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Sapphire Checkerboard Cut Gems 

Why Are Rectangular Checkerboard Cut Sapphires Not Common

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As one of the leading sources for custom cut gems, Directstones does receive queries for checkerboard cut sapphire gems. While rectangular checkerboard cut sapphire stones are generally requested the fact is that, we do not keep checkerboard sapphires in stock. In this report, we will try to explain the reasons and also discuss the pricing structure and logics behind pricing such custom cut sapphire gems. We might say right here that we CAN custom cut sapphire gemstones with the checkerboard cut but, will prefer that you read this report before requesting for them.

When cutting a sapphire gem or any other gemstone for that matter, you begin with a piece of rough stone. The selection of the rough piece is important as it directly influences the price of the final cut sapphire gem stone. As you start cutting the rough sapphire gem, you take off parts that are seriously flawed. the stone would most probably have some ordinary rock material stuck to it, this also needs to be discarded. What this 'discard' process means is that, the usable portion of sapphire rough is diminishing. In gem cutting terminology we refer to this as weight loss or gem cutting loss. In most cases, you will end up losing around 80% to even 90% of the rough stone weight as you come near to the final cut and polished sapphire gemstone. Remember that the gem stone manufacturer pays for the entire rough sapphire piece, so he needs to recover the cost and ofcourse make a decent profit margin too. Once the final sapphire piece is got in had, the total rough cost is to be allocated to THIS final piece - the weight loss is priced at zero as it has no value.

If you are interested in understanding the above concept with an example, here it is. A piece of rough sapphire gem stone that weighs around 10 carats would yield a cut sapphire that is less than 2 carats in weight. If you paid 20 U.S$ per carat for the rough piece, the rough sapphire gemstone would cost you 200 U.S$. Now the final piece might be just 1 carat in weight - it will cost the gem manufacturer 200 U.S$. So the final cut and polished blue sapphire gemstone will now have a basic cost of 200 U.S$ per carat. Depending on the quality of the final piece and the general market condition, a gem trader could sell that at a retail price of around 250 U.S$ to even 500 U.S$ per carat. The interesting thing is that how much YOU pay for the stone, would depend on how many hands (middlemen) it passes before it reaches you. Each middleman would add his share of profit and pass it along the line! We might take a moment here to mention that, THIS is the prime advantage of buying directly from sources like Directstones. We pick the rough, we custom cut the gem stone and we ship it to you - no trail of middleman profits here. So you would end up getting more material value for your dollars if you purchase directly from us.

OK now back to the serious talk about the checkerboard cut sapphire gemstone. We just explained that there is a piece of rough sapphire, there is a cutting weight loss and there is a final cut and polised sapphire gemstone with a certain weight. The effective weight of the final cut sapphire gemstone is referred to as at the 'yield' from, rough to final cut piece. There are some definite factors that influence the yield, the higher the yield the luckier the gem cutter (manufacturer). The quality of the rough sapphire gemstone will obviously define the weight of the final piece. The shape and also the CUT of the sapphire gemstone will also influence how much rough sapphire weight is lost in the cutting process. A smooth cabachon cut sapphire gemstone will save maximum rough sapphire, a conventional facet cut would be the next most economical way to cut a sapphire. But when it comes to fancy shapes like heart shaped sapphire gems and, checkerboard cut sapphire gemstones - the rough weight loss is high which means that the yield is low. What this implies is that the price per carat of a rectangular sapphire checkerboard gemstone, would carry a premium price tag. Higher priced sapphire gems would obvioulsy have a more limited market. For this reason sapphire gem stone cutters and manufacturers do not keep ready stock of checkerboard cut sapphire gemstone.

To make this report more complete and factual, we need to mention one more thing about loss of rough gem stone weight in the cutting process. In many cases, the rough stone that is cut off is not discarded. The rough stone could have a lower quality and absorb some of the cost. If this is the case, the remaining portion of the rough stone that is used need not take a very steep hike in the price per carat calculation.


At Directstones we can provide custom cut gems in all types, shapes, sizes and cuts. A custom cut sapphire gem stone with a checkerboard cut could cost around 30% to 50% more than a similar sapphire cut with a conventional faceted cut. It is best to discuss our requirements with our support team at sales@kaisilver.com as you are never obliged to make a purchase from us. You could ofcourse order a complete sapphire jewel or just the loose sapphire gem stone from us.

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