The Montana Sapphire: A Guide

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The U.S. state of Montana is known for producing most of the country’s sapphires. For this reason, it has been fondly nicknamed the ‘Treasure State’. It is also known for producing Yogo Sapphires, which are characterized by their cornflower blue color. The state prides itself on its ethical mining practices, making Montana Sapphires an excellent choice for your jewelry.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the Montana Sapphire.

What are Montana Sapphires?

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Montana has had a prolific mining industry for over a century, especially for sapphires. As the only state in the country that produces as many stones of such high quality, it comes as no surprise that Montana Sapphires are more sought-after than other sapphires.

Sapphires are considered one of the most popular colored precious stones. These gems are formed over millions of years when there are shifts in heat and pressure underground.

Sapphires are also one of the hardest gemstone types and are extremely resistant to weathering. They rank nine on the Mohs scale of hardness.

Montana Sapphires come in a wide range of colors and sparkle brilliantly. Additionally, the ethical mining through which they are sourced adds to their value. There are three main locations where Montana Sapphires are mined.

These include:

  • Missouri River Sapphires sourced near Helena
  • Rock Creek Sapphires sourced near Philipsburg
  • Yogo Gulch area sapphires

Montana Sapphires are also referred to as Yogo Sapphires as a result.

What Makes Montana Sapphires Unique

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Montana Sapphires have gained a great reputation over the years for their high durability, perfect clarity, and superior color. Their color, clarity, cut, and treatment are what sets them apart from other gemstones.

A Montana Sapphire is typically lighter in color than other blue sapphires. Because of their high clarity, Montana (or Yogo) Sapphires have no visible inclusions and are referred to as eye clean. These incredible Montana Sapphires also don’t undergo heat treatment like their regular counterparts.

Montana Sapphire Colors

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One of the main reasons why people buy Montana Sapphires is their wide range of color. They come in both light colors and more intense colors, some of which are extremely rare to see in natural sapphires.

Some of the most popular Yogo Sapphire colors include blue-green or greenish blue, sky blue, pale blue, teal, green, pink, orange, and yellow. However, the trademark color of Montana Sapphires is cornflower blue.

The Missouri River deposit offers some Montana Sapphires with changing colors. Typically, this is caused by the trace element Vanadium. In daylight, these precious, colored gemstones will appear blue. But in incandescent light they can appear closer to purple or violet. This is also true for some of the lighter blue stones, shifting from sky blue to lavender.

The Yogo Gulch area offers the most unique Montana Sapphires. These are ideal if you’re looking for stones in pastel colors for an engagement ring.

Rough Montana Sapphires

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If you’re fond of the rustic look when it comes to gemstone jewelry or custom engagement rings, rough Montana Sapphires are the ideal option. Rough stones are typically uncut and unpolished. Jewelry cutters also avoid heat treating these stones.

Instead, they are left in their natural state. Montana Sapphires are unique because they are harvested from rivers instead of mined from the earth. It gives them a naturally weathered appearance when left unpolished.

This results in beautiful, ethically-sourced, gem-quality sapphires that are all one-of-a-kind.

Besides the excellent durability of Yogo Sapphires, many people are drawn to rough stones as they will show wear and tear much slower than polished stones.

Wearing Montana Sapphire Jewelry


Montana Sapphire Rings


Rings are perhaps the most popular type of jewelry for Montana Sapphires, and these stones are especially beautiful when in yellow-gold settings. The warm tones of the gold contrast with the cool tones of the gems, making them stand out.

However, if you prefer complementary colors, you may opt for a cool-toned setting such as silver, white gold, or platinum.

Because of their durability, these colored gems are popular choices for engagement rings. They are ideal for everyday wear and will take some time before showing signs of wear.

Additionally, Montana Sapphires are a more budget-friendly alternative to diamonds. As with other gemstones, the final price of your engagement ring will depend on the carat weight and precious metal you choose.

Montana Sapphire Necklaces


A Montana Sapphire is also a great option for a statement necklace. They come in a variety of colors, which means you don’t necessarily have to opt for blue stones. These fancy-colored gems look great as pendants and offer the wearer a sophisticated, polished look.

They are also a great option for formal wear jewelry.

Montana Sapphire Earrings


Montana Sapphires are a popular choice for a variety of earring types, but some of the most popular include:

  • Stud earrings
  • Drop Earrings
  • Cluster earrings

Cluster earrings are an especially great option if you can’t decide on a color. These earrings can include stones of various colors in the same setting.

Stud earrings are ideal for formal or business wear.

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In Conclusion: Should You Buy a Montana Sapphire?

A Montana Sapphire makes a great addition to any jewelry collection. These blue stones are sophisticated and unique, not to mention durable. A Montana Sapphire is also an ethical choice since they do not require harmful mining practices to be produced.

Furthermore, Montana sapphires look beautiful in a range of jewelry settings, including yellow and white gold. They can be worn on their own or paired with other gemstones like diamonds.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with one of these stunning gems. Also, did we mention that sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gemstone associated with the 45th wedding anniversary?


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