The Gemstone Guide to Sapphires
The mesmerizing colour of blue sapphires, evoking the sky and the sea.
A precious gemstone formed from the aluminium oxide mineral called corundum. Sapphires belong to the same species as rubies and are very durable, being the third hardest gemstone.
Sapphires have been associated with royalty, being the centrepiece of crowns and engagement rings.
Blue is the most popular colour of sapphires, with the intense cornflower blue of Kashmir sapphires being the most valued.
This elegant gemstone also comes in a variety of fancy colours including yellow, orange, green, brown and black. The differences in colour are due to trace elements of iron, chromium, copper, magnesium and titanium.
Sapphires are often heat treated, which is a commonly accepted and permanent treatment.
With pink and purple sapphires, the difference when compared to rubies starts to become a matter of debate for gemologists.
Where it's found
Madagascar, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Thailand
9 (1 soft to 10 hard)
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