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
  • 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)
  • 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

  • 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