The sapphire is a unique stone that is actually hard to duplicate because of the distinctive combination of the minerals “corundum” and “aluminium oxide”. While is commonly known to be blue, sapphires can also be found in yellow, pink, orange, purple and green. The rarest colour of all is an orange-pink hue that is reminiscent of a sunset when shown in the light. Sapphires in this colour are the most sought after. They are usually found deep in Sri Lanka and can cost a significant amount due to its rarity. Sapphires also come in red, however, red sapphires are considered as rubies.
The sapphire holds a 9.0 on the Moh scale, which makes them one of the hardest stones on the market. When it comes to the colour of a gem, there are three primary factors to look into: tone, saturation and hue. These factors are the most appealing aspect of the sapphire, and some jewellers will go to great lengths to make sure that these stones have the most vibrant colour possible. The appearance of sapphires as available in the market isn’t how they look when mined. They are heated up to the temperatures of 500-1800 degrees. The practice of heating a stone under fire dates back to the Roman times. The heat reduces the “silky” layer that is found on the stone and slowly makes it more transparent. Finding an “unheated” stone on the market is very rare and usually associated with some independent gemological laboratory.
The word “Sapphire” comes from the Greek word, “sappheiros” which translates simply into “blue”. The ancient Greeks thought that the blue reflection of these gems made the sky blue and this notion is only a fraction on how hypnotising these gems are.
The sapphire is widely considered as the gem of “trust”. This is because the colour “blue” is synonymous with this sentiment as well as “loyalty” and “integrity”. This is why in ancient times, sapphires were used prominently for engagement rings.
Sapphires are sought after as much today as ever before. Their growing popularity is being found across numerous continents. These gems have a beauty to them that is unparalleled in the gemological world. Sapphires are the next best thing to a diamond.