As the name implies, pink sapphire gemstones are sapphires occurring in light to dark pink. Like all sapphires, they’re the product of a mineral called corundum.
Is pink sapphire rare? Yes — In fact, it’s one of the rarest sapphire colors out there!
Does that mean that pink sapphires are more expensive than diamonds? Not quite — but we’ll talk more about price expectations later!
In this guide, we’re giving you an in-depth introduction to all there is to know about pink sapphire’s meanings, history, properties, value, and more.
As far as astrological birthstones, what month is pink sapphire associated with?
Pink sapphires are synonymous with love and romance. Perhaps that’s why they’re traditionally gifted on the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries.
But how do you know if you’ve found a pink sapphire? Getting familiar with its mineral traits will tell you what you need to know.
But wait — if pink sapphires and rubies are both corundums, is their color the only element that sets them apart?
When it comes to pink sapphire vs. ruby, there are quite a few similarities. From a mineral standpoint, they’re technically the same stone!
For one, pink sapphires and rubies both get their color from traces of chromium inside the corundum crystal. The more chromium is present, the deeper the pink or red.
The gemologist's color grade is the only distinction separating rubies from pink sapphires, and we’ll cover grading in-depth in the Gemstone Properties section.
Do pink sapphires glow under UV light? Sometimes. Pink sapphires can show red fluorescence (like rubies) depending on how much chromium and iron content is present. The more chromium and less iron, the stronger the fluorescence.
Here’s an overview of pink sapphire’s mineral traits:
Chemical formula: Al2O3
Mineral family: Corundum
Composition: Aluminum oxide
Color: Light, rosy pink to intense magenta
Crystal structure: Hexagonal (trigonal)
Transparency: Transparent to nearly opaque
Refractive index: 1.76 to 1.77
Birefringence: 0.008 to 0.009
Density: 3.99 to 4.1
Fracture: Uneven, conchoidal, or splintery
Luminescence: Fluorescence (red in SW, MW, and LW-UV)
Pleochroism: Weak to distinct (can show shifts of two shades of the body color)
Optical effects: Sometimes asterism
Treatments: Heat treatments (to soften purple tint)
Varieties: Padparadscha (scarce and sought-after pinkish-orange variety initially discovered in Sri Lanka)
Time to explore some of pink sapphire’s exciting history!
The first recorded use of pink sapphire dates back to the late 1500s. Portuguese explorers traveling to Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) came upon deposits of fine pink crystals. Europeans came to know them as “Ceylon rubies” and considered them magnificent treasures at the time.
Throughout history, many have celebrated pink sapphire for more than its beauty and rarity.
In India, people believed it had healing powers. They would often mix crushed pink sapphires with water and drink the solution as a way to heal scorpion stings.
According to Asian lore, the stone’s likeness to the lotus flower made it a symbol of beauty, wisdom, and purity within Asian cultures.
Pink sapphires are so well-loved that the precious gemstone is particularly popular in ornate jewelry designs worn by royals and celebrities alike.
The late Queen Elizabeth II is often remembered for her love of stunning brooches, the most famous featuring a large, pink sapphire floral design.
Grace Kelly, American actress and later Princess of Monaco, was another renowned lover of pink sapphires. She was known worldwide for her elegance and sense of style.
Precious pink gems combined with diamonds were among Princess Grace’s favorites, even inspiring Montblanc’s 2012 “Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco,” a limited-edition jewelry collection largely featuring pink sapphires and diamonds.
What about pink sapphire’s metaphysical properties?
Pink sapphire’s timeless beauty parallels its purported metaphysical abilities. Like many crystals, this mineral can be used as a healing stone to aid in one or more aspects of your wellness.
Pink gemstones are considered the embodiment of love, purity, and wisdom. Here’s how pink sapphire stone benefits your emotional and chakral bodies:
Emotionally, pink sapphire brings light and relaxing energy to your emotional body. It’s said to help the wearer overcome depressive thoughts, heal emotional wounds, and encourage forgiveness and progress.
Its loving and playful energy can translate into your relationships, renewing passion, openness, and the ability to become vulnerable in a way that serves both you and your partner.
Some crystals can act as chakra stones helping to balance one or more of your chakral energy points. Pink sapphire is said to reflect the light of the heart and love stimulating your heart (anahata) chakra.
Pink sapphire’s energy releases blockages and rebalances your chakral heart, helping you understand your needs and emotions clearly. It prepares you to better manage the ebbs and flows of emotional relationships and openly accept the changes that come with them.
What is the value of pink sapphire? That depends on grading!
Every gem is appraised based on certain characteristics that help experts determine its market value.
Color, cut, clarity, and carat weight are the most important factors for determining the price of sapphires.
We mentioned that the gemologist's color grade is the only distinction between rubies and pink sapphires, but what does that actually mean?
It means that pink sapphires can be dark pink (or light red), pale pink, purplish pink, or even pinkish-orange, like the rare Padparadscha sapphires. However, once it crosses the threshold into predominantly red territory, it’s considered a ruby.
You already know how pink sapphires get their color, but how do their pretty, pink hues fare against blue sapphires?
Are pink sapphires cheaper than blue? In order, the most valued sapphire colors are highly saturated blue tones, intense pink tones (like in pink sapphires), and the pinkish-orange tones of padparadscha varieties.
What is the rarest color of sapphire? Highly-saturated blues and vivid pinks!
However, due to their rarity, pink sapphires are often cut so that a maximum amount of rough stone can be kept. Therefore, its most common cuts are oval and round.
Skilled lapidaries are proficient in minimizing the visibility of any natural sapphire markings. The more the color and brilliance are enhanced, the better and more expensive the cut.
The least expensive route to acquiring pink sapphires is to opt for raw (or uncut) gems. They’re widely available in various sizes, polished or unpolished, and are significantly more affordable than fancy cuts.
Typically, the lighter the stone's color, the more visible the inclusions are to the naked eye.
Flawless, untreated pink sapphires with no inclusions are extremely rare and expensive.
Like most corundum, pink sapphires are sometimes heat-treated to improve their color and clarity.
Low-heat treatments (between 700-800°C) minimize the appearance of discoloration, softening pink sapphire’s bluish-purple tint.
Inclusions also improve with heat treatment, but there are alternative methods for filling fractures and inclusions (with glass or beryllium, for example).
The result? A picturesque pink sapphire.
Most good-quality pink sapphires are under 1 carat. Large, eye-clean pink sapphires are extremely rare and hard to come by.
Any pink sapphire over 4 carats exhibiting perfect color and clarity is likely fake.
Speaking of, how can I tell if my pink sapphire is real?
Knowing how to spot an inauthentic pink sapphire will keep you from getting duped.
Some warning signs are zero inclusions, gas bubbles, and curved striae (or growth lines).
One way to test your pink sapphires is to hold your gem in front of your lips and softly blow over it to frost the stone’s surface. The fog should fade quickly if it's a true sapphire. If the fog lasts 5 seconds or longer, it’s possibly a simulant gem.
Back to the real deal, how do pink sapphires form?
All sapphires start as corundum and take millions of years to form. They usually occur in recrystallized limestone and metamorphic rocks containing less silica and more aluminum.
As sapphire’s crystal lattice forms, transition metal minerals find their way in, transforming corundum’s color from colorless to one of sapphire’s notable hues.
Today, Madagascar is considered the leader for pink sapphires.
Other noteworthy localities include:
Ready to shop? Let’s talk pricing!
Although they don’t garner prices quite as high as diamonds, pink sapphires are still a rare luxury item.
Why is pink sapphire so expensive? Their sought-after color and rarity make them highly coveted. They’re even popular alternatives to pricey pink diamonds for engagement rings.
Raw pink sapphires average around $20 per carat. However, you can find lower-quality specimens starting at $0.25 per carat and higher-quality ones reaching $50 per carat.
On the other hand, faceted pink sapphires start around $100 per carat, going upwards of $3,300 per carat for exceptional-quality specimens. You can find lower-quality faceted options for $8-$85 per carat.
Similarly, cabochons will generally run you anywhere between $50-$2,000 per carat.
Pink sapphire jewelry prices vary depending on other gems and precious metals used in each design. For instance, Lady Gaga’s unheated, eye-clean 6-carat pink sapphire and diamond engagement ring cost Christian Carino around $300,000 to $400,000. Now, that’s love.
For high-quality pieces, you can expect to pay:
Rings: Anywhere between $200 to $10,000
Bracelets: Anywhere between $300 to $15,000
Pendants: Anywhere between $700 to $20,000
Thanks to the stone’s durability, some pink sapphire carvings do exist. Their uses vary between jewelry and collective purposes. Depending on size and intricacy, they can range from $25 up to $12,000.
Lastly, how do you take care of a pink sapphire?
Can you scratch a pink sapphire? Although they’re pretty durable, pink sapphires aren’t invincible. Knowing how to care for your gemstones properly can ensure they last a lifetime.
To clean your pink sapphires, use lukewarm water and mild soap. Gently scrub away grime with a soft-bristled brush and pat dry with a non-abrasive cloth.
Like all sapphires, pink sapphires do fade slightly with prolonged sun exposure. Help maintain their beauty and luster by storing them in a cool, dark place away from sunlight, high heat, and harder gems.
Who can wear pink sapphires? Anyone, of course!
Today, anyone can channel their inner royal and go against the blue grain with a pink sapphire fit for a queen (or king). From baby pink to raspberry red, there’s a pink sapphire to suit everyone’s aesthetic.
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