increasingly scarce, so carat size is strongly tied to price. One-carat stones may sell for around $1,000 per carat while five-carat stones fetch upwards of $5,000 per carat.

To summarize, a one-carat medium blue sapphire of good clarity and cut may cost around $2,000. A five-carat stone of exceptional quality could easily top $50,000 or more.

Blue Sapphire Alternatives

For those who love blue sapphires but have a limited budget, attractive and more affordable alternatives exist:

  • Blue Ceylon spinel – Nearly identical in appearance but costs 20-30% less.
  • Blue zircon – Brilliant blue at a fraction of the cost but softer, less durable.
  • Blue topaz – Sky blue hues. Abundant supply keeps prices modest.
  • Tanzanite – Violet blue and readily available. Value driven by size and quality.

These gems make excellent substitutes for blue sapphire in jewelry. But for those insisting on the real deal, fine Ceylon blue sapphires remain the pinnacle of rarity and allure.


With their stunning color, symbolism, prestige, durability, and scarcity, it’s no wonder blue sapphires are the most coveted and valuable of all the sapphire hues. For generations they have adorned royalty and the wealthy. Engagement rings and high-end jewelry settings proudly feature these mesmerizing blue gems. Their undeniable appeal continues driving prices higher, especially for larger, top-quality stones. Alternatives exist for more modest budgets, but true blue sapphire has no substitute when only the real thing will do.