Guide to Buying Vintage Sapphires

Since sapphires may contain trace elements of titanium, copper or iron, these gems are unique in the range of colors they display. It is perfectly acceptable for a gorgeous sapphire to have a deep blue, bright orange or full green coloration. Vintage sapphires are usually sold in settings. Unless the gem is of a rare cut, it is rarely sold as a loose stone. Buying vintage sapphires is a wonderful opportunity to own a truly unique piece of jewelry. Yet how do you go about finding just the right piece?
Determine your definition of the term vintage. As noted previously, it is rare that sapphires are sold as loose gems. Unlike diamonds, these gems are usually defined by their settings. Decide ahead of time if you want to own a sapphire that is a vintage piece, but may be in a newer setting, or if you wish to own a piece of sapphire jewelry that falls under the vintage designation by virtue of its setting. Looking for color can be your ally in the quest for dating the stones.
Understand the retailer’s definition of vintage. Sticklers for detail will tell you that a true vintage sapphire must have been mined or cut between 1960 and 1979. Unfortunately, some retailers and also private sellers do not necessarily follow this rule. They may consider anything newer than 1960 to be vintage even if the piece is only five years old. Others will go back further than 1960 and double-list Art Deco pieces as vintage sapphire jewelry. While you cannot force a retailer to adopt your understanding of the term, it makes your buying experience a lot more pleasant when you understand how the seller defines the term vintage. White and green sapphires are the most common colors that you find in stones mined and cut between 1960 and 1979.
Appreciate the settings. Vintage settings for sapphires usually favor the solitaire. This creates an optical illusion that makes the gem appear larger than it is. If the sapphire jewelry’s creation date falls closer to 1970 than 1960, look for cluster pieces. Rings in particular followed this design trend. Get closer to 1979, and you find the occasional marquise cut.
A word on reproductions. Do you want to purchase a vintage sapphire because the time of its mining or cutting has a special meaning to you? Are you hoping to purchase a sapphire in a vintage setting because the look appeals to you and ensures that you purchase a largely unique piece of jewelry that is no longer mass-produced? Are you fascinated by wearing something that has previously belonged to someone else? If so, it is a crucial that you work with a retailer who has a reputation for selling authentic pieces. There are now plenty of jewelry makers who specialize in vintage reproductions. These professionals create gorgeous sapphire pieces that look like the real deal all the way down to artificial ageing of the setting. Recognize these pieces by their lower price tags when compared to authentic vintage jewelry.
It is clear that vintage sapphires make for gorgeous collector pieces. As long as you work with a reputable seller and know ahead of time what you are looking for, you are likely to find some breathtakingly beautiful vintage sapphires.
Peter Suchy Jewelers located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut offers a wide selection of vintage sapphire jewelry—please stop by our showroom.
If you prefer to browse for vintage and estate sapphire jewelry online, head on over to our eBay store.
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