Say hello to the gemstone favoured by royals the world over. The regal sapphire stone is the star of Kate Middleton’s engagement ring and has been coveted for centuries for its rich blue hue. Although famous for the supreme blue colour, sapphires are actually found in a whole spectrum of shades including red, yellow, black, and even clear
Origin & Supply of Sapphire
The word sapphire is thought to originate from the Greek name ‘sappheiros,’ meaning ‘blue stone.’ The gem is part of the mineral corundum family that is harder than most other stones - it is only exceeded in strength by diamonds. Sapphires are found naturally within earth sediment and rock formations. Some of the main mining locations include the world’s leading producer Madagascar, as well as Sri Lanka, Australia, Burma, China, Kenya, and many more.
Explore More: Sapphire Jewellery
As part of the corundum family of minerals, the term sapphire indicates the blue variety. Any other colour, except for red (in which case the gemstone is then a ruby,) will have a prefix, such as ‘yellow sapphire.’ Trace amounts of other elements such as iron, titanium, or chromium give sapphires their alternate colours.
A unique category of stones under the sapphires, Masaola sapphires are for the people who hold a dear charm for Ceylon Blue Sapphires. These gems are put under artificial process, which makes their colour glow magnificently. In their true nature, Masaola sapphires are almost crystal clear, but once they’re run through the injection process, they retain rich, hypnotizing blue hues of supreme quality.
Stone treatments are not a rare sight in the gemstone industry. More often than not, various gems are run under an extensive process that heightens their colour and sparkle by tenfold. When it comes to Masoala Sapphire, the stone is put though a fissure-filling process, where a lead stone glass of cobalt blue hue is injected into the stone. However, some precaution should be taken because high temperatures and exposure to chemicals can threaten the make of these stones.
Madagascar is one of the richest and largest sources of sapphires. Some of the best quality stones are exported from there and the highest prices gems are also mined at the said place. As the world leader in the produce of Pink Sapphires, Madagascar holds all credit in terms of the best hues. Another unique-coloured sapphire from Madagascar is in the shades of pink-ish purple. Very small quantities of green sapphire are also mined.
The blue and yellow sapphires from Madagascar are treated on high temperatures to get a clean and transparent stone quality with intense hues. Although, when it comes to pink sapphire, a lot more care is taken. Pink sapphires are put under low temperatures so that only the external surface of the stone is altered for the better.
Corundum, White Sapphire, Bi-Colour Sapphire, Pink Sapphire
|Colour||Blue, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Purple, Black|
|Sources||Sri Lanka, Africa, Tanzania, Australia, USA, China, India and Brazil|