Sapphire - Something Blue... and a whole lot more
By Bryan Boyne (g.g.) , Monday, November 19, 2012
The gemstone we call Sapphire is the mineral Corundum. It comes in all colors of the rainbow. Sapphires come in vivid pinks and yellows and pastel colors of every hue. Colorless sapphires are often used as diamond simulants, especially for accent stones for customers who prefer natural gemstones. Sometimes multiple colors occur in the same crystal and these are referred to in the trade as “Parti-Colors”.
Most sapphires on the market are heat treated to improve color and/or clarity. Conventional heat treatment has been done for ages and is accepted by the market as being almost a standard part of the processing of sapphire from rough to cut, and it is permanent. Some newer treatments however are not widely accepted, such as diffusion treatment, where color is chemically imposed on the stone. For the purist there are some natural, unheated sapphires available. Those that possess excellent color and clarity are very rare and sell for premiums.
Sapphire is very durable with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, making it one of the hardest gemstones next to diamond.
|Krysty Diamond and Sapphire Ring
||Blue Sapphire Drop Earrings
||Odyssey Diamond & Blue Sapphire Ring
Non–blue or “fancy sapphires” are referred to by prefixing the color, e.g. pink sapphire, yellow sapphire, purple sapphire, etc. But here’s a wrinkle: When sapphire gets to blood red it is referred to as RUBY! That’s right; it’s the same mineral with the same physical and optical properties, just a different color.
As such, there is always debate about what is a dark pink sapphire and what is a ruby. That is important because “ruby” is more rare and expensive than pink sapphire in general.
Therefore, in the trade if you are a seller it’s a ruby and if you are a buyer it’s a pink sapphire!!!
For more specific questions ask our experts