The Many Types of Sapphires
Since ancient Egyptian times, gemstones have been used in the creation of jewelry. These stones are commonly found in bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, broaches, and more. One gemstone commonly used in all types of jewelry, including the jewelry found at stores like Lauren B Jewelry, is sapphires. You may think of the blue stone commonly used as the birthstone of September, but there is actually a wide variety of this stone.
What Is Sapphire?
Sapphire is a mineral that is a part of the corundum family, which is a very hard, durable mineral. In fact, only being surpassed by diamond, corundum is the second hardest mineral. Sapphire gemstones are formed when pure aluminum oxide is crystallized from heat and pressure. Other elements, such as iron, chromium, vanadium, and titanium, create the variations in color. The stones are found all over the world, including in Brazil, Australia, Thailand, Burma, Africa, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and even the United States.
Many people think of sapphire gemstones as a blue stone. Blue sapphires are the most common, and the blue color can range from light blue to close to black. Cornflower blue sapphires, which are a medium, velvety tone, tend to be the most valued of the blue sapphires. Other colors of sapphire include orange, yellow, pink, white, gray, black, purple, green, red, and multi-colored.
While most of these are classified as orange sapphire, white sapphire, purple sapphire, and so on, red sapphires are more commonly known as rubies. Orange-pink sapphires, which are highly valued, are referred to as Padparadscha sapphires. Multi-colored sapphires, which appear different colors in different light, are also considered valuable due to their rarity.
The other colors of sapphire, such as yellow and pink, are often referred to as “fancy” sapphires. Star sapphires are sapphire stones that contain inclusions that alter transparency to form a star-like shape within the gem. These stones are valued by their color, strength, and sharpness and precision of the star.
Many sapphire gems on the market today have been heat treated to bring out the color and clarity of the stone. These gems, however, are not as valuable as gems that are naturally the desired color. Irradiation is also commonly used, particularly for light yellow, faint brown, or gray-color sapphires to create a golden or orange-yellow coloring in the stone. Treated stones, however, tend to fade in light and heat. Visit a jeweler such as Lauren B Jewelry to view a wide selection of sapphire jewelry.