Where Does Blue Sapphire Come From?
The sapphire is a beloved gemstone that has been cherished for centuries and used in hundreds and thousands of timeless jewelry pieces. This gemstone is known for its mesmerizing colors and beauty, as well as its durability. But did you know that not all sapphires are blue?
Typically, people think of a blue stone when they hear sapphire. While the stone does come in a blue color, there are sapphires that come in other colors too, such as green, white, purple, pink, orange, and yellow. Note that there is no red sapphire. This is because the red mineral corundum is another gemstone called ruby.
The price of sapphire has a lot to do with its colors, with deep royal blue sapphires being the most expensive of the lot.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a blue sapphire jewelry piece, here’s a guide on the meaning of sapphire, what it symbolizes, and how to pick the best one.
What Is The Meaning Of Sapphires?
Sapphire is a gemstone often associated with royalty. Many also associate the gemstone with wisdom. In fact, up until the Medieval era the sapphire was considered a stone of prophecy and divine favor.
As a talisman, sapphire is believed to help preserve a person’s chastity and protect its wearer from poison, plague, and other illnesses. In some cultures, the sapphire is believed to be able to discover fraud and keep its wearer safe from the influences of black magic and ill-wishing.
In feng shui, the sapphire allows wearers to see connections between their physical space and their life. Placing a sapphire in the ‘Gen’ area will connect the user to skillfulness and spiritual development. Placing a sapphire in the ‘Xun’ corner will lead to wealth and abundance. Blue sapphire is also used by feng shui practitioners to usher in new beginnings and meditation.
What Makes Sapphires Blue?
All colored gemstones contain trace elements that give them their color. For example, blue sapphire consists of iron and titanium. The more iron and titanium are transferred to the sapphire during its development process, the deeper colors you get.
Blue sapphires come in many shades. Here are five of the most popular types:
- Cornflower Blue Sapphire – the cornflower shade is regarded as the truest and brightest medium blue sapphire.
- Ceylon Sapphire – this type of sapphire is named less for its color but more after where it is produced — in Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon.
- Teal Sapphire – Teal sapphires are greenish-blue color change sapphires. The gemstone’s color is created due to a higher concentration of iron during the development process.
- Ice Blue Sapphire – Ice blue sapphires are pale, frosty blue sapphires. They are not considered valuable as they lack the usual vibrant colors of sapphires. However, many see ice-blue sapphires as beautiful and are widely desired by people who only want a hint of blue.
- Kashmir Blue Sapphire – Kashmir blue sapphires are the most expensive. This rare gemstone features a bright, velvety blue hue and is produced in the mountains of India. However, it is now rarely seen on the market as the mine where Kashmir sapphires were produced was closed in 1927. Today, Kashmir sapphires are either owned by collectors or displayed in museums.
Interestingly, not all blue-colored sapphires are considered blue sapphires. The stone should be at least 75% blue for it to be accepted as a ‘blue’ sapphire. Otherwise, it will be considered one of the fancy sapphires, a name which is given to any sapphire color other than blue.
Are All Sapphires Blue?
As mentioned previously, sapphires have different colors depending on the percentage of iron and titanium present during the development process. The more iron and titanium transferred to the stone, the deeper blue you will get.
Other elements such as chromium can also influence the color of a sapphire, causing it to take on a more orange color. Trace amounts of chromium can also give a sapphire a yellowish or pinkish color.
To give you an overview of all the sapphire colors, we provide you with a list of the different types of sapphires below.
Dark blue sapphires are the most popular and desired color for sapphires. These stones are often seen in 45th wedding anniversary jewelry. It is also the birthstone for September.
White sapphires are colorless and extremely rare in nature. As such, most white sapphires are created in a lab (synthetic sapphires) or are treated with heat to remove any hints of color.
Due to their appearance and likeness to a diamond, white sapphires have become one of the most popular alternatives to diamond engagement rings. They are not as expensive as diamonds but they are also not as brilliant or clear. To the untrained eye, however, white sapphires are hardly recognizable from diamonds.
Pink sapphires are usually the go-to gemstone for people looking for a gift for their romantic partners. These stones used to be extremely rare but became more widely available after large deposits of pink sapphires were found in Madagascar.
Much like the color blue, pink sapphires also have a wide color range—from pastel pink to hot pink. Hot pink sapphires are the most valuable stones from this category due to their color intensity.
Orange sapphire is another rare gemstone, so much so that most of the stones on the market have been heat-treated. The orange color comes from two elements, namely chromium (which brings out the reddish color) and iron (which brings out the yellowish hue).
Padparadscha sapphire is one of the rarest sapphires, which also means it’s one of the most expensive. This sapphire features a bright and fruity pinkish-orange color that is mesmerizing. What adds to its value is that no two padparadscha sapphires are alike.
In Sinhalese, Padparadscha means ‘lotus flower’. This language is spoken in Sri Lanka where this type of sapphire is mined.
Yellow sapphires are known for their bright, sunny color. In fact, the sunnier the stone, the more valuable it is. As such, some pale yellow sapphires are heat-treated to remove their color, turning them into white sapphires instead.
Green sapphires are often regarded as calming stones. However, many also believe that green sapphires symbolize trust. These sapphires range from light green to dark forest green and are cheaper than other types as they are not as rare.
If you’re looking for an alternative to emerald stones, consider getting green sapphires. They are just as beautiful as emeralds and tend to have fewer inclusions, making them more durable.
Purple sapphires are often mistaken for Oriental amethysts. But while purple sapphires resemble amethysts in color, these gemstones are more brilliant and valuable than amethysts.
While called black sapphires, these stones are not really black in color. Instead, their inky appearance is the result of inclusions that prevent any light from refracting on the stone’s surface.
Of all sapphires, black sapphires have the least value. That is, unless the stone exhibits asterism or a ‘star’ effect, much like the one in the photo above. Unlike regular black sapphires, black star sapphires are extremely rare.
Color Change Sapphire
Color-change sapphires refer to sapphire stones that change color when exposed to different kinds of light. For instance, blue sapphire can change from blue in daylight or fluorescent light to purple under incandescent light.
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