Sapphire Blog

Sapphire Blog

Published On: 09-22-2012 02:46pm

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Category: Gemstones

I’m in love with this gorgeous precious gemstone.  We all think of blue but read on to learn about all the other colors of this gorgeous stone.   Sapphire is the birthstone for those who are born in September. As for the Zodiac, it is regarded as the stone for the Taurus. If a Taurus wears a sapphire, it will protect one from and cure one's mental disorders.

Ruby and sapphire are the same material, the mineral corundum, and the second hardest gemstone after diamond. Red corundum is known as ruby, while all other colors are referred to as sapphire. While blue is the classic sapphire color, sapphire is actually found in a wide range of colors.

Blue is the most famous of the sapphire colors. The prized Kashmir and Burmese sapphires have a deep blue that is intense and velvety. These sapphires are not often seen on the market today. Sri Lankan and Madagascar sapphires are the most common today, with a wide range of colors from light sky blue to dark blue. Other producers of blue sapphire are Australia, Tanzania, Thailand, Cambodia, and Montana.

Besides for the varieties of Sapphire listed below, Sapphire with color other than blue are prefixed with their color names. The main gemstone colors in addition to blue Sapphire include:

Purple:  rare, but found in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Iron and titanium impurities together may cause the purple hue of the stone.

Yellow:  sapphire is on the lighter side. Heat treatment can produce a more intense yellow golden color, and beryllium-treated sapphire may be a brilliant yellow. These stones are found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, Tanzania and Madagascar. The yellow color is caused by traces of iron in the stone.

Padparadscha is the Sinhalese word for a Sri Lankan lotus flower. This very rare sapphire color should have a pink and orange color simultaneously. Color, brilliance, size and clarity will determine the value of these stones. A true padparadscha will always have a hint of pink.

Many sapphires that appear green consist of fine alternating bands of blue and yellow sapphire, which may be visible under the microscope. Green sapphires are found in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Madagascar.

There are also White Sapphire (describes Sapphire that is colorless) and Black Sapphire.

A star sapphire is a type of sapphire that exhibits a star-like phenomenon known as asterism; red stones are known as "star rubies". Star sapphires contain intersecting needle-like inclusions following the underlying crystal structure that cause the appearance of a six-rayed "star"-shaped pattern when viewed with a single overhead light source. The inclusion is often the mineral rutile, a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide.  The stones are cut en cabochon, typically with the center of the star near the top of the dome. Twelve-rayed stars are occasionally found, or parallel whisker inclusions can produce a "cat's eye" effect.

The Black Star of Queensland is believed to be the largest star sapphire that has ever been mined, and it weighs 733 carats. The Star of India (weighing 563.4 carats) is thought to be the second-largest star sapphire, and it is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The 182-carat Star of Bombay, located in the National Museum of Natural History, in Washington, D.C., is an example of a blue star sapphire. The value of a star sapphire, however, depends not only on the weight of the stone but also the body color, visibility and intensity of the asterism.

Sapphire is a tough and durable gem, and the only natural gemstone harder than Sapphire is Diamond. Despite this, Sapphire is still subject to chipping and fracture if handled roughly, and care should be taken to ensure it is properly handled.



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