Is Peridot More Expensive Than Sapphire?

Peridot and sapphire are both beautiful gemstones that come in a variety of colors and are used in fine jewelry. But which one costs more? The short answer is that quality sapphires are generally much more expensive than even high quality peridot. However, there are some important factors that determine the value and price of these gems.

Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. It ranges in color from yellowish green to olive but the most valued shade is a deep, vibrant green. Peridot is relatively abundant and large, clean stones can be obtained at reasonable prices. Fine peridot can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per carat depending on the size and quality. Very large, museum-quality peridots may exceed $1,000 per carat.

Sapphire is the traditional birthstone for September. Sapphires come in every color except red, which is classified as ruby. Blue is the most famous and popular sapphire hue, but they can also occur in shades of pink, yellow, green, purple and orange. The best blue sapphires have a rich, intense primary color and strong saturation. Natural sapphires without treatment are rare and cost in the range of $1,000 to $3,000 per carat for small stones. Prices for fine quality blue sapphires between 1 and 3 carats can range from $5,000 to $15,000 per carat. Large sapphires over 5 carats that possess excellent clarity and color can demand prices in excess of $20,000 to $50,000 per carat.

The primary factors that contribute to the value of sapphire compared to peridot are availability, durability, color saturation and consumer demand.

First, fine sapphires are relatively scarce, especially in larger sizes. Sapphire ranks 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it extremely durable for jewelry. Peridot, in contrast, ranks about 6.5 to 7 in hardness, requiring some care. Sapphire has been associated with royalty and romance for over a thousand years. The public recognizes and covets the intense hues and brilliance of fine sapphires. Peridot is appreciated by gem aficionados but does not command the same level of prestige and desire as the best blue sapphires.

While exceptional sized peridots can be competitively priced, a top quality 2 carat blue sapphire will exceed the cost of even a 5 carat or larger peridot. In smaller sizes up to one carat, eye clean sapphires will generally start at $1,000 while clean peridots can readily be found for $100 or less.

So in summary, while peridot deserves appreciation as an attractive gem, sapphire’s combination of rarity in fine quality, long history, immense durability and stunning color means it will continue to command a significant price premium over peridot. Only the most exceptional peridots approach the value of fine sapphires.