Battle of the Blues: Sapphire VS Tourmaline

13th February, Cherry-Mae Whitehead-Howse

When choosing the perfect gemstone for any piece of jewellery we always start with the look. Are we thinking bold or subtle? Is it sparkle or mystery you’re looking for? Are we looking for that angel vibe or gothic glam? 

But once you've chosen the colour and the shape, how do you decide on the actual stone? 

Well, we can help with that! JF is here to give you the low-down on two of our top fighters: Tourmaline and Sapphire. 

Every gemstone has its own origin story, but most of them do begin the same way. Buried deep below the ground, where you find heat and pressure, you get gemstones! 

Sapphires are made of the mineral corundum, and corundum needs a space entirely free of silicone to form. Even then it will only turn that lovely shade of blue we look for if there is enough titanium around!

Tourmaline on the other hand, is the dark horse of the gemstone world. While most gemstones have one or two minerals that mix to make their signature sparkle, tourmaline has more than 20.

Heavenly heavyweights

Let’s talk stats. If we are going one v one with these gems, it's important to know the skills of your chosen fighter. 

In the blue corner we have our defender, sapphire: 

MOHS Score - Ding ding! She’s a heavyweight CHAMP. With a score of 9, sapphire is one tough cookie.

Price - £££ Sapphire is big on bling and budget, she’s one of the more expensive stones, and worth every penny. 

Rarity - Super rare! AAA quality sapphires account for only 20% of all sapphires found.

Precious Rating - Highly precious! One of only four precious stones.

Variety - Sapphire is one generous fighter, she gives us any number of colours to choose from!

Lab Alternatives - Yes! Lab grown sapphires are easily accessible.

It looks like our sapphire is a precious stone that packs a punch. She’s got it all; she's tough, beautiful, and eco-conscious! With incredible rarity and a ton of options for every taste, you won’t mind that she’ll burn a hole in your pocket!

And in the…. also blue corner? We have the challenger, tourmaline! 

MOHS Score - Uh-oh, it looks like it's a lightweight going up against the big guns, with a MOHS score of 7.5, will tourmaline be able to stand her ground?

Price - £/£££ Because of their variety, tourmalines live on both ends of the pricing spectrum, a small common 1ct tourmaline will usually start at around £280.00, with rarer varieties starting at over £4000.00 per stone. 

Rarity - most tourmalines are fairly common, however paraiba tourmalines (neon blue) are one of the rarest gemstones on earth.

Precious Rating - Tourmaline is a semi-precious stone, but hasn't quite made it into the top four!

Variety - Tourmaline is the top dog when it comes to variety. She comes in more colours and combinations than any other gemstone as a result of her amazing mineral makeup. She can be whoever you want her to be! 

Lab Alternatives - Lab grown tourmaline is pretty much impossible to create, and would be more expensive than the natural stone! However, there are lab alternatives made to look like tourmalines. Stones marketed as lab grown paraiba tourmalines are usually actually lab grown garnets.

Our challenger tourmaline is definitely holding her ground in this fight. She’s an option for all budgets, and every taste. She might not be as tough as her opponent, but with all the tricks up her sleeve she might just take the win! 

The final round

Lets see some knockout designs head to head to help you make your choice. 

First up is Elspeth, she's currently available with the most stunning classic blue sapphire, but let's see her vs a blue tourmaline in a similar shade.

If you're looking for that classic royal blue, it is obvious that sapphires will win out every time. There's nothing quite like that beautiful clear blue, but if you are looking for the more mysterious tone, with hints of ocean teal, tourmalines are a fantastic choice.

Sapphire Elspeth

Tourmaline Elspeth

Another ready to roll competitor is our art-deco frontrunner, Addison. She’s currently available with a deep green sapphire that packs a punch, but if you want a subtler centre to this golden halo, it might be Tourmaline’s time to shine.

This leaf green round brilliant cut tourmaline would be the perfect shade for anyone looking for a stand out engagement ring or something special to keep all to yourself.

Sapphire Addison

Tourmaline Addison

Bi-colour or watermelon tourmalines had their moment a little while ago, but did you know you can get bi-colour sapphires too? They’re normally referred to as ‘fancy sapphires’, and we at Jessica Flinn have a soft spot for both of these fabulous fighters. The emerald cut bi-colour tourmaline is our favourite for this match, there's just something about that soft gradient in our stunner Molly that captures our hearts. 

Sapphire Molly

Tourmaline Molly

If you’d like to get in touch with our team about recreating any of these designs, don't hesitate to contact our Sales and Design Team to make all our tourmaline and sapphire dreams come true!