Colour

A corundum mineral is called ruby or sapphire, depending on the metallic oxides present which determine the colour. Sapphires come in every colour except red. The red corundum is a ruby.

  • The most prized blue colour is also known by a flower and is called "cornflower"
  • The rarest sapphires, "padparadschas" (named after the lotus flower), are orange-pink or pinkish-orange in colour
  • "Fancy" sapphires" are any "not blue" sapphires
Clarity
  • Inclusions in sapphire may be composed of fine rutile needles (called silk), which may intersect at 60-degree angles. In such cases, when the gem is cut as a cabochon, a star effect may occur
  • Inclusions can cause some gems to have milky colouration, this becomes a detriment if it also causes a perceived loss of blue
  • In top Kashmir sapphires the haziness from inclusions (called sleepiness) acts to diffuse light and colour resulting in even blue coloration


(click on colour to find other gemstones and jewelry)
TREATMENTS
CUT
  • Color: Consider all sapphires heat treated unless specifically guaranteed otherwise.
  • ColorIrradiation can create orange or yellow sapphires out of colorless stones. Color does not stay.
  • Color: Additional chemical elements can be "diffused" in the stone to enhance/change colors
  • Clarity: fissures can be filled with glass. This occurs more frequently in rubies than sapphires
  • Sapphires are mostly cut in traditional pear, round, oval, cushion and emerald cut outlines.
  • They are sometimes engraved or carved today, though sapphires were sometimes engraved during India's Mughal Era



Care
  • Sapphires are extremely durable due to their hardness and exceptional toughness
  • As with most gemstones, a soft moistened cloth, or a soft bristle toothbrush may be used to clean the gem

 

collect