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Sapphire Understanding: A Gemstone Knowledge
Sapphire, a precious gemstone, is a naturally occurring mineral that belongs to the corundum family. Its color ranges from blue, pink, yellow, green, white, to purple. The color is determined by the presence of certain elements such as iron, titanium, or chromium in the crystal.
Aside from its alluring color, sapphire’s properties of durability and toughness make it a desirable choice in various industrial applications. Its hardness ranks at 9 on the Mohs scale, which makes it one of the hardest minerals on earth.
Furthermore, sapphire has a unique optical quality called pleochroism, which means that it displays different hues of color when viewed from different angles. This trait makes it an exceptional gemstone for cutting and polishing into various shapes and sizes.
Interestingly, sapphire has been known and mined for thousands of years, with important sources found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Kashmir. One of the most famous sapphires is the Star of India, a 563-carat sapphire discovered over 300 years ago in Sri Lanka.
The Color of Sapphire
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To investigate sapphire’s color, understand its definition! Its gemstone classification and how it differs from other gems.
Learn about minerals that give sapphires their blue hue!
Check out the natural and lab-grown sub-section.
Comparing and contrasting the different ways sapphires are created.
The Definition of Sapphire
Sapphire, a precious gemstone, has been one of the most cherished stones for centuries. A term that refers to the mineral corundum, sapphire is one of the hardest minerals on earth and is admired for its brilliant colors and versatility.
This coveted gemstone’s definition varies depending on different contexts, ranging from its use in jewelry-making to industrial abrasives. However, in the world of jewelry-making, the sapphire definition pertains specifically to blue sapphires or other colors of corundum that are not red (classified as rubies). The classification of a corundum stone into a sapphire depends solely upon its color.
Distinctive varieties appear when trace elements replace aluminum atoms in the crystal lattice during their formation process. The presence of iron and titanium determines whether it possesses blue shades or yellow hues. In contrast, traces of vanadium create green tones and chromium produces pink and red shades.
Interestingly, sapphires can form naturally within the earth’s crust over thousands or millions of years. Due to current advancements in technology, lab-grown sapphires have become increasingly popular due to their affordability without compromising quality.
A true fact is that sapphires were regarded as antidotes against poison by ancient Greeks and Romans.
Get ready for some chemistry class flashbacks as we delve into the mineral structure and composition of sapphire.
The Chemical Composition of Sapphire
Sapphire Composition and Mineral Structure can shed light on the gemstone’s unique attributes. The mineral consists of aluminum oxide, with traces of iron, titanium, and chromium that alter its colouring. The crystal structure is called corundum and comprises hexagonal prisms with flat sides and triangular terminations perpendicular to one another.
The chemical composition of sapphire can be understood through the following table:
Sapphire’s hardness is second only to diamond and ranks 9 on Mohs’ scale, making it one of the most durable gemstones despite being prone to chipping or breaking along its crystal faces.
It’s intriguing how the sapphire composition impacts the deep blue hue that we are familiarized with; trace elements in combination define shades like yellow-green, pink-red, purple-blue(most common), or orange-yellow. Precisely what makes a platinum star sapphire distinctive is not just because it’s rare but also due to its perfect balance between rose-red to deep blue hues.
Many people are unaware that synthetic sapphires have been produced since 1902 in colours ranging from blue to yellow-orange (known as Padparadscha). These glistening lab-grown transparent jewels are highly valued for their exact and relatively low-cost replication characteristics.
To put forth an interesting fact, did you know that Prince Charles proposed to Princess Diana with a vivid oval-cut blue Ceylon Sapphire encircled by round brilliant-cut diamonds? This stunning ring was drafted in 1981 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh using materials sourced exclusively from The British Crown Jeweller Garrard & Co!
Whether you prefer natural sapphire or lab-grown, both will look stunning on your finger (and impress your friends).
Natural and Lab-Grown Sapphire
Sapphires are available in natural and lab-grown variations. The methods to make each one differ, affecting various features like clarity, color, and price.
|Formed deep within the earth over geological time periods by natural processes.
|Grown in laboratories using advanced technology and chemical processes that simulate the conditions for natural sapphire formation.
|Rare and precious due to their limited nature of occurrence.
|More abundant due to techno-based production methods than their naturally formed counterparts.
|Sapphires naturally dense, resilient and long-lasting giving lengthier durability than other gems.
|Similar or somewhat identical durability levels as naturally grown sapphires.
|Usually has fewer contaminants naturally embedded leading a high demand position causing more attractiveness towards buyers.
(higher the purity level, higher the cost)
|Consists of some minute quantities of impurities which differ according to production methodologies resulting in widespread availability in market with consistent quality but less costlier than previous ones.
(controlled production volume leads toward low pricing)
Natural sapphire forms deep within the earth’s crust through various geological activities under a specific atmosphere, increasing its rarity and price over lab-grown sapphire alternatives.
A unique factor affecting Sapphire Characters depends on its natural or artificial formation types. From blue to green and everything in between, sapphires come in a rainbow of colors that’ll leave you feeling like a kid in a candy store – except these gems won’t rot your teeth.
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Want to know about sapphire colors? Look no further! Let’s check out the popular ones.
- Blue Sapphire – a deep royal blue hue.
- Pink Sapphire – an alluring ornamental gemstone in stunning shades of pink.
- Yellow Sapphire – striking azure color.
- Purple Sapphire – unique and precious gemstone.
- Green Sapphire – captivating blue-green hue.
There you go!
Blue sapphire is a mesmerizing blue precious stone known for its deep blue color or even a royal blue gem shade. This lustrous gemstone is composed of the mineral corundum and trace elements like iron and titanium, which give it its beautiful sapphire hue.
Sapphires come in various shades of blue, ranging from light to deep navy blue stones. This variety in color is determined by the amount of trace elements present in the sapphire mineral, such as iron or titanium. A darker blue sapphire does not necessarily mean it is more valuable than a lighter one, as there are other factors that affect the value of a sapphire.
However, it is important to note that heat treatment can also affect the color of a sapphire. If you are looking for a specific shade of blue in your sapphire, it’s best to purchase from a reputable dealer who can provide information on any treatments applied to the stone.
To ensure that your blue sapphire maintains its stunning color, avoid exposing it to extreme lighting conditions and wear protective settings. Proper care will help keep your navy blue stone looking beautiful for years to come!
Move aside roses, pink sapphire is here to steal your spotlight as the new symbol of love and beauty in the gemstone mineral world.
Pink sapphire is a captivating and alluring gemstone mineral that is admired for its ornamental characteristics. This variant of sapphire comes in various shades ranging from light pink to intense pink hues. The color of pink Sapphire originates from the presence of trace elements such as chromium or iron, which diffuse light in a manner similar to Ruby. Its magnificent color has made it a popular choice for engagement rings and other jewelry pieces.
Pink Sapphire is often associated with romantic love, femininity, and sensitivity and is believed to have healing properties. This ornamental gemstone is cut into various shapes, including oval, cushion cuts, round brilliant cuts, and pear-shaped to enhance its beauty further. Pink Sapphire also has the same chemical composition as Blue Sapphire – it’s merely the variety in trace minerals that give it its distinctive color.
Unique details about Pink Sapphire include its rarity compared to other sapphire variants such as blue or yellow Sapphires. The formation of this gemstone varies depending on different geographical locations worldwide. Sri Lanka’s pink Sapphires are highly prized due to their vibrant color characteristics and lack of heat treatment.
A true history behind the popularity of Pink Sapphire dates back centuries ago when it was used by rulers of ancient India as an ornamental stone carried for good fortune and sought after by European royalty during medieval times. Today, top-quality unheated pink sapphires have become increasingly rare, making them valuable additions to any collection.
Yellow sapphire is like a ray of sunshine trapped in a valuable stone, making it one of the most striking colors of the azure gemstone family.
Yellow sapphire is a valuable stone and an azure gemstone that exhibits a striking color. Its chemical composition includes aluminum, oxygen, and trace elements such as iron and titanium. When it comes to its physical properties, a yellow sapphire has a Mohs hardness scale rating of 9, making it durable enough for everyday wear.
|Vitreous to adamantine
|Mohs hardness scale rating
Interestingly, yellow sapphires are commonly subjected to heat treatment to achieve fuller and more vibrant colors. The intensity of the yellow hue depends on the level of trace elements present in the stone during formation or crystal growth.
If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional diamond engagement rings, opting for a unique precious stone like yellow sapphire can add allure and distinctiveness. This colorful gemstone is not only stylish but also affordable compared to other popular gemstones available in the market. Don’t miss out on this stunning beauty in your next jewelry purchase!
Move over amethyst, purple sapphire is the new reigning queen of gorgeous gemstone hues.
Purple sapphire, a precious gemstone of gorgeous color, offers distinctive beauty and an impressive selection of variations. Let’s delve into its features and characteristics.
|Varies from light to dark purple; typically described as lavender or violet hues
|Countries including Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, among others
|Aluminum oxide with traces of iron and titanium
|Surprisingly tough (9 on the Mohs scale) for such a delicate pastel gemstone
|Less common and more expensive than other sapphire varieties
A unique feature of purple sapphire is its ability to change color under different lighting conditions. While it can appear pinkish-red under incandescent light, it appears bluer under fluorescent light. This trait makes it a popular choice for jewelry designers who delight in the gemstone’s versatility.
Interestingly enough, some ancient Persians believed purple sapphires protected wearers from envy and harm. Today, this stunning stone remains one of the most coveted gemstones admired for its rich history and vivid allure.
Fun Fact: According to GIA (Gemological Institute of America), “the term ‘sapphire’ without any modifiers refers to blue Sapphire.” Just like the envy it brings, green sapphire’s captivating hue is not to be underestimated, especially with its blue-green varieties.
Green sapphire, with its captivating hue, is a striking choice for those looking beyond traditional blue sapphires. This unique gemstone is formed from the mineral corundum and contains trace elements that give it its green color. The intensity of the green can vary depending on where the sapphire was mined.
Sapphires that have a bluish-green tint are often referred to as blue-green sapphires. The combination of blue and green hues makes them particularly desirable, as they offer a unique and stunning look that stands out from other gems.
A lesser-known fact about green sapphires is that they can also display color-changing properties under certain lighting conditions. In natural light, they may appear more blueish; however, under incandescent or yellow light, they could take on a more greenish shade.
For those interested in purchasing a green sapphire piece, we suggest considering the cut of the gemstone carefully. Depending on how the stone is cut and faceted, different tones and hues may be emphasized more prominently. Another tip to consider is pairing your green sapphire jewelry with complementary colors such as blues or yellows to enhance its beauty.
Color-changing sapphires? It’s not magic, just trace elements playing hide and seek.
Factors Affecting Sapphire Color
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To grasp how sapphire color is impacted, study trace elements, heat treatment, and lighting. These features strongly affect the look of sapphires, impacting its beauty, formation, and enhancement. Trace elements, heat treatment, and lighting all influence sapphire color in individual ways, making each sapphire distinct.
Trace elements in sapphires are naturally occurring chemical elements that affect the color and quality of the gemstone. These elements can either form part of its composition or be introduced during the gemstone formation process. The presence of these trace elements can significantly impact the hues, saturation, and intensity of sapphire colors.
The following table shows some types of trace elements found in sapphires, their effect on color, and their probable sources:
|Green/blue Yellow/orange/pink – Oxidized zones near copper deposits
Interestingly, trace element composition can also reveal whether a sapphire is natural or lab-grown based on differences in formation conditions.
It’s worth noting that different lighting conditions may highlight certain trace elements in a sapphire and result in visual variations. Understanding how these trace elements affect the overall color helps to distinguish high-quality colored gems from lower quality ones.
In history, determining trace element compositions was not always possible with limited technology. The use of spectroscopy technology has provided great strides in verifying natural gemstone authenticity and identifying synthetic stones with specific compositions.
Heat treatment: Because putting sapphires in an oven is the most accepted form of gemstone enhancement, but probably not the way your grandma made her Sunday roast.
Sapphire's color can be enhanced through a process known as heat treatment, which improves its clarity and saturation. During the treatment, sapphires are heated to high temperatures to release any impurities, improving their color and transparency. This is a common gemstone enhancement technique used in both natural and lab-grown sapphires.
Heat treatment is one of the most popular methods for enhancing sapphire color because it can produce consistent results across a range of hues. However, it is essential to note that not all sapphires respond well to heat treatment, and improper heating can damage or destroy the stone entirely.
It should be mentioned that heat-treating a sapphire does not diminish its value unless it affects its color or causes structural damage. It is also worth noting that some prefer untreated stones over treated ones for reasons such as authenticity.
If you’re interested in purchasing a sapphire with the desired hue, look for temperature-treated stones certified by reputable organizations. Don’t miss out on having an exquisite piece just because of misconceptions surrounding gemstone enhancements like heat treatments.
Lighting conditions may affect a sapphire’s appearance, but they won’t change a yellow sapphire into a blue one – sorry, mood rings.
Gemstone Appearance under Various Light Settings
Lighting conditions play a vital role in determining the color and appearance of sapphires. The amount, directionality, and wavelength of light affect the way our eyes perceive the stone’s hue, tone, and saturation. Therefore, sapphires can reveal optical phenomena such as pleochroism or asterism differently under varied lighting sources.
Natural daylight is considered the best source to view sapphire colors because it provides a balanced spectrum of visible light. However, every light setting has its unique strengths and weaknesses in determining sapphire shade accuracy. For example, cool fluorescent light enhances blue hues while muting warmer tones like yellow or pink. On the other hand, warm incandescent bulbs display sapphires with golden tones better than cool white LED lights.
It’s essential to view your sapphire under various lighting conditions for a complete understanding of its color palette as it can present different secondary hues based on ambient light sources. Besides, excessive lighting can alter natural gem colors by over-saturating them with bright highlights that may not exhibit their true beauty.
In 2005, during a prominent auction house sale in Geneva, an extraordinary 25-carat Kashmir blue sapphire fetched nearly $5 million more than its pre-sale estimate price due to its “velvety intensity” caused by natural fluorescence and combined lighting conditions. In contrast, another reputed retailer once had a customer return a fancy vivid yellow diamond ring that looked dull in incandescent light but appeared vibrant outdoors due to daylight’s UV rays.
Sapphire isn’t just blue – it’s a rainbow of colors, causing misconceptions about its value and ability to change hues.
Common Misconceptions about Sapphire Color
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Common misconceptions about sapphire color are here to be cleared up. We will explore the truth behind beliefs, accepted as facts for ages.
Firstly, sapphire does not only come in blue.
Secondly, darker sapphires are not always more valuable than lighter ones.
Lastly, sapphires do not change color under different lighting.
Sapphire is Only Blue
Sapphire’s association with blue is a common misconception. While blue sapphires are the most famous and traditional variety, sapphires come in a range of natural colors, including pink, yellow, purple and green. The variation in color comes from trace elements present when the gemstone was formed.
To suggest that sapphire is only blue diminishes its value as a gemstone variety and ignores the beauty of its other hues. For example, Padparadscha sapphires blend pink and orange tones for a unique color that is highly sought after.
A lesser-known detail about sapphire colors is their ability to change depending on lighting conditions. This change can happen with any sapphire color, not just blue sapphires. While this characteristic can make it challenging to pinpoint an exact shade or hue for a piece of jewelry, it does not take away from the beauty of the stone.
Interestingly enough, one origin story of the British Crown Jewels involves several engraved stones given to King Edward II by his father-in-law. One such stone believed to be original to the collection is a red corundum gemstone that once belonged to Mary Tudor Queen of France. This gemstone was held among many others as part of the loosely guarded royal treasury and may have been sold off or disposed of before Thomas Cromwell’s commission began (1537-8). Had this gemstone remained in the treasury until now it could have been classified as a pink or possibly red (padparadscha) sapphire!
You don’t need a lamp to make a dark sapphire seem more valuable, just some misguided gemstone pricing.
Darker Sapphire is More Valuable
The Perceived Value of Sapphire Based on Its Darkness
Sapphire value is not determined solely by its color saturation. In fact, although darker sapphires are more sought after and can be pricier, there are several other factors that determine a sapphire’s worth. While it’s true that the majority of blue sapphires on the market vary in their levels of darkness, it’s important to note that the hue and tone can also affect sapphire pricing, as well as factors such as clarity, cut quality, and carat weight.
Furthermore, while many people may believe that a darker sapphire is more valuable because it appears richer and deeper in color, what truly affects a sapphire’s value is whether or not the stone has what is known as “presence.” A gemstone with presence possesses both visual appeal and rarity, making it highly desirable and valuable.
When evaluating any gemstone pricing, including sapphires of all colors, experts consider several factors beyond darkness or saturation. These factors can include things like how reflective the stone appears when exposed to different lighting conditions. Moreover, scarcity plays a large role in determining sapphire value: if a particular color or type of sapphire is rare or hard to come by naturally (as opposed to being lab-created), its value will likely be higher regardless of its darkness level.
For those investing in sapphires for financial gain or simply looking to add high-quality precious gems to their collections, it’s essential not only to understand color variables like darkness but also the ways in which industry professionals assess value. With this knowledge at hand, you’ll be better equipped to confidently analyze and compare different types and grades of colored gemstones on your journey toward sourcing rare and special pieces.
Don’t be fooled by a sapphire’s hue – it’s like a chameleon, changing colors in different lighting.
All Sapphires Change Color in Different Lighting
Sapphire color change is a common misconception, as not all sapphires change color in different lighting conditions. While some sapphires exhibit a phenomenon called color zoning where certain areas of the gemstone appear darker or lighter, this does not necessarily mean that they change color under different light sources. It is important to note that the gemstone properties, such as trace elements and heat treatment, are the primary factors that determine sapphire’s final color and whether it would be susceptible to color change under certain light conditions.
Pro Tip: When purchasing a sapphire, look for gems with consistent color throughout rather than relying on the assumption that they would change colors in different lighting environments.
FAQs about What Color Is Sapphire
What color is sapphire?
Sapphire typically comes in shades of blue, but it can also be found in pink, yellow, green, orange, and purple.
What causes the different colors in sapphires?
The variation of colors in sapphires is due to the different trace elements that are present in the crystal structure. For example, the blue color in sapphires is due to the presence of iron and titanium.
Is there such a thing as a red sapphire?
Technically, no. While some gemstones are marketed as “red sapphires,” they are actually rubies, which are in the corundum family, just like sapphires.
What is a padparadscha sapphire?
Padparadscha sapphire is a rare type of sapphire that has a pinkish-orange color. It gets its name from the Sinhalese word for “lotus blossom,” as its color is said to resemble the flower.
What is the most valuable color of sapphire?
Traditionally, blue sapphires have been considered the most valuable. However, rarity and demand also play a role, as some unique colors, like padparadscha, can be even more valuable.
How is the color of sapphires graded?
Sapphires are graded for color based on their hue (the dominant shade), saturation (the intensity of the color), and tone (the lightness or darkness of the color). A high-quality sapphire will have a vivid, intense color with a medium to medium-dark tone.