Sapphire is a precious gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, which is an oxide of aluminum. It is a hard and durable mineral, second only to diamond in hardness, and has a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
Sapphire comes in various colors, including blue, yellow, green, pink, purple, and white, but blue sapphire is the most well-known and popular. The blue color is due to the presence of trace amounts of iron and titanium in the crystal structure.
Sapphire is widely used in jewelry, especially for engagement rings and other fine pieces. It is also used in a variety of industrial applications, such as the manufacture of watch crystals, scientific instruments, and electronic components due to its hardness and durability.
Sapphires can be treated in several ways to improve their color, clarity, and overall appearance. The most common treatments for sapphires are:
Heat treatment: This is the most widely used treatment for sapphires. Heating the stone at high temperatures can improve the clarity and color of the stone. Heat treatment can also remove inclusions and improve the overall appearance of the stone. This treatment is permanent and does not affect the durability of the stone.
Diffusion treatment: This treatment involves heating the sapphire with certain chemicals, which causes the color to penetrate the stone. This can create a more vibrant color and can also create color zoning in the stone. The color change is permanent.
Irradiation treatment: This treatment involves exposing the sapphire to radiation to change its color. The color change is permanent, but this treatment is less common for sapphires.
Surface coating: This treatment involves applying a thin layer of colored film to the surface of the sapphire. This treatment is not permanent and can easily be scratched or worn off.
It is important to note that any treatment should be disclosed when selling or purchasing sapphires. Natural, untreated sapphires are generally more valuable than treated ones.
Blue sapphires can come in a range of colors, from light blue to dark blue, and can have different tones and saturations. Some of the common blue sapphire colors are:
Cornflower blue: This is a medium to light blue color with a slightly violet hue. It is considered one of the most desirable colors for blue sapphires.
Royal blue: This is a deep blue color with a strong saturation and little to no violet or green undertones. It is also considered a desirable color for blue sapphires.
Kashmir blue: This is a velvety blue color with a soft and muted tone. It is highly sought after and very rare.
Steel blue: This is a dark blue color with a grayish tone.
Navy blue: This is a deep, dark blue color with a strong saturation.
Teal blue: This is a blue-green color with a mix of blue and green hues. It is less common but can be very striking.
It's important to note that color preferences can vary from person to person, and ultimately, the most desirable blue sapphire color is a matter of personal taste.
When buying a sapphire, it's important to ensure that the stone comes with a reliable and recognized certificate from an independent gemological laboratory. The most respected and recognized gemological laboratories that issue certificates for sapphires are:
Gemological Institute of America (GIA): The GIA is a non-profit organization that is widely considered the leading authority in gemology. Their sapphire reports provide a detailed analysis of the stone's color, clarity, cut, carat weight, and other important characteristics, as well as any treatments that the stone may have undergone.
American Gemological Laboratories (AGL): The AGL is a well-respected gemological laboratory that provides independent gemstone analysis and grading services. Their sapphire reports provide a detailed analysis of the stone's color, clarity, cut, carat weight, and origin, as well as any treatments that the stone may have undergone.
The GRS (GemResearch Swisslab) is a well-respected gemological laboratory based in Switzerland that provides gemstone analysis and certification services. The GRS is known for its expertise in colored gemstones, including sapphires, and is widely recognized within the industry.
The GRS certificate provides a detailed analysis of the sapphire's color, clarity, cut, carat weight, and origin, as well as any treatments that the stone may have undergone. The GRS is particularly well-known for its expertise in the identification of natural versus treated sapphires, including the identification of heat treatment and other common treatments
These three gemological laboratories are widely recognized and respected within the industry, and their certificates provide a high level of assurance and credibility for buyers and sellers of sapphires. It's important to ensure that the certificate is issued by an independent and reputable laboratory to ensure the accuracy and credibility of the stone's characteristics and any treatments.
The price of a sapphire can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the color, clarity, cut, carat weight, and treatment of the stone. Some of the most important factors that affect the price of sapphires are:
Color: The most valuable and expensive sapphires are those with a rich, vivid blue color. The price can vary depending on the hue, saturation, and tone of the blue, as well as the presence of any secondary colors.
Clarity: Sapphires with fewer inclusions and blemishes are generally more valuable than those with visible flaws.
Cut: A well-cut sapphire with excellent symmetry, proportions, and polish will reflect light more effectively and will be more valuable than a poorly cut stone.
Carat weight: Sapphires are sold by weight, so larger stones will generally be more expensive than smaller ones.
Treatment: Natural, untreated sapphires are generally more valuable than treated ones, but the type of treatment can also affect the price.
As an example, a high-quality, untreated, 1-carat blue sapphire can range in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the factors mentioned above. However, it's important to keep in mind that the price of sapphires can vary greatly depending on the specific characteristics of each stone, so it's best to consult with us for an accurate appraisal.
Sapphire Birthstone and Healing
Sapphire is the birthstone for September. In terms of healing, sapphire is believed to have a number of benefits. Here are some of them:
Spiritual awareness: Sapphire is believed to enhance spiritual awareness and help individuals connect with their inner selves.
Mental clarity: It is said that sapphire can help clear mental blocks and bring clarity of thought.
Emotional healing: Sapphire is believed to help heal emotional wounds and bring a sense of calm and balance to the emotions.
Physical healing: It is said that sapphire can help improve the functioning of the immune system and aid in the healing of various physical ailments.
Protection: Sapphire is believed to provide protection from negative energies and enhance the aura's strength.