For hundreds of years sapphires have mesmerized humankind, with their vibrant blue hues. Sapphires were once considered a sign of wealth, honor, faithfulness, and health. In ancient Greece and Rome, it was believed that sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm. During the middle ages, the clergy wore blue sapphires as a symbol of the heavens and peace. In today’s society, blue sapphires often instill thoughts of romance and royalty, thanks to Princess Di’s engagement ring.
When you ask someone to picture a sapphire, they will usually imagine a vivid, royal blue stone. However, did you know sapphires come in many various colors and properties? Sapphires have a wide range of hues from pink to teal to purple. The only color you won’t get them in is red. A red corundum, the scientific term for sapphire, is actually a ruby. Sapphires are mined all round the world, even in our sister state of Montana. Often times, high quality sapphires of certain colors are mined from only one region. For example, Australia is well known for its blue-green sapphires. Where as for a Padparadscha sapphires, a pinkish-orange color, are mined in Sri Lanka. While similarly-colored sapphires are also found in Madagascar and Tanzania, most experts agree that true padparadscha sapphires come from Sri Lanka.
Sapphires can also have some truly amazing properties, which will make your stone even more unique and eye-catching. Bi-colored sapphires are those which have two distinct colors within the same stone. This is also referred to as color zoning, because there is a clear ‘zone’ that is a different hue then the rest of the stone. Sometimes it can occur with a subtle gradient between the two colors, other times it will be a harsh line where the two meet. There are also star sapphires, which show off a dazzling star pattern when hit at just the right angle by light. This is caused by fine spindle-like inclusions close to the sapphire’s surface. One of the other fascinating types is color-change sapphires. This means that under different types of lighting, the sapphire will actually appear to be a different color. The most common color change you’ll see in a sapphire is blue to purple.
The vast range of colors and properties are not the only reasons that sapphires are a great addition to your jewelry collection. They are also very durable stones, perfect for everyday wear. Sapphires are the second hardest gem used in jewelry next to diamonds, rating at a 9 on Moh’s hardness scale. This means very few materials can scratch the surface. Sapphires are also very stable. Common chemicals and extreme heat won’t damage your sapphire. Due to the crystal structure of sapphires, they are difficult to crack, chip, or break. With that all said no stone is indestructible, and should be treated with care and respect to prevent damage. If you’re looking for a classic, one-of-a kind gemstone that will stand the test of time, for your next jewelry purchase look no further. Sapphires may be the perfect stone for you!
~ The Hendrickson’s team