Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 at 11:26 am by Hilary
In honor of September's birthstone, the beautiful blue sapphire, we are taking the opportunity to tell you more about this gemstone and why we love it so much at Jewelry Design Studios.
The Many Colors of Sapphire
The rich hues of blue sapphire are universally known but fancy sapphires come in many colors including pink, yellow, purple, colorless, black, green, and rare pinkish-orange sapphire referred to as a Padparadscha. But, not surprisingly, the most preferred and most valuable sapphires are deep blue color saturations known in the trade as the “Royal Blue” and the soft velvety blue known as “Cornflower Blue.”
Major Suppliers of Sapphire
These are the main sources for Natural Sapphires: Australia, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Kashmir, Kenya, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, United States and Vietnam
What Makes Sapphire Such a Timeless and Sought After Gem?
Sapphire has had a long history of being associated with truth, sincerity, faithfulness and, of course, nobility. Ancient Rome and Greece’s royalty were convinced that the blue hue of the Sapphire protected them from envy and harm. During the Middle Ages, the Sapphire was popular among the clergy as they believed the Sapphire symbolized Heaven. Most recently the Sapphire’s long association with royalty was reinforced in the people's minds when the late Princess Diana of England received a Royal Blue Sapphire and diamond engagement ring. Her daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, is the current owner of the famed Blue Sapphire Halo Set Ring, which has become the most coveted sapphire ring style in the world.
Different Varieties and Colors of Sapphire
The Sapphire is a member of the mineral family Corundum, which also is the home of another famed gemstone, the Ruby. Not only does the Sapphire come in a variety of colors, some varieties of colored Sapphires can change reflective coloring in changing light. These so-called “Fancy Sapphires” are typically less valuable than the more commonly known Blue Sapphire but please don't let that take away from the special rarity and sturdiness of the Sapphire Family. Another popular but rarer variation of the Sapphire is what is called a “Star Sapphire.” This phenomenon is called asterism or “the star effect,” which creates a six or more point reflection when the sapphire is cut in a cabochon style versus a faceted cut. The smoother style of Sapphire cut allows the light to be reflected in different ways than a faceted cut stone.
What to Know and What to Look For When You Are Purchasing a Sapphire
Sapphire is one of the most beloved gemstones and is not reserved just for September birthdays. As one of the “Big Three” (the other two being Diamond and Ruby) there is always demand for Sapphire jewelry. Here are the four C’s to keep in mind when you are purchasing your Sapphire treasures.
Sapphire Color-- The highest valued Sapphires are traditionally velvety to violet blue, in medium to dark tones with strong to vivid color saturation. That being said the color of the Sapphire should not be overly dark. This will compromise the integrity and brightness of your Sapphire.
Sapphire Clarity-- Sapphires often have some inclusions. This phenomenon is what leads to the unique star sapphires. Depending on the cut and the inclusions you can have a six, eight or 12 rays in your Star Sapphire.
Sapphire Cut-- The ideal cut of a Sapphire is done so carefully to maintain the best proportions and weight possible. The cutters also focus on the color zoning, lighting and light refractions.
Sapphire Carat Weight-- Sapphires of all colors can range from a few points up to carats. Large Sapphires are more readily available than large rubies or diamonds.