Sapphire comes in a variety of colors but blue reigns as number one among sapphire lovers. Sapphire is one of the three top colored gemstones, along with emerald and ruby. It is hard to beat any one of these three when it comes to choosing a piece of jewelry.
The most valuable color of Sapphire is a cornflower blue color, known as Kashmir Sapphire or Cornflower Blue Sapphire. Another extremely valuable Sapphire form is the very rare, orange-pink Padparadscha. The padparadscha must be an orange/pink in color, no exceptions. If the sapphire has too much pink there are those gemstones labs who consider them simply pink sapphire, and some labs continue to refer to some as a pink-red ruby. Ruby and sapphire are both corundum. Hardness on the Mohs scale is 9 under the diamond, which ranks 10.
Sapphires can be worn in everyday rings as well as elaborate solitaires and with diamond halo, such as Princess Diana’s engagement ring. Sapphire often contains minor inclusions of tiny slender Rutile needles. When present, these inclusions decrease the transparency of a stone and are known as silk. When in dense, parallel groupings, these inclusions can actually enhance by allowing polished Sapphires to exhibit asterism. Sapphire gems displaying asterism are known as “Star Sapphire“, and these can be highly prized. Star Sapphire exists in six ray stars, though twelve ray stars are also known. This is a stone that is prized by many, it all depends on what you prefer in a gemstone. There is nothing prettier than a cornflower blue sapphire solitaire stone in platinum or gold. It really needs no other stones to enhance its beauty.
Sapphire is also pleochroic, meaning it can look blue from one angle and in another light appear purple. Sapphire is a tough and durable gemstone but can be subject to chipping and fracture if handled roughly. This is true of any natural gemstone, they should be treated gently and cleaned only with a soft bristle brush and mild soapy water This gets rid of any exposure to perfumes, hand lotions, etc. and allows the gemstone to shine. Sapphire was first synthesized in 1902. The process of creating synthetic Sapphire is known as the Verneuil process. Only experts can distinguish between natural and synthetic Sapphire. Since a fine Sapphire can cost thousands of dollars a carat, then the lab sapphire can be purchased for less and the consumer can purchase a large stone, that otherwise is prohibitive in cost to the average consumer.
Sapphires in other colors have become popular, yellow, green, purple, orange, pink, black, and white. White sapphire is used often as an accent stone, and they are true natural sapphires. Kashmir blue is the most sought after of the blue sapphires, it is a very intense velvety blue color, named for the Kashmir province in India.
Thank goodness we can all enjoy and wear sapphires even if we are not September babies.