Heated vs. Unheated

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A very common question among our ruby and sapphire customers is to ask 'Should I purchase Unheated (untreated) or heated gemstone?' There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The answer depends on two main factors: personal preference and the budget set aside for the purchase. Please find our recommendation below:

Personal Preference
There are individuals who only want the best quality possible regardless of the fact that they would need to sacrifice considerably on the carat weight of the sapphire or ruby to achieve this due to their budget. If this is you then definitely untreated is the way to go.

If you are indifferent to the treatments the sapphire or ruby has and just simply care about the visual appeal of the stone then heated gemstone should be your choice. Please note we do take into account above that the individual wouldn't care about the treatment as long as the value of the gem will be retained. Heated sapphires or rubies hold up their value well, not as well as untreated ones, but definitely far better than other treatments (such as filling, diffusion etc).

To compare how well each treatment holds up its value we will look at an actual example. Chart below compares price of a top quality 2.50ct blue sapphire at the time of purchase and its expected resale value 10years from now. Please Note: The prices listed below are wholesale prices that GemsNY provides through its website, at other etailers and retail jewelry stores the purchase price will be two to three times of the GemsNY purchase price listed below. It is important to note if the sapphire is purchased from a jewelry store, we can guarantee the sapphire or ruby would be worth less at the time of resale as prices at stores are inflated by 200 to 300% of our prices. Learn more on why our prices are so low.

2.50ct Top Quality Blue Sapphire Oval Resale Value based on Treatments
Treatment Purchase Price (Based on current price) Resale Value in 10years (Based on Previous 10 years) % Increase
Untreated $5,000 $7,500 50%
Heated $3,000 $3,300 10%
Diffused $1,200 $200 -83%
Filled $1,000 $100 -90%
Synthetic $150 $5 -97%
Please note GemsNY only carries sapphires which are untreated or heated. We don‘t recommend sapphires with any other type of treatments as they have no resale value.

Under $2000- Individuals looking to spend $2000 or less will definitely be better off with a heated sapphire or ruby. This will allow them to either purchase a larger carat weight sapphire or a better quality one. From our experience, resale value of untreated sapphires under $2000 in price is similar to heated sapphires. Most jewelers will not pay extra for untreated sapphires or rubies compared with heated ones which are less than $2000 in price.

$2000-$5000- In this price range, personal preference will pay a significant role. If the desire is to purchase a 3-4 carat size sapphire then one should forget about untreated sapphire as their prices will be higher then the budget. If very high quality is desired then for approximately $5000 a top quality 2ct to 2.50ct (Intense Blue color and FL clarity sapphire) can be purchased. Rubies tend to be much more expensive than sapphires. The option here is to get 1ct fine quality untreated ruby or 1.5 to 2ct high quality heated ruby.

$5000-$10,000- In this price range, again personal preference will pay a significant role. If requirement is to purchase a 5ct+ sapphire then one shouldn‘t look into untreated sapphires as the prices will be greater then the budget. Individuals looking for top quality can purchase top quality 3-3.5ct size untreated sapphire in this price range. For rubies, one has the option to either get 2-2.5ct fine quality heated gem or 1.5ct untreated ruby in fine quality.

Above $10,000- Individuals in this budget range should seriously focus in on untreated sapphires or rubies. This budget would allow for a very high quality sapphire which is untreated in larger carat weight. As we saw above in the chart, untreated sapphires value will rise significantly faster than heated sapphires in this price range. As rubies are much more expensive than sapphires, still one should consider their budget and get the largest untreated ruby they can afford as that will offer the best investment value.

GemsNY Suggestion based on budget
Budget GemsNY Suggestion
Under $2000 Purchase heated sapphire or ruby
$2000-$5000 Personal Preference
$5,000-$10,000 Personal Preference
Above $10,000 Purchase untreated sapphire or ruby