Sapphire is a gemstone that is highly popular and sought after. The history of sapphire has been associated with nobility and honesty and was a sign of wealth during the 18th and 19th centuries.
From the mineral species corundum (aluminium oxide), it is 9 on the Moh’s scale of hardness – second to diamond’s 10. This hardness makes it perfect for setting into jewellery for day to day wear as it is extremely difficult to scratch as well as durable.
Typically a sapphire is a blue stone, however it is possible to get sapphires in most other colours; these are known as fancy sapphires – pink, yellow, orange, purple, green, colourless and even black. Sapphires are never red, this is a ruby – which has the same basic mineral composition as a sapphire, and it is just red in colour. Corundum in its purest form is colourless; trace elements that are present during the stones formation are what colour the stone. Sapphire (blue) = Corundum + Iron and Titanium.
Sapphires are sourced from all over the world; traditionally, Kashmir, Sri Lanka and Burma are known as having the finest quality sapphires however current sources of the stones are Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar and Australia. With laboratory analysis, it is possible to trace the origin of a sapphire.
Often in the gemstone trade, sapphires will be heat treated in order to aid the stones appearance. These treatments are used to lighten or darken the hue (colour) or evenly disperse or improve the apparent clarity. Unlike diamonds the inclusions are not always negative as they can aid the light reflection and give the stone a beautifully unique silky appearance.
For more information about sapphires or to book a consultation with one of our experts, please contact us.