If someone asks you what is the nicest and most marketed gemstone after diamonds, the obvious answer is blue sapphire. While there are other rare gemstones and sapphires that have a higher price point per carat, blue sapphire is undoubtedly the most popular. But then what is cornflower blue sapphire? Cornflower blue sapphire is the highest valued and most desired color variety of the blue sapphire.
While a lot of us may have already heard the word cornflower blue in the context of gem and jewelry, we may still be clueless as to the fine details and facts around his magnificent gemstone. If you are looking to buy a sapphire with this particular color, these are the top 10 things you should know about before making the purchase.
1. What are Blue Sapphires?
Blue sapphires are the material corundum that is naturally formed over millions of years under slow transformation due to geothermal properties and pressure underneath the earth. All sapphires are corundum, but all corundum is not called sapphire. The exception is the ruby, the red variety of the corundum.
Sapphires come in all colors and shades you can think of and some sapphires have a magnificent color blend while some display change of color under natural light and fluorescent light. One special variety of sapphire has a star effect, also known as asterism due to the patterns of tiny inclusions that reflect light.
Sapphire colors are a result of the existence of foreign material in the stone. Pure corundum is colorless also know as white sapphire. All other colors are generated due to the absorption of certain wavelengths of natural light by these foreign materials. The color we see is the blend of the colors that were not absorbed. Blue sapphires are made by natural corundum that is mixed with titanium and iron traces.
2. What is Cornflower Blue Sapphire?
Well, this is a sapphire with a specific shade of blue color that closely resembles the color of a regular cornflower. But you should be careful to use the right natural color of cornflower for benchmarking against the gemstone.
If you search the web today you will find cornflower with different shades. This may be due to the age of the flower, lighting condition under which the photo is taken, or due to the post color corrections. The most accurate cornflower blue is shown in the below picture.
The RGB color code for cornflower blue is #6495ed. The Blue you should be expecting out of a cornflower blue sapphire is a well-saturated blue, yet it has some lightness and softness.
3. How Do I Choose the Right Cornflower Blue?
The blue color of sapphire can vary a lot to the naked eye due to the level of brilliance of a particular gemstone and based on the lighting condition under it is observed. The best lighting condition is under soft natural light on a sunny day away from direct sunlight getting on to the stone. It is also important not to observe or inspect the stone under a blue sky as it can intensify the color of the stone unnecessarily.
If you are buying online, inform the seller to take a proper photograph under the above lighting conditions and send you the unedited one. It would be great if the seller can photograph the gemstone with a color calibrating card within the frame so that you can do your own color correction cause the color you see is always subject to the camera quality. Buying a gemstone this way online can be much safer than buying it personally given you can color correct the photograph yourself. It also eliminates the buying pressure by the salesperson.
The brilliance can greatly affect the color, but this is a good thing rather than a bad thing. Cause more brilliance means more shades of color it can exhibit. So you will never regret the purchase as it will delight you everyday you wear it. The more the brilliance, more the desirability.
4. What Cut Should I be Looking for in a Cornflower Blue Sapphire?
There is no hard and fast rule here. I am a lapidarist and the first priority for any lapidarist is to gain the maximum yield from the rough while preserving the color bands within the stone as the price is controlled by these two factors the most. So the cut of a gemstone is obviously a result of how the rough was when it was found. The only exception is to get a custom cut and ask the lapidarist to source a matching rough to save the wastage.
Therefore you can choose your most desired cut based on what’s available in the market provided the color is right. However, something you should be careful about is the quality of the cut. The most basic is the absence of a window. The windowed gemstone will not reflect the light and it is see-through. The stone should not be too tall nor too shallow. The girdle line should be even all around the stone and the culet should be at the center of the stone when looked from below.
5. What is so Special About Ceylon Cornflower Blue Sapphire?
Cornflower blue sapphire is always synonymous with Ceylon, modern-day Sri Lanka. This particular color variety is also found in Kashmir, Burma, and Madagascar as well. The long mining history of Sri Lanka and the pace at which these fine blue sapphires are found in the country have given a special place for Ceylon sapphires in the international gem market. Some of the most notable and largest blue sapphires ever to be found are also of Sri Lankan origin.
While there could be fine variations in color and intensity depending on where the sapphire is found, the main methods of identifying the origin can only be carried out inside a laboratory with microscopic observation tools. Key parts of origin determination is possible via the characteristics of inclusions and existence of certain foreign material traces.
Therefore the origin of the sapphire is more of a subjective determinant of the desirability of the sapphire than fact based. However it is quite important for the market value and general acceptability which is why Ceylon blue sapphire and sometimes Kashmir blue sapphire are the most preferred in international market.
6. What is Heated and Treated Blue Sapphire?
Heated blue sapphires are essentially natural sapphire that has gone through a heat treatment process to either take the color or intensify the color more. The heat treatment process dilutes the silk inclusions and causes to reveal the color more than how it was found. The pure heat treatment of blue sapphire is usually considered acceptable as it will only reveal the color hidden in the stone already.
However, it is important to differentiate between heated and treated sapphires. Treated sapphires are diffusion heated in the presence of blue color causing materials like iron, titanium, and sometimes cobalt. These foreign materials will be embedded into the surface of usually a colorless or light color sapphire making it a blue sapphire. Recutting or repolishing of the stone at a later date will greatly affect the color of these stones, thus not considered true sapphire.
When it comes to cornflower blue, we not only consider about the color in general, but also a fine shade of the color. Thus in this case it is always recommended to go with the natural untreated sapphire than purchasing a heated or treated stone which is basically artificially fixating the shade of color on a gemstone that is not cornflower blue. So you could only be lying to yourself with heated or treated cornflower blue sapphire.
7. How to Identify the Real vs. Fake Sapphire?
How fake it gets is depending on how you look at it. If you are looking for the most genuine natural untreated cornflower blue, which you should, then all other sapphires are fake, even the heated, diffusion treated, glass filled or synthetic. But in general, the fake sapphires are the glass-filled sapphires in the market. If you have purchased a synthetic sapphire pretended to be natural, then it is nothing but a scam.
Glass-filled sapphires are originally natural sapphires in unsellable condition with lots of cavities, partying plains, and fractures. These sapphires can be purchased in bulk for very low prices. Then the fractures and cavities are filled with lead glass to hide them in plain sight. This treatment is done mainly for blue sapphires and rubies where the price point is significant.
There are different ways to identify fake sapphire. But a lot of this can only be done with physical examination and requires a general jewelers loupe. If you are buying online then make sure to have a certificate accompanying and verifying the authenticity of the stone.
8. What is the Price of Cornflower Blue Sapphire?
A fine blue sapphire with good clarity is usually sold in the international market between 800 to 1,500 US dollars per carat. You can find for even cheaper price tag when the color is darker or lighter and when obvious inclusions are present. Out of this range, cornflower blue sapphire is at the very top along with fine vivid blue.
It should be noted that when the carat weight of a single stone is high, the per carat value becomes exceptionally expensive as these are fine investments too apart from the intention to wear them on jewelry.
The value also defers depending on the origin of the sapphire. Most valued are Ceylon and Kashmir origin cornflower blue sapphires. Anyway, the majority of the cornflower blues in the market are of Ceylon origin, and Kashmir origin is not readily available.
9. What is the Meaning of Cornflower Blue Sapphire
Blue sapphires over the years have scored a lot of metaphysical beliefs. Another reason why these fine stones are so much popular and sough after by many people of different cultures. The cornflower blue however does not have any specific meaning apart from what is usually believed in for all fine color blue sapphires. But it is said that these spiritual benefits can mostly be expected out of the heavenly blues. Thus cornflower blue along with vivid blue qualifies at the very top if you wear them partly for spiritual purposes as well.
Blue sapphires are believed to bring in protection, fortune, and good spirit to one’s soul. It also symbolizes the confidence, character, and energy thereby bringing out the best of someone and fulfill the most desired path of destiny. Blue sapphire also belongs to the most feared astrological planet Saturn. Thus believed to give the protection against all ill wills and misfortune.
10. How Fitting Cornflower Blue Sapphire in Engagement Rings?
Cornflower blue sapphire can be enchanting when fitted with a platinum or white gold setting. Yellow or pink gold could be a good choice for cornflower blues as it too will compliment well or enhance the beauty of the stone. This could potentially be the next best precious stone for engagement rings after diamond with a reasonably lower price tag.
1-carat cornflower blue is all you need for a resounding ‘yes’. If you have done the proper research based on the content above, you can confidently buy this nature’s beauty with guaranteed no regret.
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