Origin and Supply of Sapphire
Sapphire is a stone that can be found in several sources spread across the globe. It is heavily mined from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Tanzania, Madagascar, and even Australia. Little but precious traces of it had been sourced from the Kashmir region of India/Pakistan, ...which was famously called “Kashmir Blue Sapphire.” However, very little quantity of these precious gems is mined from the region anymore.
How is Sapphire Mined?
As of current employment, there are 3 main procedures to mine the stone. These are explained briefly below:
Open Pit or Shallow Mining - In this process, shallow pits of vast size are formed. Large regions are spanned where promising rocks containing the gem are collected. Slabs of the potential boulder-carrying gem are then carried where they can be chiselled. This technique is used in Madagascar and Sri Lanka.
Commercial Mining - Done in Thailand and Australia, the mining is done using heavy machinery. These mines are usually quite deep and vast in size, and source both commercial grade as well as gem-quality stones.
Water Pressure Mining - Considered to be among the worst techniques, this kind is employed in America and some parts of Africa. Strong pressure of water is applied to the ground bearing the gem. This washes off the mother rock and leaves behind the stone. However, it permanently leaves the land barren and destroyed.
Facts About Sapphire
- A sapphire may be available in a whole rainbow spectrum of colours. However, it is not available in red. You may find green, blue, purple, pink, or even orange varieties. This is because red sapphire is actually called a ruby.
- Sapphires are counted as among the strongest gems in the planet. They rank 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which makes them extremely resistant to scratches or external abrasions and cracks that can be caused due to impact.
- The extremely famed and popular engagement ring of Princess Diana (now worn by Kate Middleton) features a stunning blue sapphire at the centre of a simple halo design. Rest of the stones are diamonds....
- September birthstone is referred for the month of May. Other than for the ones born in this month, it can also be gifted for 5th or 45th anniversaries.
- The rarest variety of a sapphire is available in pink-peach colour. It is called the Padparascha sapphire and is found to be usually high-priced. It has stunning colours that can be rarely found in any other gemstone of a grade as good as this.
- Due to their high rank on the Mohs Scale and their durability, they are used commercially, too. In fact, you’ll find that a lot of watches have a sapphire screen. Other than that, Apple Company also used lab-created sapphire screen for their phones.
- In the ancient times, the stone was considered to be extremely powerful. People wore as a talisman against witchcraft. Some even believed that sapphire could be the antidote to poison.
- Sapphires are associated with royalty. When you’re signifying anything that’s regal and luxurious, you’ll always see or find the mention of this stone or its colour. They’re also a part of the 4 precious gemstones. Others are ruby, emerald, and diamond.
- The largest sapphire ever found was extracted in Madagascar. It is called Millennium Sapphire and it weighs over a whopping and impressive weight of 61,500 carats!
- Almost all sapphires undergo the heat treatment. It is considered as an ethical practice and only improves the stability and colour of this stone.
Properties of Sapphire
1. Colour: Even in colour alone, there are 3 major determinants, and they are: hue, saturation, and tone. This is because of the fact that even a single solitaire can have multiple colours when viewed from different angles. Hue is referred to as the base colour of the stone. In sapphire’s case, it is yellow or blue. Tone determines how dark this colour is going to be. It describes the intensity of colour seen in your specimen. Darker tones will always be pricier. And lastly, saturation is how pure the colour is going to be. High saturation stones are usually called inky and they’re pricier. Good quality sapphires grade from medium to medium-dark colour.
2. Cut: Owing to their remarkable and appreciable crystalline make and sparkling feature, sapphires look absolutely lovely when they’re faceted. This makes the cut of this stone extremely important. You gem needs the perfect cut that flaunts its colour from all sides, sparkling bright and cheery with the multi-faceting done. Sapphires can be cut and flaunted in several shapes and sizes, thanks to their impressive hardness. The most common cuts of the stone noted are round, trillion, oval, baguette, emerald, and heart, among more.
3. Clarity: Sapphires are gems that are formed under adverse and testing conditions over years. They come to be as magma cools down. This might result in a little amount of inclusions found in the stone. Unlike diamonds, these gems are loved and appreciated for their inclusions. These inclusions are considered to be natural. However, if these are disturbing or harbouring the stone’s appeal or transparency, they tend to lower the stone’s value. Spotting an absolutely clean and inclusion-free sapphire is considered to be almost impossible to find.
4. Carat: Like many other gemstones, the price of a sapphire tends to increase with its carat weight. It also depends on the type and colour of the stone. Some gems are abundantly found in larger sizes, so their prices don’t have much impact from their carat size. These usually are the yellow and blue. However, the rarer varieties like Padparascha sapphires aren’t as popularly found above the weight of even 5 carats. This makes them increasingly pricier as their carat weight increases. Pink, orange, green, and other colours of the stone can be easily found under 15 carats.
Sapphire Gemstone Treatment One of the most important and crucial treatments that a sapphire undergoes is heat treatment. This is a common and accepted practice. It enhances the construct of the stone and gives it a richer and more intense colour. It doesn’t have any harmful long-altering effects on the stone, too. It is very important for you to find out if your gem has been treated. Almost all the gemstones in the current market have undergone some sort of treatment. Ask your dealer more about it before you make the purchase.
What to Remember While Buying Sapphire?
- When you’re in the market to shop for sapphires, there’s a lot you need to know beforehand, so you’re at less risk of getting ripped off. Follow these carefully put-together tips and tricks to get this gemstone for the best value of your buck:
- 1. The more important determinants that affect the value of this stone are its cut, clarity, carat, and colour. Know more and educate yourself a little before you set out buying an expensive stone.
- 2. Know that most of the gemstones in the current market have undergone some kind of treatment. Most sapphires you’ll see will be heat-treated. This is done to improve the colour and clarity of this gem and doesn’t usually decrease the value....
- 3. That said, always ask your dealer for the proof of authenticity. There are other treatments, too, that are not necessarily considered ethical. Ask your jewellery about what treatments the stone has undergone before buying it.
- 4. Sapphires range from light shades to extremely rich and dark tones. You need to keep in mind that the high-prized gem will have medium-dark hue. The gems with colour too dark are also comparatively less in value.
- 5. Study your stone. It is advisable that before buying your gem, you hold it up against the light to study its clarity and colour closely. It is to be noted that sapphires with uneven colour distribution are considered far less precious.
- 6. Know about the different origins of this stone. The place where sapphire was mined also holds a lot of importance. The specimens from Kashmir, Myanmar, or Ceylon are considered to be rarer than the ones otherwise found.
- 7. Sapphire isn’t only available in blue colour, albeit it is the most popular one. Other colours of the stone are orange, pink, green, purple, among more. However, the crystal found in the red colour is called ruby.
- 8. Another important thing to note is the clarity of your gem. The higher-priced and prized sapphires usually have a clear make. That said, small inclusions are considered natural, as long as they don’t affect the transparency of this gem.
- 9. Saturation of colour is yet another factor that affects grade of your stone. Saturation refers to the intensity of colour found in your gem. Sapphires with washed-out of grey colours are usually undesirable. Medium-saturation stone is the high-priced variety.
- 10. Sapphire is one of the hardest gemstones. It ranks 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, closely second to diamond. This means that this cannot be easily shattered or scratched. When you’re evaluating your stone, keep in mind that it shouldn’t be quite as easy to abrade your sparkling gem.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sapphire
Sapphires are popularly known to be available in a slew of different and vibrant colours, like green, blue, yellow, orange, pink, and more. The most popular colour is blue, but the highest -priced variety is Padparascha and is available pink-peach colour.
There is an extremely simple and quick scratch test that you can conduct to find out if your stone is real or imitation. The gem ranks 9 on Mohs Scale of Hardness, which makes it extremely tough and resilient. Lightly scratch a coin on its surface. It shouldn’t leave any abrasions.
Sapphire is tough and resilient stone that is chiselled into many cuts and shapes. Primarily, though, its most popular cut has been noted to be oval. Other cuts are round, cushion, baguette, heart, and more.
Sapphires are usually mid-expensive stones. They have different varieties that fluctuate in prices. However, the rarest of these gems is considered to be Padparascha sapphire, which is mined in Sri Lanka. It is also the most expensive variety with pink-peach colour.
Sapphire is a sparkling perfect stone that is available in a rich myriad of different colours. The more popular colours of this stone are blue, orange, pink, purple, yellow, and green. Red sapphires are called rubies.
These gems are found to be mined in several different countries spanning across the globe. However, the specimens that have been mined from Ceylon, Myanmar, And Kashmir are considered to be higher priced and best valued.
Determining the grade sapphire is quite easy and simple. You need to evaluate it by studying it on the basis of 4Cs, which are colour, cut, carat, and clarity. These determinants have been described above.
The term means that these stones are considered lucky for all the people who have been born during the month of September. Many believe that by wearing them, one will achieve happiness, luck, and protection against evil.
These gems have been known for their brilliant aesthetical appearance. However, in the world of astrology and healing, they have been associated with virtue, honesty, and wisdom. All these virtues make it perfect for your engagement ring.
If you’re seeking the best sapphire, it is going to be of blue colour. The saturation will be intense, making it a luxurious shade of royal blue. The AAA grade sapphires are truly the best of their kinds. It’ll also be clear and incredibly sparkly.