The Australian parti sapphire is an incredibly special stone that makes for a highly unique and memorable gift. These gorgeous coloured stones are known for their unique colour combinations of 2 or 3 tones in the stone body; often varying combinations of blue, green and yellow.
In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about parti sapphires, where to find them and how to care for them.
Table of Contents:
What is an Australian Parti sapphire?
This is the gorgeous ‘Rumpus’ Sapphire Platinum Ring featuring a stunning 2.92ct oval-cut Australian Parti Sapphire in shades of green and gold that shift in the light.
Parti sapphires, also known as polychrome sapphires, are sapphires that show more than one color in a single stone. These one-of-a-kind spectacular colour displays is what makes these stones so difficult to replicate - parti sapphires are 100% natural. The colours are caused by impurities in the sapphire like iron and titanium that give them their characteristic appearance. Just like other Australian sapphires, parti sapphires are renowned for their durability, second only to diamonds in the hardness scale which makes them an excellent stone for regular wear.
As mentioned above, parti sapphires normally display varying combinations of blue, yellow and green. However, Australian sapphires can come in every shade of the rainbow, with no two parti sapphires ever really alike. While these colour displays are naturally occurring, it takes a skilled gem cutter and jeweller to really bring the best out of the stone.
What makes a parti sapphire different from a normal sapphire?
A parti sapphire is separated from common sapphires due to the distinct bands of colour that is called colour zoning. Unlike a dual-toned sapphire such as a teal sapphire (which contains blue and yellow), the colours do not merge or blend together to create an overall new colour but stick to their zones, which can create ombre and striped effects.
How much are Parti sapphires worth?
If you prefer a warmer toned sapphire, we love this gorgeous "Mosaic" Garnet and Sapphire Pendant featuring two unheated pink pastel sapphires.
To determine the worth of a parti sapphire, it will go through the process of colour grading. Colour plays the most important role in the value of any sapphire with parti sapphires as no exception! While yellow and green parti sapphires are still highly regarded and valuable, parti sapphires that have either blue or violet or both are of significantly higher value due to their rarity.
The saturation of the colours present can have a large effect on the value of the sapphire. The saturation describes the vivacity of a stone which can be described anywhere between dull and weak and vivid and vibrant. Essentially, the general rule of thumb is the brighter the color zones, the higher the price per carat!
When purchasing or inspecting a parti sapphire, its important you move the stone and view it from different angles and lights. This way you can best assess its colour, a factor that ultimately influences the gemstone’s value.
Where are Parti sapphires from?
Parti sapphires are predominantly found in Australia, a geographical region rich in unique gemstones with a prominent and successful ethical mining industry. However, they are sometimes sourced else where such as Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya.
Australian parti sapphires are some of the most desired because of their reputation for unique colour compositions. Scientists believe most Austrlian sapphires started forming 150 million years ago, condensed in igneous rock deposits being superheated and pressurised against molten layers. From all this intense heat and pressure comes a symbol of beauty and endurance, strength and style - the Australian sapphire.
Australian parti sapphires can often be identified through a unique yellow-tint more commonly found in our region. It’s somewhat poetic that our biggest parti sapphire export are stones with varying shades of green and gold - our national colours.
How do I care for a Parti sapphire?
Second only to diamonds in terms of durability, sapphires including parti sapphires are a great choice in rings and bracelets as they can withstand daily wear much stronger than other coloured gemstones. As such, parti sapphires generally require little maintenance, however there can be a build-up of grime and dirt around the stones depending on environmental exposure and daily activity.
If you see this buildup, the best thing to do is soak your sapphire piece in a dish of warm soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away any built up residue. Once finished, dry off with a soft cotton or jewellery cloth. Depending on the high value of your stone, you may also opt for professional cleaning. It’s always best to go to the jeweller who you purchased the piece of jewellery from as they will be familiar with the stone’s history and setting. At Jason Ree, we offer complimentary lifetime cleaning and stone security inspection to ensure your sapphire remains safe and sparkling forever.
Where do I buy parti sapphires?
Our stunning ‘Audrey’ earrings feature a matched pair of bright Parti Sapphires with blue and gold banding.
You can purchase parti sapphires from a number of gem wholesalers, however if you want a reputable and long-lasting piece of jewellery, purchasing from a trusted jeweller and sapphire specialist is highly recommended. Here at Jason Ree, we have decades of experience working with unique, rare and wonderful Australian gemstones, including sourcing a spectacular range of parti sapphires. All our sources of parti-sapphires are verifiable, which makes us a popular choice for the ethically minded customer. Jason Ree has one of Australia’s largest curatde collection of Australian Sapphire loose stones.
We love working with parti sapphires for engagement and wedding jewellery in particular. Whether you’re looking for an engagement ring, necklace, or a pair of earrings, Australian parti sapphires will make a striking addition to your piece. It provides an attractive alternate option for a unique and one-of-a-kind engagement ring, but we also can use loose parti sapphires to offset a white diamond or any other center stone for a custom accent. Sapphires tell a story, one we are always interested in bringing to life!