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All You Need To Know About The Sapphire…

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The Sapphire has been recognized throughout the ages as an important gemstone in many cultures. The stones were considered holy to the ancient Persians as well as to the Catholic Church. Rulers of ancient Persia actually believed that their reflections were what turned the sky blue. The Catholics used the gem to represent the heavens.

It is a gemstone that is frequently associated with chastity and repentance. During the 18th century, stones were used to test female loyalty. Many believed that the stone would change colors if the woman had been unfaithful.

What is It?

Sapphire is actually the non-red variety of corundum. (The red variety is called ruby.) It ranks a tough 9.0 on the Moh’s scale and is second in hardness only to a diamond. This makes it an excellent choice for use in jewelry.

A Variety of Colors

The most popular and commonly known color has traditionally been blue. However, it is available in just about any color you can imagine! Some of these colors include; white (or colorless), yellow, pink, green, black, purple and orange. The rare orange-pink variety of the stone is called padparadscha. A good quality padparadscha will often carry a higher value than a blue one of equal quality.

All You Need To Know About The Sapphire...

All You Need To Know About The Sapphire...

Color Change Sapphire

This type is extremely rare and exhibits a color change phenomenon much like that of alexandrite. A color change stone is most often blue in natural light and violet in artificial light. However, sometimes the color is pink in natural light and green in artificial light.

Mining

Currently, Madagascar is the world leader in the production of this gemstone. Most of the material in Madagascar is found in and around the city of Ilakaka. This area is so rich in gem material that sapphire rough can be found right on top of the ground or in the mud. Australia was in the lead prior to when the deposits in Ilakaka were found. Other places where rough has been mined include Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and the United States in Montana.

Synthetics

Synthetic sapphires were first created in the early 1900’s. Due to the high prices of good quality natural stones, synthetics have gained popularity throughout the years. Currently, just about every color can be created. There are even man-made star sapphires!

Good synthetic stones are not necessarily inexpensive; however they should not be priced as highly as natural stones of equal quality. Synthetic stones carry all of the physical, optical and chemical properties of their natural counterparts, so it can be difficult for even an expert to tell the difference.

Usually the beauty of a stone coupled with a lower-than-normal price tag is a dead giveaway that it is synthetic. Honest retailers will disclose this fact to you, so make sure you ask questions. As with any gemstone, if you suspect you were fooled, take your gem to a laboratory and have it looked at.