Sapphire: Did You Know?

Did you know that Sapphires come in a variety of colors?

The most well-known sapphires are blue. Sapphires that are not blue are referred to as fancy sapphires. They come in all colors of the rainbow!

Different colors of sapphires

Did you know that Sapphires are the second hardest gemstones after diamonds?

Hardness in gemstones refers to the ability to resist a scratch. This implies that only a sapphire and a diamond can scratch a sapphire. This makes sapphires suitable engagement rings.

A 7.8 carats Teal Sapphire

Did you know that some sapphires can switch from one color to another?

This is referred to as color change sapphires. These set of sapphires change color to a completely different spectrum of color depending on the lightening conditions. E.g Green to violet. This is like having two stones in one.

A pink to purple color change sapphire

Did you know that the rarest sapphire in the world is the Kashmir blue sapphire?

Kashmir is a region between India and Pakistan and for some years it produced a blue velvety sapphire that was unique to the region. The mines are said to have dried out.

Sri Lankan Royal blue Sapphire (This is not a Kashmir sapphire, but the color is close)

Did you know that most sapphires in the market are heated?

It is estimated that about 80 – 95% of sapphires in the market undergo heat treatments. Sapphire heating is many centuries old. It is done to improve clarity and—in some instances—enhance color. 

Blow heating sapphires in Sri Lanka: Photo credit: Armil Sammoon

Did you know that United States produces sapphires?

Yes, sapphires are mined in the Montana USA!

Did you know that a salmon (orange-pink) sapphire is called a Padparadscha sapphire?

A padparadscha sapphire is one of the rarest colors in sapphire. They are mostly found in Sri Lanka and Madagascar.

A Padparadscha Sapphire from Sri Lanka

 Did you know that sapphires could be colorless?

Colorless sapphires are referred to as white sapphires. They are found in virtually any sapphire producing region. Trace elements such as titanium and chromium are responsible for some of the colors seen in sapphires. When these trace elements are absent or in very trace amounts, you have a colorless or white sapphire.  

Did you know that a red sapphire is a ruby?

Ruby and sapphires belong to the same mineral family called corundum, and therefore the two stones are chemically and structurally similar except for the trace elements responsible for the color. A ruby is a red corundum, while sapphires come in all other colors.

Burmese Ruby Ring

Did you know that rubies are rarer than sapphires, and sapphires are rarer than diamonds?

Yes, you would think that diamonds are rarer but the reverse in the case.

Did you know that sapphires have been one of the favorite gemstones in European monarchies and symbol of royalty for many centuries?

The royal families in Europe that have used sapphires are too many to mention. Some notable ones are: The Barberini family of Italy, Queen Marie-Amerie and King Louis-Phillippe of France, Emperor Napoleon’s(I) daughter, Princess Dagmar of Denmark, Queens Victoria and Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, Princess Eugenie, and the list goes on!

Princess Diana(R) and Kate Middleton(L) both rocking sapphire rings. Getty Images

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