A Sapphire, simply put, is one of the most stunningly beautiful gemstones found in nature. They have been sought after the world over by lovers of beauty for thousands of years. Sapphires remain in high demand today, incorporated into a wide variety of jewelry types. Their attractive tones lend a special touch to traditional and contemporary styles with equal flair. All sapphires are members of the corundum mineral family, and feature hardness second only to diamonds. Many would claim the same runner-up status for their ability to sparkle, to grab and hold the attention of their admirers. While rich, translucent blue is the most commonly known color of sapphire, this precious stone is actually found in many other vibrant varieties, including purple, pink, orange, yellow, and green. Corundum also appears in luxurious red – but this color is always referred to as Ruby.
The September birthstone is mined in most regions of the world. In the U.S., mines in the state of Montana yield a rich rainbow of sapphire colors. However, the finest and most abundant supplies are found in Kashmir and Burma. Beyond these sources, Sri Lanka, Australia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Thailand, and China yield rich supplies annually.
Grading a Sapphire
Natural sapphires are graded in the same way that all precious gems are evaluated. The preferred color for a stone is a robust, medium shade of its primary color, free of blemishes, blue without red or yellow traces, for instance. While outstanding clarity is valued, some minor inclusions evenly located throughout a stone create a unique, breathtaking sparkle. This phenomenon is called “asterism” and produces highly desired stones called star sapphires.
We invite you to take your time getting to know this precious stone, reading about its uses, and how to find the perfect one for yourself or to give as a cherished gift. We hope our many full-color pictures will do justice to the true beauty and value sapphires hold for their admirers, and perhaps you’ll come away just as enthusiastic about the prospects of owning fine jewelry featuring this splendid stone.