Types of Sapphires

Do you want to gift your sweetheart an exquisite sapphire? Do you wonder how come this gemstone is found in so many colors? Read on to learn about the different types of sapphires.
| Monday, October 06, 2008

Did you know that the official birthstone of those born in the month of September is Sapphire" And that this is the preferred gem given for 5th, 23rd and also 45th wedding anniversaries" There is also a separate star sapphire that is the chosen gem to be given on 65th wedding anniversary of people. Perhaps the magical property of spiritual enlightenment and inner peace that this gem possesses makes it so popular. It is also chosen by many people since it has healing properties that can help in dealing with depression, colic and even mental illness besides aiding in telepathy and clairvoyance.

Sapphire comes from the Corundum mineral family. These gems are extremely hard and posses high durability with hardness of around 9 on Moh’s scale. Among all the gemstones sapphire is only second to diamond in hardness. Natural sapphire can come in a variety of colors or types even though it is the blue sapphire that is perhaps most well known and recognized. These different types of sapphires and their colors are because of traces of titanium, chromium, vanadium and iron found in these gemstones. 

Each sapphire uses the preface of its color for the name so you have the yellow sapphire, blue pink, purple, green, white and orange sapphire and the red sapphire is of course called as Ruby. One of the most exotic sapphires that come in orange-pink shade is called as Padparadscha sapphire. The value of these gems is determined based on the color. The light and darkest tones are not highly valued compared to ones with light and medium dark tones. These sapphires are found all over the world and some of the sources for these gems include places such as Sri Lanka, Australia, Madagascar, East Africa, Burma and United States. Many sapphires available in the market today are heat treated and this process is not correct since the colors so produced tend to fade in heat and light.

Different Types of Sapphire

Blue Sapphires

These are the most popular of all sapphires and sapphires are synonymous with those having the blue color. That is why these are often known only as sapphires without any preface for its color. The finest of these come from regions of Mogok in Burma, Sri Lanka and also the Kashmir area in India. Deep blue and cornflower blue are the two types or kinds of blue sapphires. The intensity of this blue color is what determines the value of the gem. These blue sapphires look exquisite under all light sources. Among all the sapphires one of the largest known blue sapphire is called the Logan sapphire. This one weighs 423 carats and is of Sri Lankan origin. The Rockfeller sapphire at 62.02 carat was the most expensive sapphire sold for $48,871 per carat. The dark blue sapphire is considered lucky in terms of providing powers that allow people to utilize their creative potential and also enhance their creativity. Light blue sapphire is believed to enable new thoughts and a different way of thinking in people.

Yellow, Orange and Golden sapphires

These sapphires are relatively less well known and often they are subjected to different treatments so that their color is enhanced. So if a yellow sapphire is subjected to heat treatment then depending on the variation, the color will be transformed to an intense yellow or even golden color. Orange sapphire is believed to aid an individual in his quest for true knowledge.

Purple Sapphire

These sapphires are often available in plum shades or an electric purple color and some may even have brown or gray tinge. One carat sapphires in purple color from Burma and Africa can usually be obtained for $350 to $500 per carat. Larger sized ones can usually cost more than $1200 per carat.

Green Sapphires

These usually come from areas of Thailand and Australia. The value of these gems is reduced if there is presence of any gray or black secondary colors. The purest of the green sapphires are obtained from Africa and the greenish blue ones can be found in Burma. The best of the green sapphires are usually sold for around $250 for every carat. It is believed that the green sapphire aids in people having and enjoying a smooth life.

White Sapphires

Initially these sapphires were sold for as less as $10 for every carat. But this was before it was noticed that using heat the color of these white sapphires can be changed to orange and other processes can be used to obtain other colors. Following this there was an increase in demand for these gems and therefore the price of white sapphires is around $100 to $300 for every carat. White sapphire protects people from unnecessary suffering and pain.

Pink Sapphires

This is only second in line among the most valuable and most sought after sapphires. There is a grading system developed by American Gemological Laboratories that determines whether the gem is a ruby or a pink sapphire.

Color Changing Sapphires

Based on the light source, this sapphire has the ability to change colors. Due to their atomic structure this happens and so you can see a sapphire that looks blue in daytime turn violet or purple in incandescent lighting. The sapphires that provide dramatic and vivid changes in colors are in great demand and are rather valuable.

Padparadschas Sapphires

These are the most valuable in all the sapphires and are often collector favorite gemstones. These are of Sri Lankan origin and the name means ‘lotus flower’. The standout aspect of these is that they show a combination of two colors (pink and orange) in a way that it is often difficult to find out where one color ends and the second color starts. The price of this fabulous gemstone obtained from Sri lankan region is between $4000 and $10000 for every carat.

Star Sapphires

This beautiful gem has a six ray star in the center and this star formation is also known as asterism. The quality of this gem is based on the sharpness of the star, the body color and the symmetry between the rays. The largest cut star is called the "Star of India" and is 543 carat. This gem is housed in the American Museum of Natural history in the city of New York. This museum also has a black star sapphire called "the Midnight star".

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