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.

Sapphire Types

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.

Heat Treatments 

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. 

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