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Stone Of The Month - September - Sapphire

In the tenth blog in this series, we finally reach one of the most well-known stones in the world, the exceptional sapphire.



 



The sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum, which we have already seen with its brother, the ruby. Corundum occurs in a wide range of colours, with the red hues being called rubies, and the blue hues are the sapphires. Whilst the ruby will always be red, the term sapphire is used for more than just the colour blue, which is why you will find sapphires in other colours such as yellow, green and pink. The huge range in differing colours of sapphires are due to different chemical imbalances within the mineral, such as vanadium causing violet colours, and chrome causing pink. However, it is the blue sapphire that is considered the traditional sapphire, and most likely the colour you thought of when you read the word sapphire. The use of the word 'sapphire' applied on its own, will always refer to the colour blue.


Sapphires can come in all different hues of blue, with the richer the colour meaning the finer the stone. A really vibrant blue stone would be an incredibly valuable one, as it can be quite rare to come across one. Most of the sapphires you will come across will be very dark in colour, almost black. Whilst these sapphires are truly a marvel to look at, due to the flashes of blue in such a dark and deep stone, they are unfortunately not as valuable as those that are far bluer. I have found that in my years in jewellery, people seem to care less about whether the sapphire is the most valuable or not, as many people simply much prefer the deeper colour of a darker sapphire. And at the end of the day, life isn't really about how much money it is worth, rather how much enjoyment you managed to get out of it. This has not stopped, however, the recurring issue we have touched on during these blogs, which is the enhancing of the colour of the stone, to pretend that a poorer quality stone is actually a fine one. Heat treating to enhance colour is of course an accepted practice, but anything more invasive is not, and any sapphire that has received such treatment should always be stated as such, with the price reflecting it.


The sapphire is a very hard stone, much like the ruby, and is second to the Diamond in the hardest stones of the world. This makes its use in jewellery very popular as only in very rare cases will a diamond become damaged through everyday use. It can be placed into difficult settings because its hardness allows it to go through some rigorous practices, though again, it is advised to keep it away from other stones and abrasives that can cause scratches. The finest sapphire which features their vibrant blue colour are considered to be the epitome of regal taste and tradition, coining the royal blue we refer to today. This makes sapphire an excellent choice in engagement rings and jewellery to represent love, if diamonds are not the first choice.

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