Sapphire Stone | Brief Details

Sapphire Stone | Brief Details

Sapphire is a precious gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum, consisting of aluminium oxide (α-Al2O3) with trace amounts of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, vanadium, or magnesium. The name sapphire is derived from the Latin “saphirus” and the Greek “sapheiros”, both of which mean blue. It is typically blue, but natural “fancy” sapphires also occur in yellow, purple, orange, and green colors; “parti sapphires” show two or more colors. Red corundum stones also occur, but are called rubies not sapphires.[2] Pink-colored corundum may be classified either as ruby or sapphire depending on locale. Commonly, natural sapphires are cut and polished into gemstones and worn in jewelry.

They also may be created synthetically in laboratories for industrial or decorative purposes in large crystal boules. Because of the remarkable hardness of sapphires – 9 on the Mohs scale (the third hardest mineral, after diamond at 10 and moissanite at 9.5) – sapphires are also used in some non-ornamental applications, such as infrared optical components, high-durability windows, wristwatch crystals and movement bearings, and very thin electronic wafers, which are used as the insulating substrates of special-purpose solid-state electronics such as integrated circuits and GaN-based blue LEDs. Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 45th anniversary. A sapphire jubilee occurs after 65 years.[3]

Sapphire is one of the two gem-varieties of corundum, the other being ruby (defined as corundum in a shade of red). Although blue is the best-known sapphire color, they occur in other colors, including gray and black, and also can be colorless. A pinkish orange variety of sapphire is called padparadscha.

Significant sapphire deposits are found in Australia, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cameroon, China (Shandong), Colombia, Ethiopia, India (Kashmir), Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United States (Montana) and Vietnam.[4]: 431–707  Sapphire and rubies are often found in the same geographical settings, but they generally have different geological formations. For example, both ruby and sapphire are found in Myanmar’s Mogok Stone Tract, but the rubies form in marble, while the sapphire forms in granitic pegmatites or corundum syenites.[4]: 403–429

Every sapphire mine produces a wide range of quality, and origin is not a guarantee of quality. For sapphire, Kashmir receives the highest premium, although Burma, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar also produce large quantities of fine quality gems.[2]

The cost of natural sapphires varies depending on their color, clarity, size, cut, and overall quality. Sapphires that are completely untreated are worth far more than those that have been treated. Geographical origin also has a major impact on price. For most gems of one carat or more, an independent report from a respected laboratory such as GIA, Lotus Gemology, or SSEF, is often required by buyers before they will make a purchase.[5]

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