Sapphire Buying Guide - Kashmir Burma Ceylon Madagascar
As I have seen over the past years, a lot of eBay buyer are cheated by overseas dealers by selling them Corundum or Corundum wannabe material.
Corundum is the general name for sapphires and rubies.
This guide is regarding sapphires.
Before you read this guide, please be sure that calling a sapphire Kashmir blue doesn't mean it's Kashmir, only a certificate from a reputable gem lab will guarantee you origin. Almost all sapphires on eBay claiming Kashmir are saying in the description that the origin is Ceylon.
There are a few types of sapphires:
Sleepy silky deep blue from the Kashmir Pakistan/India region, the
mines are in the Pakistani side, hence it’s overrun by terrorists so mining
operation is virtually gone there. Not to mention the mines haven’t produced in
over 100 years.
Basically you will not find any of these sapphire on eBay b/c they bring top $$$ between collectors and dealers, so anyone claiming Kashmir without a reputable certificate is lying.
Burma or Myanmar –
Sleepy silky deep blue to crisp blue from Burma, these sapphires are
2nd to Kashmir stones, they are very sought after and are still mined. Large
stones over 15 carats bring top dollars.
Ceylon or Sri Lankan –
Light to deep & vivid crisp blues from Sri Lanka, these are the most beautiful of sapphires (as far as I am concerned), they come in a variety of sizes and colors so prices are affordable. Some stones run from around $50 per carat up to over $20,000 per carat for large and fine sizes.
African & Madagascar –
These sapphires are very similar to Ceylon stones in many aspects and prices. Most stones tend to be much cleaner but for some reason they tend to be mostly cheaper to comparable Ceylon since most buyers are looking for Burma or fine Ceylon.
This is a new material which resembles sapphires, however it is not. eBay is flooded with the stuff and many people are buying sapphires which are not sapphires. Most of these sapphire wannabe stones are funneled through Thailand and India b/c that’s where they are mostly cut.
Last but not least….Laser diffusion….
This is a treatment where colorless Corundum is heated to a melting point and introduced to dye in order to give it color. These are worthless stones and like Kainite, they are all over the place. Don’t fall the the old switch & bait Asian dealers out there…save your money and demand a real certificate or just pay normal prices from a local jeweler.
In short….If it’s a serious price, demand a certificate such as an AGTA, AGL, GRS, Gubelin, GIA etc….otherwise you are at the mercy of the seller.
Last modified: 11/09/12