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Sapphire Supply and Demand

Sapphires come from all over the world, from sea level to the mountains make gorgeous sapphire rings, vintage sapphire engagement rings,  estate sapphire bracelets and necklaces. Because of smuggling, corruption and unstable political and economic conditions, it is hard to know exactly where sapphires come from.  Unregulated and unreported mining are typical of sapphire producing countries. sapphire-value


The United States is the biggest importer of sapphires.  In 2002, $139 million dollars of sapphires were imported to the United States.  About half of blue sapphires are sold to the United States. Most sapphires come from Thailand.  They treat and cut stones before selling them to other countries.  Other countries that supply sapphires are Kashmir, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Australia, Madagascar and Montana in the United States. Kashmir sapphires are the most beautiful and sought after sapphires.  They are rare in that they were generally mined between 1881 and 1887. Myanmar sapphires are some of the highest priced sapphires.  Burma produces sapphires with a rich deep hue and is the model of comparison to other sapphires. Sri Lanka was the first source for sapphires.  Although Burmese sapphires are most well known for their color, Sri Lanka’s sapphires are also very beautiful. 

Unlike Kashmir and Myanmar mines, Sri Lanka mines are still producing stunning sapphires. Cambodia’s sapphire deposits lay near the border of Thailand.  This country is known for producing fine quality sapphires as well as commercial grade sapphires. Australia has the largest supply of sapphires most of which are a dark, inky blue variety with a strong greenish tint. Madagascar is known for its good to fine quality sapphires in abundant supply.  The finest quality sapphires can be ranked between the blue sapphires produced in Kashmir and Sri Lanka.

Montana produces fine quality sapphires that are usually pale in color.  They have produced 18 million carats of sapphires mostly of high quality over the past 100 years. Switzerland supplies the highest priced customer base.  Sapphires sold from Switzerland are often sold to auction houses and have been fashioned into the most stunning and historically significant pieces of sapphire jewelry. In 2002, 32,600 carats of sapphires were exported by Switzerland but it didn’t compare to the 5 million carats of sapphire exported from Thailand.  Thai sapphire’s average cost was $15 dollars per carat whereas Switzerland average cost per carat was $250 per carat. Sapphire rings, sapphire necklaces and bracelets can be purchased in a wide variety of price ranges making it available to a large market of customers.

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