White Sapphire and Diamond - An expert Analysis
If you decided that you want to have a colourless gemstone in your engagement ring but not sure whether it would be a diamond or sapphire and if you are confused with the pieces of advice from wannabe youtube stars, here are some expert advice for you.
There are several approaches to arrive at a decision. Let's say you want a solitaire engagement ring. The size of the centre diamond will depend on your budget. A 5mm 0.5ct G Colour VVS diamond alone would cost you 2-3K dollars whereas a 6.5mm 1ct G Colour VVS diamond will cost around a 10K dollars.
But, if you are flexible and want to consider white sapphires, a same quality 0.5ct white sapphire will cost 1/3 of the diamond and the same quality 1ct white sapphire will only cost you 1/6 of the diamond.
Here, you have two good choices; first, pay a lot of money and buy a good size diamond ring. However, we do not recommend to go for a diamond less than a half a carat in a solitaire setting. Secondly, get a better-looking ring with a bigger white sapphire stone for a much lower price. We believe that a ring with a good size gemstone is always beautiful than a ring where the gemstone was undersized to lower the budget.
Now there are two obvious questions here. First is why there is such a huge price gap. And the second question is how good a sapphire ring will look compared to a diamond ring.
Why Diamonds are expensive than Sapphires?
Let us have a look at the non-visual characteristics first. Diamonds and sapphires are very hard materials. In the moh's scale diamond is rated as 10 and sapphire is rated as 9. This scale is not a linear scale and the absolute hardness of diamond is very very higher than sapphires. But that difference is relevant in certain scientific applications rather than in jewellery. They both have adequate scratch resistant to make jewellery for a lifetime. Rareness is another factor for gemstones to be valuable and sapphire are rarer than diamonds. However, the price of a commodity is subjected to the supply and demand of the market. The higher demand and the controlled supply of diamonds made the diamonds the most expensive gemstone.
Which looks better, a Sapphire or a Diamond?
This is really difficult to say because it depends on a number of factors. But for sure a top quality diamond will have a better brilliance, fire and scintillation compared to a top quality white sapphire gemstone. But if the size and price is fixed you can get a better white sapphire gemstone. For example, 1ct 6.5mm M Colour SI diamond is about 3-4K dollars. And if you want to get a 1ct white sapphire and willing to spend the same money, you can get a much superior looking white sapphire.
Another important visual difference is that when the colour grade lowers, diamonds turn into yellowish or brownish colour (See the GIA colour chart below). But sapphires are not categorized as white sapphires if it gets a clue of any other tint. On the other hand, sapphire can be translucent, milky, cloudy, or silky and the brightness could be really impacted with those. However, good quality sapphires are very transparent and cannot be distinguished from a diamond by an ordinary person.
Conclusion: If you have enough money go for a top quality diamond. Otherwise, do not compromise the size or the quality of the gemstone and go for a good quality white sapphire.