Sapphires are for September
Sapphires are the corundum minerals occurring in natural fancy colors like yellow, purple, orange, and green, pink, white, black colors besides the most common known color BLUE. The only color which sapphire cannot be is red – as red colored corundum is called ruby. Trace amounts of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium present during formation are responsible for the color of a sapphire. Chromium impurities in corundum yield a pink hue.
The Indian Kashmir Sapphires are considered amongst the top quality sapphires in the world. Sri Lankan and Bangkok sapphires are also quite famous world wide. Besides these there are deposits of sapphires in Australia, Madagascar, Africa etc.
The cost of natural sapphires varies depending on their color, clarity, size, cut, and overall quality. For gems of exceptional quality, an independent determination from a respected laboratory such as the GIA, AGL or Gueblin of origin often adds to value.
Sapphires may be treated by several methods to enhance and improve their clarity and color. It is common practice to heat natural sapphires to improve or enhance color. When high temperatures are used, the stone loses all silk (inclusions) and it becomes clear under magnification. The inclusions in natural stones are easily seen with a jeweler’s loupe. Evidence of sapphire and other gemstones being subjected to heating goes back at least to Roman times. Un-heated natural stones are somewhat rare and will often be sold accompanied by a certificate from an independent gemological laboratory attesting to “no evidence of heat treatment”.
A Quick Fact Sheet
- COLOR:Every color but red
- REFRACTIVE INDEX:762 to 1.770
- BIREFRINGENCE:008 to 0.010
- SPECIFIC GRAVITY:00
- MOHS HARDNESS:9
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 5th and 45th anniversaries.
Traditionally, sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. For centuries, sapphire has been associated with royalty and romance. The association was reinforced in 1981, when Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer.