The beautiful color of a gemstone is its most defining characteristic, and many jewelers consider it to be the most important evaluation criterion. When deciding upon gemstone color, examine hue, tone, and saturation.


Hue

The most valuable gemstones are those that exhibit a pure color and only "slight" hues of other colors in addition to their primary color, as all Blue Nile gemstones do. For example, Blue Nile sapphires range in hue from "slightly purplish-blue" to "slightly greenish-blue," pink sapphires always range from "pink" to "slightly purplish-pink," and rubies range from "slightly orangish-red" to "slightly purplish-red". With the exception of opals, variation in a gemstone's hue will be called out in the gemstone details on the product detail page.


Tone

Tone represents the depth of color, ranging from colorless to black. Gemstone tone is described as "light," "medium-light," "medium," "medium-dark," and "dark." Blue Nile offers gemstones with the most sought-after tones that fall within the medium-light to medium-dark range. For all of our gemstone jewelry, you'll find any tone variations are called out in the gemstone details.


Saturation

Saturation, or color purity, refers to the degree to which the gem is free from brown or gray hues. The most desirable gemstones, which show little gray or brown, are often described as having "vivid" or "strong" color saturation. Generally, the levels of color saturation will not be called out in the product details because the gemstones in our jewelry are hand-selected for their vivid colors.