Sapphire History and Description.
Sapphire is one of the most romantic gemstones in the world. For generations, this stone has been the choice of royals and clergy because it symbolizes truth, sincerity, nobility, and faithfulness. In Ancient Rome and Greece, Kings and Queens believed this stone protected its owners from envy or harm. Clergy tended to wear the gemstone because it was thought to be the color of Heaven. Followers also flocked to this type of custom jewelry because it was believed to cause heavenly blessings. In 1981, blue sapphires exploded in popularity when Prince Charles gave the future Princess Di an engagement ring created with this romantic stone. Decades later, Prince William graced the finger of Kate Middleton with the same type of jewelry worn by his mother.
While there is a variety of these stones available for use in jewelry, not all are exactly the same. The basic generalities between these stones are explained in better detail here. Sapphires are created with the mineral corundum. The chemistry make up of this stone is A1203. Most stones in this category have a refractive index of 1.762 to 1.770 and a specific gravity of 4.00. The stone also measures a 9 on the MOHS hardness scale. Most blue and fancy sapphires are found in Madagascar, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Myamar, and Australia.
Sapphires Aren’t Just Blue
When most people think of a sapphire, they immediately think of the color blue. And, not just any blue. The most common hue associated with this noble stone is royal blue. While it’s true this type of stone is available in many shades of blue; it’s important to realize the gemstone can also come in a variety of other colors, which makes it perfect for custom jewelry design. Any precious stone that is made of corundum, a combination of aluminum and oxygen, and isn’t red or a ruby is a sapphire.
Blue sapphires have trace elements of iron and titanium. What jewelers qualify as blue sapphires can range from greenish blue to violetish blue. The darker the hue, the more iron a sapphire includes. For example, stones that include corundum and chromium are ruby colored or pink. Sapphires that aren’t a range of blue are deemed fancy sapphires.
Fancy sapphires were discovered in the 1990s in East Africa and Madagascar. With their discovery, widespread recognition increased the popularity of yellow, orange, pink, and purple sapphires. Fancy sapphires are popular because they are romantic and can be used to create beautiful custom jewelry. Some colors, particularly pink, are also very scarce, which makes having jewelry created with this stone extremely valuable, at least sentimentally. In general, fancy stones are less valuable than traditional blue ones.
In addition to the colors mentioned above, it is also possible to create sapphire jewelry with intermediate, parti-colored, and even colorless hues. Intermediate hue stones are in between two particular colors. A parti-colored stone changes color in fluorescent lighting and daylight. Usually, a parti-colored sapphire changes colors from blue to purple. Believe it or not, this stone can also be found in gray, black, or even brown.
The rarest type of sapphire is the colorless one. This type of sapphire used to be a common alternative to diamonds but eventually faded away because there were cheaper, easier to acquire alternatives. Lately, this unique stone has been making a comeback as an accent for different types of jewelry.
Sapphires can be Natural, Man-Made, or Imitated
When buying jewelry with sapphires, it is important to realize there are natural and man-made sapphires. It’s also important to recognize a stone can be treated to alter its color, clarity, or durability. Synthetic sapphires are extremely durable and created with almost identical chemical, optical, and physical properties of natural stones, but are created in a lab instead of nature. When a sapphire is imitated, it is created with natural materials chosen by man.
Sapphire Jewelry is Ideal for Birthdays and Anniversaries
No matter what color sapphire you choose, you will impress the recipient with vivid, saturated colors. Sapphire is the birthstone for September and a common 5th and 45th-anniversary gift. To surprise the one you love, get the perfect sapphire birthstone jewelry or engagement ring.