The Complete Guide to Royal Blue Sapphire

The word Royal Blue Sapphire has lately been circulating around in the media a lot. If you are in the market for a Sapphire ring, you may be wondering what it is and if it is worth getting. Let us tell you all there is to know about this exquisite stone.

What Makes A Sapphire Royal Blue?

Every YouTube video will give you a different answer, so we are here to quell this mystery once and for all. To understand what grading a sapphire has to have to be called “Royal Blue”, let us first take a look at sapphire grading systems.
One of the most widely accepted grading scales when it comes to sapphires is devised by the GIA. This grading takes into account three main factors which determine the worth of sapphire as a gem.
  1. Hue: The dominant color of the Sapphire crystal
  2. Tone: The secondary color, if any, featured in the stone
  3. Saturation: A measurement of how bright or dark the stone is.


Host romantic diner
royal blue sapphire ring
First, you would need a sapphire with a strong hue with no secondary colors (the only exception would be a sapphire with a touch of violet less than 5%) for this you would be looking at the first grade been a capital B, the B refers to the main color or hue in this case pure blue, if a sapphire carried a bV or vsgB then it would be impossible for that sapphire to be graded as a royal bluestone, a sapphire with say the grade BV would carry a predominately violet-blue hue typically very bight & a lovely color but far cry from royal blue grade we looking for here.
Second, you would need a tone of ideally 6 which equals medium dark in strength on the GIA tone scale in some cases a sapphire graded at a 7 could be classed as royal blue but in my experience, I would tend to call these sapphires either dark blue or dark royal blue depending on that one sapphires saturation.
Third, the saturation, ideally a saturation level of 5 which would equal “strong” on the GIA saturation scale would be perfect giving you a grade of B 6/5, there are some cases were a sapphire graded at B 6/4 can be classed as a royal blue but the saturation which is the 4 would need to be at the top end of the scale four for this classification.

GIA Color Grading Scale


Name Code Color
very slightly greenish blue vslgB
Blue B
violetish blue vB
bluish violet bV
Violet V
violetish purple* vP*
Purple P
reddish purple rP
red-purple or purple-red RP/PR
strongly purplish red stpR
slightly purplish red slpR
Red R
orangy red oR
red-orange or orange-red RO/OR
reddish-orange rO
Orange O
yellowish-orange yO
orangy yellow oY
Yellow Y
greenish-yellow gY
yellow-green or green-yellow YG/GY
strongly yellowish green styG
yellowish-green yG
slightly yellowish green slyG
Green G
very slightly bluish-green vslbG
bluish-green bG
very strongly bluish vstbG
green-blue or blue-green GB/BG
very strongly greenish blue vstgB


The GIA Tone Scale helps you judge a gem’s brightness or darkness. Three key standards to remember are (3) Light, (5) Medium. and (7) Dark.

Name Scale Tone
very light 2
Light 3
medium light 4
Medium 5
medium dark 6
Dark 7
very dark 8


Use the GIA saturation scale to judge a gem’s strength of color. In warm colors, weaker saturation of 1, 2, or 3 appears brownish. In cool colors, the same values look grayish. In both warm and cool colors, gems with saturations of 4, 5, or 6 are almost always more valuable if all other factors are equal.

Name Cool Color Scale Warm Color Name
slightly grayish
slightly brownish
very slightly grayish
very slightly brownish
moderately strong
moderately strong
There are of course many different shades of blue for natural sapphires which are not graded as royal blue which can equally be just as beautiful if not more so, Cornflower blue sapphires is one as well as vivid blue sapphires, at Sapphire Ring Company we carry a hundreds of natural sapphires from deep blue sapphires down to royal blue as well as the famous Ceylon cornflower blue sapphires. Its also important to note that just because these colors might be the most sought after, always choose a color that appeals to you and color you know you can live with.
All our sapphires are natural mined sapphires almost all from Sri Lanka known in the trade as “Ceylon” and accompanied by a GIA report so you know you buying a true natural mined stone.

If you have any questions on any of our natural sapphires contact us we open 7 days a week & always happy to help.  727 797 0007.

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