The Ultimate Guide to Green Sapphires
Discover our ultimate guide to Green Sapphires with expert gemmologist, Susannah.
7 minute read | Words by Angeli
For most of us when we hear ‘Sapphire’ we instantly picture a vivid blue gemstone! However, did you know that Sapphires actually come in a rainbow of hues - including many stunning shades of Green! For pale through to deep there is much to love about this gemstone. Read on to discover everything you need to know about Green Sapphires!
What is a Green Sapphire
Like all Sapphires, Green Sapphires are members of the Corundum family. Like most gemstones, they can be found within primary deposits (in the case of corundum, this can be within metamorphic or igneous rock formations) and also from a secondary deposit (often corundum is found within alluvial sources e.g riverbeds)
Their stunning green colour comes from the presence of the transitional element Iron (Fe) which is present at the time of their formation.
Where do Green Sapphires come from?
Green Sapphires can be sourced from several countries. At Fenton we source ours from: Australia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Tanzania.
Typically Green Sapphires sourced from Australia and Thailand have a higher Iron content, meaning they have a richer and deeper green colour!
How to choose a Green Sapphire?
You may have heard of the 4 C’s, but unlike diamonds, there is no universal grading system for coloured stones. Our gemmologists personally select each of our Green Sapphires for its unique properties. Here’s what we look for...
Clarity: As creations of nature, all gems will have clarity characteristics such as tiny lines of growth, crystals or needles, which may be visible to the naked eye. Typically inclusions in Green Sapphires include colour zoning (often with blue, yellow or colourless bands), silk (find needle-like inclusions) and feathers (fingerprint inclusions). For the most part, the Green Sapphires we source at Fenton are eye clean. This means that there will be no inclusions visible to the eye.
Cut: The quality of the cut is a combination of symmetry, facet alignment, proportioning and the final surface finish and polish of the gemstone. An excellent cut is one that uses these factors to bring out the best of the gemstone in terms of colour and liveliness.
Colour: Colour should be evenly distributed across the stone. We look for excellent qualities of:
Hue (the basic colour we see)
Saturation (the intensity of the hue)
Tone (the gem’s relative lightness or darkness)
For a Green Sapphire the colour is the most important factor when it comes to determining the gemstones quality. They can range from very pale in colour, to very dark, with differing undertones (typically yellow, blue or brown), creating a spectrum of shades such as sage green, olive green and deep forest green! (Note these aren’t gemmological names but give you an idea of possible shades).
Another unique thing about Green Sapphires is they are what's known as “strongly dichroic”. This simply means that your Green Sapphire will show two different colours, depending on the way in which the light passes through the gemstone - so looking at it from a different angle or in different lighting can make a difference to its appearance.
Green Sapphire or Emerald?
Often when it comes to choosing a gemstone, people start with a colour in mind, with green being one of the most popular. And of course the iconic green gemstone is the Emerald. So how do Green Sapphires compare?
Hardness: Green Sapphires come in at 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, whereas Emeralds are a 7.5, so a little softer.
Toughness: Green Sapphires are tough gemstones, whereas Emeralds are more brittle - this means they are more prone to chipping, and require more care when wearing them.
Stability: Most emeralds on the market will have been treated with an oil of some form and at Fenton, we only use emeralds that have been treated with a natural, colourless oil. These oils can be broken down by chemicals such as those found in hand soaps, so it is important to take extra care to never get these on your Emerald for risk of damaging it. With Green Sapphires however this is not the case.
Lustre and Brilliance: Due to their chemical structure, Green Sapphires offer a higher lustre than Emeralds, meaning light reflects more from them, giving them more sparkle!
Clarity: As products of nature all gemstones have some inclusions, however this is much more likely with Emeralds. The inclusions within Emeralds, serve to tell the formation story of your gemstone, adding to its uniqueness. However, if you’re seeking a gemstone with higher clarity, a Green Sapphire can be a beautiful choice - ours are typically eye clean (meaning no inclusions can be seen without a microscope).
Are Green Sapphires rare?
High quality Green Sapphires are rare, especially when you’re looking for higher quality gemstones, which are eye clean, like ours. This means they can be challenging to source, particularly if you have your heart set on a specific shade or hue.
And of course, the larger the gemstone you’re seeking, the more rare these are to find.
How much do Green Sapphires cost?
As with all gemstones the price of a Green Sapphire can vary depending upon the quality of each specific gemstone (think colour, clarity and cut). As Green Sapphires are more rare, they typically demand a slightly higher price point than other more abundant Sapphire colours such as the classic Blue and Yellow.
At Fenton, as we source from the top 10% of Green Sapphires available in the market, which are typically eye clean. They are usually around 10-20% more expensive than the Blue, Yellow and Pink Sapphires which you see on our website, but this can vary depending on the colour, and cut which you are looking for. They also typically tend to be a little more expensive than our Emeralds for the same reasons.
If you’re looking for more information on pricing of our bespoke Green Sapphire jewellery we always recommend getting in touch. Our bespoke team are always happy to work with your budget, and will advise what is possible in terms of designs and gemstone size to stick within this.
Green Sapphire Engagement Rings
A question we’re often asked is if Green Sapphires are a good choice for an engagement ring - and the answer is yes! They are a durable gemstone, perfect for everyday wear, offering stunning lustre and sparkle. If you’re seeking a Green Gemstone Engagement ring, then we would definitely recommend considering a Green Sapphire.
At Fenton, Green Sapphire Engagement rings are part of our bespoke service. Simply complete our bespoke enquiry form here, and our bespoke jewellery concierge will be in touch to discuss your ring. We will work with you to select your perfect ring design, provide a rendering of this for your approval, and then work with our sourcing team to find your perfect Green Sapphire!
If you wish to find out more about creating a bespoke Green Sapphire Engagement Ring with Fenton then please do not hesitate to contact us via call, email or Whatsapp, we would be delighted to help.
Bespoke Green Sapphire Jewellery
From Green Sapphire rings, to earrings, bracelets and necklaces, whichever you’re dreaming of, we can make it possible. Similar to the engagement ring process, the first step is to submit your bespoke jewellery enquiry via the form here or you are welcome to call, email or Whatsapp.
Due to the rarity and uniqueness of each Green Sapphire, we do not offer exact colour matching to images, and we always recommend it is best to be as open minded as possible. We will source a range of gemstones for you to choose from and share images and videos of these, so you can ensure your Green Sapphire is perfect.
Still have questions?Get in touch