Teal Sapphire

Posted on January 3, 2022 by Çiğdem Lüle, PhD, FGA, GIA GG, DGA

The “unusual” gemstones have proven to be popular sellers in recent years. The refreshing approach started off almost a decade ago with less known, sometimes overlooked, gemstones. While classic gemstones and their traditional cuts keep their regal placement in the market, new designers and adventurous consumers are keen to explore new options. Ruby and blue sapphire are the most popular varieties of corundum. However, nature also treats us to an array of other interesting types, each distinguished by color. i.e., purple sapphire. In fact, corundum is quite generous with its color varieties. Some, such as padparadscha, are rarer and highly desirable, yet others are not so rare and draw little attraction. One of the lesser appreciated sapphires was the blue-green variety. Earlier attempts to market the material featured overly dark somewhat muddled colors. However, more recently the market has experienced a surge in demand for blue-green sapphire marketed as “teal” sapphire. Eric Braunwart of Columbia Gem House notes that it is one of the strongest selling sapphire colors today. The term is used to describe a medium to medium dark blue-green color. Sapphires of this general color are not new to the market. Of the notable sources, Australia, Madagascar, Malawi, Montana, and Nigeria are particularly relevant. Historically, many commercial grade Australian and East African blue sapphires had been sold at very low price points due to the green component in them. Much darker ones are still considered “inky” and remain in the commercial grade category. However, lighter tones of blue-green sapphires increasingly appeal to more consumers recently. These colors were promoted at the latest Fura Gems rough sapphire auction that took place in Bangkok during November 2021. It was the first time that a “teal sapphire” category was featured. Teal sapphire is one of the hottest requests in the US gem market today. Affordability relative to blue sapphire likely contributed to the recent surge in popularity, especially in the designer market. Prices have moved up in response to demand. Prices for 4 ct or larger are substantially higher than the prices noted below. Blue-green...

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