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Sapphires

SAPPHIRE Color Is The Most Important Factor In Determining A Sapphire's Value Sapphires are identical in every attribute to ruby, except for one key component - their color. Found in a kaleidoscopic assortment of colors that range the entire spectrum, sapphires are broadly split into two named groups:
  1. Sapphires - Blue sapphires only.
  2. Fancy Sapphires - Sapphires of all other colors. The word sapphire, stated without a prefix, implies blue sapphires only. Sapphires of all other colors are assigned a color prefix (e.g. pink sapphires, yellow sapphires, purple sapphires etc.) or are collectively termed "Fancy Sapphires."

Blue Sapphire

This enduring and most popular color hue of the sapphire family comes in a wide range of blue colors. With the exception of the rare and collectable padparadscha sapphires, blue sapphires are thought of as the most desirable and expensive of the entire sapphire family. Graduating in color from light pastel blues all the way through to the depths of midnight blue, the most beautiful blue sapphire colors and the highest values sit in the middle o the blue-color range. While the pale blues and darker midnight blues offer the purchase the best value, the rare and captivating cornflower blues offer the consumer unbeatable color with a captivating beauty - but at a premium.

Padparadsha Sapphire

This enduring and most popular color hue of the sapphire family comes in a wide range of blue colors. With the exception of the rare and collectable padparadscha sapphires, blue sapphires are thought of as the most desirable and expensive of the entire sapphire family. Graduating in color from light pastel blues all the way through to the depths of midnight blue, the most beautiful blue sapphire colors and the highest values sit in the middle o the blue-color range. While the pale blues and darker midnight blues offer the purchase the best value, the rare and captivating cornflower blues offer the consumer unbeatable color with a captivating beauty - but at a premium.

Pink Padparadsha Sapphire

After the seductive tones of padparadsha and blue sapphire, the next most highly valued member of the family is pink sapphire. Ambiguously sharing a color border witH ruby, many pink sapphires are so close to this boundary they are termed as "hot pink" with prices being at a premium. For those pink sapphire that remain firmly within the color realms of pink, consumers are offered a color range from good value pastel pink shades to the more expensive but vivacious colors that approach the hot pinks. Perennially the fancy sapphire favorite, pinks sapphires are often used in tandem with blue sapphires to make interesting alternatives to accent diamonds displaying bright, colorful but harmonious contrasts within a single piece of jewelry.

Purple Sapphire

At their best, purple sapphires display rich purple-pink colors reminiscent of orchids. Prized by collectors, purple sapphires offer the consumer excellent value when compared to blue, pink and padparadscha sapphires

Green Sapphire

Displaying a range of green hues, from colors reminiscent of olives through to wine bottle like greens, green sapphires are the least demanded of the sapphire family. As if to capitalize upon this under appreciation, green sapphires offer the best bargains of the sapphire family.

Star Sapphire

Star sapphires have long been coveted for their beautiful and mysterious optical effects. Glance at a star sapphire and you will see six or even twelve rayed stars silently gliding across the gemstone's surface. With their very bright and lustrous star formations, star sapphires have traditionally been the most popular of all star gemstones.

Color Change Sapphire

Hailing from the Mogok Stone Tract in Upper Burma and the gem gravels of Africa, color change sapphire present gem lovers with an opportunity to own the rare and stunning alexandrite effect in a gem as rare and valuable as sapphire.

Classical & Modern Sources of Sapphire

The classical sources of quality sapphires throughout history have been the Mogok Stone Tract in Upper Burma and the gem fields of Sri Lanka. So synonymous are these locales with fine sapphires that some people are prepared to pay a premium for Burmese and Ceylon sapphires over sapphires from all other sources. Frequently noted for their cornflower blues, sapphires of a Burmese provenance are thought of as slightly more desirable than those from Ceylon. However, a historical blip occurred in the quality sapphire market that temporarily pushed Burmese and Ceylon sapphires back into second and third places - sapphires from the Kudi Valley in Kashmir, India. Discovered around 1880 after landslides revealed the valley's treasures, Kashmir sapphires quickly found fame. Exhibiting intensely captivating colors, their reign at the top was but short-lived. Intensive mining lasted only thirty years, with all commercial production stopping some fifty years ago. Kashmir sapphires are almost never seen in today's market and private collectors jealously guard known specimens. With Kashmir sapphires all but non-existent, Burmese and Ceylon sapphires now command the top prices, with gem connoisseurs keenly vying for their beauty and pedigree. With history and pedigree aside, sapphires as every bit as beautiful have been found as widely as Australia, Cambodia, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam. Nowadays, Madagascar's prolific Ilakaka gem fields account for some 20% of total global sapphire production.

Heat

Most sapphires seen on the market today have been subjected to high temperatures in an age-old practice that is said to have originated in Sri Lanka some 2,000 years ago. Sapphires are heated at high temperatures to improve their clarity and to intensify their colors. Without this practice, we would see fewer sapphires on the market today, at far higher carat prices due to restricted and narrowed supplies. Heating sapphires makes otherwise expensive gems, more accessible and more affordable. The proportion of unheated sapphires on the market is small and is widely thought to be less than 1%. Although no more beautiful, their rarity makes them highly collectable and prices are set at a premium, sometimes fetching triple the price paid for an equivalent heated sapphire. When purchasing unheated sapphires, please be aware that unheated material is rare, as a result, always purchase from a reliable supplier.

Caring for Sapphires and Fancy Color Sapphires

The corundum family including Ruby and all color sapphires are the second hardest gem next to diamond. They are a 9 on Mohs Hardness Scaleas well as being tough and stable making them an ideal Jewelery Gem. You can use an ultrasonic and steamer on all sapphires and rubies, but be sure that they are secure in the setting before doing so.