Sapphires are the most common colored gemstone, preceded in popularity only by the diamond. Their rich blue hue and rarity have made them a treasured gemstone. They form under very specific conditions in the earth.
Sapphire color types and formation
Like rubies, sapphires are also formed out of the mineral corundum. Corundum acquires color when there are other minerals that become present as it is forming. When corundum takes on a hue other than red, the gemstone is typically classified as sapphire.
Thus, there are many color varieties in sapphire including pink, yellow and most popularly blue. With iron present, the sapphire can take on a yellow color. With vanadium, purple sapphires are created. More about fancy colored sapphires will follow after the most popular, the blue sapphire.
How does blue sapphire get its color?
The blue sapphire is created as a result of titanium being present. Corundum is found in igneous rocks. When those are cooling slowly, large crystals of minerals can form. The more slowly the magma cools, the larger the sapphires will be. Sapphires are typically found in recrystallized limestone and metamorphic rocks that have less silica and a lot of aluminum.
Fancy Sapphire Colors: Pink, Yellow, and Green
When you think of sapphires, the chances are that the first thing that pops into your head is a lovely dark blue. In fact, the color blue is so tightly connected to sapphires that there’s a term, “sapphire blue,” to describe it. Are all sapphires blue? The short answer is, no.
While all of these are lovely in any fine jewelry, recent trends have placed them in engagement rings, too. So, what color should you choose?
Right now, there’s no question that pink sapphire is runaway popular. It seems like everywhere you turn, retailers are offering a pink sapphire rose gold ring. Whether you choose baby pink or more of a raspberry stone, pink sapphire and diamond engagement rings are a gorgeous option for many brides, especially if she’s into wearing the latest thing.
What is pink sapphire made up of?
Pink sapphires are truly special gems. Like all sapphires, they’re made of corundum, and they get their color from a combination of iron, titanium, magnesium, copper, and chromium. This makes for a complex and diverse range of shades within the pink range, and lots of options for a pink sapphire engagement ring. Even better, pink sapphires are taken to have a meaning of love, sincerity, and loyalty. For engagement rings, this is a wonderful sentiment.
The history behind pink sapphires
Although pink sapphires are popular, they’re also fairly rare. Originally, they were only mined in Sri Lanka along with their blue counterparts. However, in the 1990s additional deposits were found in Madagascar. Now, pink sapphire is generally affordable by a wider variety of the general public. There are two exceptions, however.
Pink star sapphires are very rare and command high prices. And if you have a celebrity-style taste with a large jewelry budget, there are padparadscha sapphires. Padparadscha sapphires are a unique color, basically a pinkish-orange. This is the rarest color of sapphire available, and very expensive. Princess Eugenie has the most famous padparadscha pink sapphire engagement ring, estimated to be worth over $80,000.
While pink sapphires are popular, what about yellow sapphires? These gemstones can be a pure yellow, starting from pastel and ranging to lemon and goldenrod-colored. Also included in this category are orange sapphires, which range from yellowish-orange to the color of a saturated gold. Right now, yellow diamonds are extremely popular. However, these diamonds also very expensive, so a yellow sapphire ring is an affordable alternative.
What is yellow sapphire made up of?
Yellow natural sapphires are fairly common and get their signature color from the trace element iron. Found in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia and even North America, yellow sapphires are great for that pop of color without a high price tag. Moreover, the yellow sapphire meaning is delightful: it represents money and good judgment. Whereas in the Vedas (an ancient Indian text), yellow sapphires symbolize the planet Jupiter. Yellow sapphires, lab or natural, would be a great choice for someone with a sunny personality.
Want something unique for your intended fiancé? Consider a sapphire engagement ring. Especially with white diamonds, this is a stunning choice. Sapphire gemstone rings are a great choice for that “wow” factor on a budget.
Green sapphires are a stone many people overlook when looking to buy an engagement ring or even just a nice gift. Less famous than emeralds, green sapphires are like a sea of tranquility in a busy world. After all, green can be a very calming color.
Green sapphire earrings and necklaces are a great gift for anyone because they’ll attract a second look from others. If you or someone you love likes to be complimented on jewelry, a green sapphire will attract the comment “that isn’t an emerald?”
What is green sapphire made up of?
Chemically, green sapphire is the same as yellow sapphire in that it’s colored with iron. However, the iron interacts differently with the corundum crystal it’s a part of, creating something that is geologically unique. Although the stone is mined in locations where other colors are found, there are also deposits in Montana, USA. This is a commercially important supply, and it also produces blue sapphires.
Is your fiancée to be a banker, lawyer or another person whose profession inspires trust? Consider a green color sapphire engagement ring. Many people associate green with money and the stone itself means loyalty and trust. Think of this as a romantic gesture that also conveys the type of person your girlfriend is.
More facts about sapphire: hardness, origin, and crystallization
Sapphire is a remarkably hard mineral at 9 on the Mohs scale, preceded only by moissanite and diamond. This dense gemstone is a durable choice to craft jewelry for many decades.
Sapphire deposits can be found in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Kashmir as well as Montana. Sapphires from different locations can have different chemical properties as well as differing microscopic inclusions.
The crystallization of a sapphire is divided into two phases, a nucleus forms and subsequent layers of mineral are added over time. During the formation of a sapphire rutile inclusions can form. These rutile inclusions look like small crystalline growths inside of the sapphire. Almost all sapphires have inclusions.
Natural sapphires can be distinguished from synthetic sapphires by their inclusions. The majority of natural sapphires are heat-treated to improve their color. This treatment is permanent. Natural sapphires that are free of inclusions are immensely rare and carry a premium price tag.
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