Sapphire gemstone, color characteristics and prices
What stone is Sapphire?
Sapphire is one of the most well-known and appreciated gemstones in the world known for its beauty and value.
Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum, which is mainly composed of aluminum oxide (Al2O3). Its crystalline structure and the presence of traces of elements such as iron and titanium give this stone its characteristic color.
Here is some information to recognize Sapphire:
Color: Although commonly associated with the color blue, sapphire can be found in a wide range of colors. Blue colored sapphires are the most popular and can range from the lightest, most transparent shade to a deep shade of midnight blue. However, sapphire is also available in other variations, including pink, yellow, green and white.
Hardness: Sapphire is one of the hardest stones known, with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. This means it is extremely resistant to scratches, making it suitable for making jewelery intended for everyday use.
Origin: The main sources of sapphire are found in countries such as Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Australia and Madagascar. Each region can produce sapphires with unique characteristics, such as the padparadscha sapphire from Sri Lanka or the famous star sapphire (which displays a six-ray star effect when cut into cabochons).
History and Culture: Sapphire has a long history of use in jewelry and culture. It has been associated with nobility, wisdom and power and has been considered a stone of protection in many cultures. Some of the most famous royal jewelry contains sapphires, such as Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, which features a large blue sapphire.
Treatments: Many sapphires undergo heat treatments to improve their color and clarity. This is a common and accepted process in the jewelry industry.
Value: The value of a sapphire depends on many factors, including color, size and clarity. Deep blue sapphires, free of visible impurities and well cut are generally the most valuable.
Uses: Sapphires are often used for creating luxury jewelry, such as rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. They can be mounted alone or in combination with other precious stones, such as diamonds, to create jewels of great beauty and elegance.
In summary, sapphire is a stunning and versatile gemstone, prized for its beauty, hardness and symbolism. Its presence in jewelry and culture dates back centuries, and it is one of the most sought-after gems in the world of high-quality jewelry.
Where the main sources of Sapphire extraction are located?
Sapphires are mined from different parts of the world and there are several regions known for producing this precious gem. Here are some of the main sources of sapphire extraction:
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is one of the most celebrated sources of high-quality sapphires. This region is famous for its deep blue sapphires and the rare padparadscha sapphire, which has a pink-orange hue.
Burma (Myanmar): Burma has long been an important source of fine sapphires. The Mogok region of Burma is particularly renowned for producing high-quality sapphires, including blue-colored sapphires and the rare star sapphire.
Thailand: Thailand is another region in Asia known for producing sapphires. They are mainly found in the Kanchanaburi region. These sapphires can vary in color, but blues are among the most common.
Australia: Australia is a significant source of sapphires, particularly in the New South Wales region. Australian sapphires often have a distinctive blue-green hue.
Madagascar: Madagascar has become a major producer of sapphires in recent years. The production includes a wide range of colors, including blue, pink and yellow.
Kenya: Kenya is known for its blue and green colored sapphires. The Taita Taveta region is one of the main sapphire mining areas in Kenya.
Cambodia: Cambodia is another source of deep blue sapphires. Sapphire production in Cambodia has gained popularity in recent years.
Nigeria: Nigeria is an emerging source of sapphires, with some regions producing blue and green colored sapphires.
Montana, United States: The United States, particularly the state of Montana, produces blue-colored sapphires and some other varieties. The Montana sapphire is known for its light blue color.
It is important to note that the quality and characteristics of sapphires can vary greatly from one region to another. Some of these regions produce very high quality sapphires, while others may have lower quality stones. The choice of a source will often depend on market preferences and
What does it mean to give a sapphire as a gift?
Sapphire has a long history of symbolic meaning in several cultures and traditions. Here are some of the symbolic meanings associated with sapphire:
Wisdom and Knowledge: In Western tradition, sapphire is often associated with wisdom and knowledge. It was considered a symbol of virtue and intelligence. Some consider it a precious stone that promotes mental clarity and inner wisdom.
Protection: In many cultures, sapphire has been considered a talisman of protection against negative energies, evil influences and calamities. It was believed that wearing a sapphire could ensure safety and well-being.
Love and Loyalty: Blue sapphire has traditionally been associated with love and loyalty. It has often been chosen as a stone for engagement and wedding rings, symbolizing commitment and eternal loyalty between spouses.
Power and Authority: In ancient Persia, sapphire was associated with power and authority. Kings and rulers were believed to wear sapphires to symbolize their authority and dominance.
Purity and Spirituality: In some spiritual traditions, sapphire is seen as a symbol of purity and spiritual enlightenment. It is believed to aid in meditation and spiritual deepening.
September Stone: Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September. Birthstones often have symbolic meanings and good luck associated with the months of the year. For those born in September, sapphire traditionally represents protection and wisdom.
Starstone: Some believe that sapphire has a connection to the stars and can open the mind to celestial inspiration. This symbolic attribute reflects its ability to display a starry effect when cut into cabochons.
Healing and Wellbeing: In some alternative healing practices, sapphire has been used to promote physical and mental well-being. It is believed to have positive effects on the mind and body.
It is important to note that the symbolic meaning of the sapphire can vary from culture to culture and from tradition to tradition. Many of the meanings associated with sapphire are based on historical and cultural beliefs and can influence people in their jewelry choices or spiritual practices.
How much is a Sapphire worth?
The value or cost of a sapphire can vary greatly based on several factors, including the quality, color, size, clarity, purity and origin of the stone. Here are some of the main factors that influence the price of a sapphire:
Color: Color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a sapphire. Deep, vivid blue sapphires are generally the most expensive. Rare or distinctive colors, such as the pink-orange of the padparadscha sapphire, can also have a high value.
Size: The size of a sapphire is another key factor. Larger sapphires are generally more expensive than smaller ones. The price of stones increases exponentially with size, meaning that a larger sapphire can be significantly more expensive per carat.
Clarity: Purity is linked to the presence of impurities or inclusions. A purer sapphire free of impurities is generally more expensive.
Cut: The quality of the cut affects the beauty and brilliance of the sapphire. A well-executed cut can increase the value of the stone.
Origin: The provenance of a sapphire can influence its value. Sapphires from renowned and historic sources, such as Sri Lanka (Ceylon), often have added value.
Treatments: Most sapphires are subjected to heat treatment, this type of treatment is commonly accepted in the market. Even heated Sapphires can have a higher value.
Good quality sapphires, with vibrant colors, excellent cut, good clarity and renowned provenance, can cost from several hundred to thousands of dollars per carat. However, smaller sized or lower quality sapphires can be much more affordable.
What treatments can a Sapphire be subjected to?
Sapphires are often subjected to various treatments to improve their appearance and value on the jewelry market. These treatments are widely accepted in the jewelry industry, but it is important that consumers are informed about any treatments a stone has undergone before purchasing it. Here are some of the common treatments on sapphires:
Heat treatment (heating): Most sapphires are subjected to heat treatments to eliminate some oxides and improve their color and clarity. This type of treatment is the most common on sapphires and is commonly accepted on the market. This process consists of heating the stone to high temperatures 600-900 degrees, the improvement of the gem is permanent.
Fracture Filling: Some sapphires may have surface fractures or cracks. To improve their purity, the fractures can be filled with resins or lead glass. This treatment improves the appearance of the stone, but may require maintenance over time.
It is a very invasive treatment that affects the price of the gem.
Thermo Diffusion: This treatment involves diffusing beryllium into the surface of the sapphire (a few microns) to improve the color. Sapphires obtained by this method often have much more intense colors, but it is important to note that the treatment can be controversial and should be disclosed.
It is an invasive treatment that affects the price of the gem.
Irradiation: Some sapphires are subjected to irradiation to improve their color. This treatment can be followed by a heating procedure to fix the color.
It is an invasive treatment that affects the price of the gem.
It is important to note that treatments on sapphires must be honestly declared by the seller. This transparency is essential to allow consumers to make informed decisions about purchasing jewelry. Untreated sapphires or those with minimal treatments such as thermal treatment are often considered more valuable than those that have undergone more significant treatments. Therefore, it is advisable to request a gemological certificate when purchasing a valuable sapphire.
The colors of Sapphire
Sapphires can be found in a variety of colors, although the blue color is the best known and most traditional. Here are some of the most common colors and their varieties of sapphire:
Blue Sapphire: Blue is the color most associated with sapphires. These sapphires range from clear, transparent shades to deep, dark blue. Sapphire blue is often described as “sapphire blue” and is highly prized.
Pink Sapphire: sapphire also occurs in nature in a pink colour, in its pink-orange shade it is called “padparadscha sapphire”, it is a rare and precious variety that recalls the color of a lotus flower.
Yellow Sapphire: Yellow sapphires can range from light, bright hues to deeper golden yellow. They are considered very attractive and represent joy and optimism.
Green Sapphire: Green sapphires can range from light, transparent green to darker emerald green. They are less common than other color varieties, but can be very beautiful.
Orange Sapphire: Orange sapphires are relatively rare and can range from light orange to bright orange. They may have a warmer color shade than the padparadscha.
Purple Sapphire: Purple sapphires range from light, bright hues to deep purple. These sapphires are known for their beauty and elegance.
White or Colorless Sapphire: Colorless sapphires are also known as white sapphires. They are transparent and colorless. These sapphires can be used as alternatives to diamonds in jewelry.
Black Sapphire: Black sapphires are transparent sapphires that appear black due to impurities or inclusions. They can have an elegant and mysterious appearance.
Gray Sapphire: Gray sapphires can range from light gray to dark gray. These sapphires have gained popularity for their neutral and modern tones.
Multi-Color Sapphire: Some sapphires can have a combination of colors, such as blue-green or pink-purple. These stones are known as multi-color or bi-color sapphires.
The variety of colors of sapphires makes them very versatile gems for jewelry making and offers many options for consumers and jewelers to choose the stone that best suits their tastes and preferences.
Famous jewels with Sapphire:
Sapphires have been used in many famous jewelry pieces throughout history and often have a special or historical meaning associated with them. Here are some examples of well-known jewelry that include sapphires:
Kate Middleton’s engagement ring: One of the most iconic jewels with a sapphire is the engagement ring given by Prince William to Kate Middleton when she asked her to marry him. This ring was originally owned by William’s mother, Princess Diana, and features a large oval blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
Lady Diana’s Engagement Ring: Princess Diana’s engagement ring, mentioned above, is one of the most famous in the world. This ring features a large Ceylon blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds, and is now worn by Kate Middleton.
The St. Helena Tiara: This tiara, part of the British Royal Family’s jewelry, features a series of oval-cut sapphires framed by diamonds. It was often worn by several royal women, including Queen Elizabeth II.
The Kokoshnik Tiara of Queen Frederick of Greece: This tiara is one of the most spectacular in the Greek royal collection. It features a series of large sapphires surrounded by diamonds, arranged in a Russian kokoshnik style.
Napoleon’s Diadem: This diadem, which belonged to Empress Maria Luisa, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, is one of the most famous jewels with sapphires. It features an intricate design with sapphires of various sizes set in gold.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Sapphire and Diamond Collar: This impressive collar is part of the jewelry of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and is often worn on official occasions. It features a series of oval-cut sapphires set with diamonds.
Queen Alexandra’s Sapphire and Diamond Tiara: This historic tiara, part of the British royal family’s jewelry, features a series of large sapphires surrounded by diamonds. It was often worn by Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Mary’s Sapphire Tiara: This tiara was created by Queen Mary, the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II, and is decorated with an array of oval-cut sapphires and diamonds. It is one of the finest examples of royal sapphire jewelry.
These are just a few examples of famous jewels with sapphires. Sapphires are prized for their beauty and value throughout the world and have often been used in royal and fine jewelry for centuries.