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Sapphires :: Beaut Gems

Sapphire & Ruby Gemstones Information

The sapphire, together with the ruby, are members of the corundum group, which is the mineralogical name for aluminium oxide that crystallised into gemstones a long time ago as a result of pressure and heat at a great depth.  Pure corundum is colourless, but the presence of small amounts of other elements, especially iron and chrome, are responsible for giving sapphires their range of various colours: blues, reds, yellows, oranges, pinks, violets, greens.  Sapphires coloured red by the presence of chromic oxide are known as rubies.  Blue is the most commonly known sapphire colour and those not coloured blue are generally referred to as ‘fancies’.  Fancy sapphires are commonly referred to with the colour specified as a prefix to the word sapphire, for example, yellow sapphire, pink sapphire. 

Parti sapphires are an exquisite Australian beauty!  The best examples are unique to Australia they contain both yellow and blue colours that then depending upon the facets, throw green!. Due to the natural blending of colours, Parti sapphires cannot be artificially manufactured and offer their owner a unique gemstone that is guaranteed natural.  No two parti sapphires are identical and each owner therefore has a truly individual gemstone.  A highly prized Parti sapphire is the "Pharaoh's Eye".  The Pharaoh's Eye is a blue crystal with a yellow core.  The gem is cut so the culet (bottom) of the stone is centred in the yellow core and the crown (top) is in the blue - this is a truly magnificent stone!!!

Star sapphires occur when several tiny needle-like inclusions of rutile reflect light in a six point star-like figure.  Padparadsha sapphires are characterised by an orange with a fine pink undertone, similar to that of a 'lotus flower' which its name depicts.

Sapphires were mined in prehistoric times with the oldest finds in Ceylon, or Sri Lanka as it is known today.  The most valuable sapphires are those from Kashmir, however, these mines now yield few stones.  Burmese sapphires are valued almost as highly and Ceylon sapphires are also well regarded.  Other important sources of sapphires are Thailand, Australia, Cambodia, Africa, Brazil, Montana and Colorado in the USA, with small quantities being found.

The term ‘Australian sapphire’ is used to denote darker coloured sapphires, whilst ‘Ceylon sapphire’ is used to denote pale to medium coloured sapphires

Today, many sapphires are heat treated to eliminate impurities and improve the gem’s colour and clarity.  

Sapphires vary widely in price depending on their size, colour, transparency, brilliance (affected by clarity and cutting) and their origin.  Sapphires are characterized by excellent hardness (Moh’s scale – 9) and are only exceeded in hardness by diamond.  For this reason, sapphires are very easy to look after and are common in everyday jewellery.  Ultimately, which is ‘the best’ sapphire is subjective and very much a personal preference.  Our advice to potential customers is to choose the stone that most appeals to you.

Sapphire is known as the wisdom stone, with each colour having its own particular wisdom.  Sapphire calms the mind, releases mental tension and confusion.  It stimulates concentration and facilitates self-expression.(Hall, 2003)

 

RI:  1.76-1.78 SG:  3.95-4.05 Hardness:  9 Toughness:  Excellent
Treatments:  Assume that corundum is heated unless otherwise stated.  Facture filling with oil, epoxy or glass is common in ruby.  Diffusion treatment is done and beryllium treatment is becoming more common, especially with orange and yellow sapphires.
Care Tips:  Ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are safe if stones are not oiled, cavity filled, or heavily flawed.
Value:  

Fine Blue - $1000 - $3000 USD per carat (Newman, 2006)
Fine Pink - $1000 - $3000 USD per carat (Newman, 2006)


Sapphires and rubies can be securely purchased on this web site at bargain prices.

 
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