Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The ancient Sapphire gemstones in   coloursPersians believed that the earth rested on a giant sapphire whose reflection gave the sky its color. A historian of old Damigeron wrote that sapphire was worn by kings to protect them from harm. It was also believed that sapphire would protect the wearer from envy and attract divine favor. Legend has it that if a poisonous snake were put into a vessel along with a sapphire, the rays from the gem would kill it. Our ancestors interpreted this to mean that sapphire was an antidote against poison.

At one time any blue gem material was called sapphire. The finest sapphire color is rich, velvety cornflower blue. This is called `kashmir` out of deference to the traditional source of the finest quality. Today, however, the Kashmir area of India is not generally mined because of its physical inaccessibility. Most current production comes from Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Montana, Australia and Africa.

Colour: Sapphires are found in a variety of colors. The reddish colors are called ruby. People generally think of sapphires as blue in color, although they are also colorless, pink, orange, green, golden, yellow, purple and black. Sapphire is the birthstone of the month of September. Red sapphires are known as ruby, and pinkish orange sapphire as padparadscha as well. Corundum, which is sapphire`s mineral name, occurs in red, but this is known as ruby. A particularly lovely pinkish-orange is referred to as `padparadscha`, which is taken from the Sinhalese for `lotus-colored.` Although sapphire is found in many colors, these are not all commercially available at any given time. Some are so rare they are collector`s items.

Sapphire is always heat treated to produce, intensify or lighten color and improves color uniformity and appearance. Heat treatment of sapphires is performed at the sapphire mines, and is an industry-wide accepted practice.

Fine, needle-like inclusions are the things that give sapphires their velvety quality. These inclusions are often numerous enough to make the stone translucent or opaque and are oriented properly. At that time they allow light to be reflected in such a way that a star floats across the top of the stone with movement. When a cutter recognizes this potential in a piece of rough sapphire, he will cut it in a dome shape. Stars are not visible in faceted stones. Some persons believed the star sapphire would protect them against witchcraft. The three intersecting rays were thought to represent faith, hope and destiny.

Sapphire in its many colors is fashioned into timeless pieces that compliment many styles. It is either faceted or cabochon i.e. dome-shape for use in rings, pendants, earrings and pins. It may be linked between expanses of chain for wrist or neck wear. Sapphires are set into the simplest of designs as well as the most elegant of pieces.

Since subtle differences in quality can make large differences in beauty and also price, it is important to select the jewelry from a professional who can guide honestly and ethically in purchase.

There are some varieties of sapphires. One of them can be mentioned as Kashmir Sapphire. These are the sapphire with a distinct velvety-blue color. Another one is cornflower Sapphire. This is actually the synonym of Kashmir sapphire. Cornflower Blue Sapphire is another variety. Star Sapphire is the one displaying asterism. Padparadschah is mainly the orange-pink variety of sapphire.

There is some color changing Sapphire. This Sapphire exhibits a different color in natural and artificial light. Bi-colored Sapphire is the Sapphire with more than one color. Cat`s Eye Sapphire is basically the Sapphires exhibiting cat`s eye effect, fancy Sapphire is known as any sapphire with a color other than blue. Verneuil Sapphire is synthetic, and laboratory-grown sapphire.

Nowadays, sapphire is classified by its color in the gem trade i.e. green color sapphire is `Green Sapphire`. Colorless sapphire is usually called `White Sapphire.`

The `oriental` prefixes are not used anymore, but they are still occasionally seen. Below is a list of all the `oriental` sapphires.

Oriental Topaz: Straw yellow, gem quality sapphire,
Oriental Emerald: Light to dark green, gem quality sapphire,
Oriental Amethyst: Violet to pink, gem quality sapphire,
Oriental Peridot: Yellow-green, gem quality sapphire; and
Oriental White sapphire: Colorless, gem quality sapphire.

Some other variety of sapphire which are rarely used can be mentioned as follows:
Australian Sapphire: Dark blue to nearly black sapphire
Bengal Amethyst: Purple sapphire
Blue Alexandrite: Synonym of color changing sapphire
Burma Sapphire: Synthetic, laboratory-grown blue sapphire
Burmese Sapphire: Synonym of Burma sapphire (above)
Ceylon Sapphire: Light blue sapphire
Indian Topaz: Yellow to yellow-brown sapphire
King Topaz: Yellow to yellow-brown sapphire
Rose Kunzite: Synthetic pink sapphire
Star Topaz: Yellow star sapphire
Ultralite: Blue sapphire

Some of the false names of sapphires can be mentioned as follows.
Brazilian Sapphire is the blue tourmaline or blue topaz, Gold Sapphire is the lapis lazuli with shiny pyrite sprinkles, Lynx Sapphire is the iolite, Sapphire Spinel is the blue spinel, Hope Sapphire is the synthetic blue spinel, Lux Sapphire is the iolite, Sapphire Quartz is the massive blue quartz or chalcedony, Water Sapphire is the iolite, Uralian Sapphire is the blue tourmaline.