About Sapphires

Although blue sapphire is the most popular with designers and the public. Sapphire actually comes in all colors except red. The red ones are called Rubies, many places have sapphire deposits with the most popular ones being Myanmar, Ceylon, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and now Nigeria. Sapphires and rubies are both made of corundum and the color differences come from traces of iron titanium and chromium. A moh’s hardness of 9 makes them some of the most durable gems with only diamonds being harder with the exception of man made moissanite  coming in between with a hardness of 9.5 on the moh’s scale of harness.


Fancy Sapphires

Fancy sapphire colors like yellow, green, orange, pink, and violet are often grouped in jewelry designs and called tutti frutti. They are more rare than blue sapphires, some colors like the “pinkish orange called padparacha” are very scarce in nature. A great option when creating new design are the fancy style sapphire colors for something unusual out of the ordinary


Pastel Sapphires

Pastel sapphires are stones with pale colors, in the past they were seldom seen in jewelry as they were thought to be unsuitable due to there pale coloring. But they too now find there way into the industry and make wonderful and beautiful pieces and even entire collections of design concepts. I have used diamond cut pastel sapphires in my designs for many years with my clients responding very positively to the look.


Star Sapphires

A phenomenon called asterism in some sapphires makes the reflect a star, this is caused by the rutile or needle like inclusions all oriented inline in the stone and reflecting light in a star pattern on cabochon cut stones, this asterism can be seen in all colors of sapphires and also in rubies


What is corundum made from?

Corundum is comprised of only aluminum and oxygen which when combined make Aluminum Oxide, but it must have a silicone free environment. Natural corundum in its pure state would be colorless, so the colors we find in it are cause by traces of other minerals like iron, titanium, and chromium. Actually colorless or white sapphire is very rare. However it has been used as a diamond substitute in the past and it is making a comeback in recent times as an accent to colored stones.


Recent sapphire trends

With mining discoveries of fancy sapphires in Africa and Madagascar in the 1990’s bringing new sources for the fancy colors of sapphire to market. Designers have been incorporating these fancy colors into their collections in many styles of fine jewelry. Purples, pinks, oranges, blues, yellows, greens all are now more available in many hues of color.

Fancy and blue sapphires come from a variety of exotic sources including Thailand, Madagascar, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Ceylon, Myanmar, and Australia, and Nigeria.

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