Sapphire vs Diamond

 

Diamonds and sapphires are two extremely popular gemstones. They're both loved for their beauty, durability, and value. The diamond is the strongest gemstone used in jewelry making today, but it isn't indestructible. Sapphires are extremely hard and durable, but they can be scratched or damaged if struck by a tough blow.

Get all the info about sapphire vs. diamond here to help you decide which gemstone is best for your next jewelry purchase!

 

The Formation Process

 

Sapphires are comparatively easy to manufacture: The creation of corundum results from applying pressure and heat to aluminum-rich rocks like feldspar.

So, how do you make a diamond? In contrast, diamonds require tremendous heat and pressure to turn coal into a diamond, making their formation on earth incredibly rare.

 

Gemstone Colors


The most popular choice for engagement rings is hands-down brilliant, colorless diamonds, although diamonds come in various other shades. Diamond colors include fancy colors such as green, pink, yellow, orange, and blue.

Sapphires and diamonds are similar in this way. Blue is the most popular sapphire hue, although sapphire stones come in varying tints of purple, green, yellow, orange, pink, violet, and intermediate shades. Most sapphire stones change color, typically from blue in daylight or under fluorescent lights to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires also come in gray, black, or brown.

The only color of sapphire that isn't available is red. Sapphire is a corundum mineral, but red corundum is known as ruby.

 

Sparkle & Fire


Nothing shines like a diamond! Colorless diamonds have a high refractive index (2.41); thus, they can better refract and diffuse light than most clear stones. This high refractive index is part of their charm, as it's what makes all the facets of a diamond bounce light and make it appear to sparkle. Even in low light, a beautiful diamond will stand out from other white stones cut the same way since it will gleam more.

A diamond cutter often shapes a rough diamond into a brilliant round cut consisting of 57 or 58 individual facets, perfect for its reflective index. These cuts depend on precise mathematical formulas to intensify the rough diamond's sparkle.

The fire in a diamond is considerably greater than that of a sapphire stone. Since sapphires are colored stones, they produce bursts of white to blue rather than a rainbow. Simply because sapphires have a lower refractive index than diamonds, they don't glitter as much as diamonds. This lower refractive index is partly because sapphire stones are abundant with inclusions, which lowers their refractive index.

 

Gemstone Hardness

 

Diamonds are the hardest material known to man, with a hardness that enables them to cut through anything without being scratched. For this reason, diamonds are found on the heads of industrial boring machines that dig subterranean tunnels and the blades of extremely sharp saws.

The Mohs scale is a measure of how hard a substance is. The diamond serves as a standard to compare other minerals against, obtaining a perfect 10 out of 10. The hardness of sapphire is a touch softer, earning it a 9 mark. The hardness of a sapphire implies it can take scratches from almost everything except a diamond.

While the difference in hardness between a sapphire and diamond isn't as significant as that between a diamond and quartz (a 7 on the Mohs scale), some individuals may desire a harder stone.

 

Gem Treatments


Both Sapphires and diamonds sometimes undergo heat treatments.
Sapphires are heat-treated more frequently, resulting in numerous fractures filled with lead glass. These treatments improve the stone's color and clarity, and they're pretty popular among gemstone dealers.

Most sapphire gems on the market are heat-treated to replicate the higher pressure and heat in the ground from the natural formation process.

Diamond inclusions are standard, and few natural diamonds are completely white and transparent. Many diamond stones are, in fact, a little yellowish and have a few dark specks here and there, causing a lower diamond grading. Thus, a diamond is laser drilled and filled to remove inclusions during treatment—the color of diamond changes via this heating or irradiation process.

These practices are less common than sapphire stone jewelry and usually only affect the price of a diamond.

 

Gemstone Price


Is a sapphire or diamond more expensive? This pricing is where a white sapphire has a significant advantage over a diamond. A 1ct diamond of good color and clarity costs anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000. A similar white sapphire costs up to $450. This looks like a no-brainer, but there are a few more things to consider before disregarding that 1ct diamond.

A white diamond receives a diamond grade by GIA, UGL, or another recognized organization. The diamond grading system is a numerical scale that allows you to assess a diamond's quality. All aspects of a white diamond, such as cut, clarity, color, and weight, are apparent in the diamond grading report.

In contrast, sapphire gems don't receive a grade by any authority. This includes every type of sapphire, from the most beautiful blue to one that is entirely colorless.

With white sapphires, the lower margins necessitate that sellers try to get them to market as quickly as possible. If you're not a trained gemologist, assessing quality might be challenging.

 

Proper Storage


Diamond and sapphire jewelry storage is the same. The ideal method is to use compartmented storage space, which allows for sorting and organization. If you have a lot of diamond or sapphire jewelry, this is especially crucial because you don't want any direct contact between the gemstone pieces. If your diamond or sapphire jewelry is in individual compartments, their surfaces will not rub against one another, preventing scuffing and damage.

Likewise, keep your diamond and sapphire jewelry in a protected, controlled environment like a dry jewelry box. Your gems will not deteriorate over time because they are not in contact with harsh chemicals and humid surroundings.

 

WRAPPING UP

 

In a nutshell, a diamond is harder and more durable than a sapphire gem. For some people, this is the most important factor when it comes to jewelry. However, the ability of a sapphire stone to withstand heat treatments makes them far less expensive than diamonds--sometimes hundreds of times cheaper. If you're on a budget, sapphire stone jewelry is the clear choice.

On the other hand, if you're someone who can afford to splurge and don't mind paying more for durability and rarity, diamonds are perfect. Their extreme hardness makes them resistant to scratching and extremely durable. And unless they've been treated to improve color or clarity (which could lower quality), you are sure to get exactly what you bargained for.

Either way, with a little research, you can find the gemstone that's the perfect fit for your budget and lifestyle.