Sapphire gemstones - Royal blue colored gems!
In the olden days, there were civilizations that believed that the sky was part of a big blue sapphire, in which the earth formed the core. This was an obvious referral to the beauty of the clear blue sapphire. It is true that this gemstone comes in all the shades of blue that can be seen in the sky, from deep blue to a light azure color. You can imagine the beautiful sky, on a clear summer day, or the deep blue that it takes on when it is bearing evening. The references of the sapphire to the sky is not seen only in the blue shades; it also comes in the grey-blue color that you see in the horizon, and also comes in colors that you associate with sunrise and sunset, and these are yellow, purple, pink and orange. Therefore, one can correctly infer, in the gemology world, that the sapphire is a gem of the sky, even if it is found deep inside the blue earth.
The reason why people want to associate with a sapphire
Most of the sapphire stones in the world have a blue color. It is the most favorite color of 50 percent of sapphire lovers, both male and female. This is a color that is associated with feelings that prove to be lasting in the long-term; feelings of loyalty and friendship, harmony and sympathy. These are feelings that really do not belong to short-lived passionate feelings, but to composed, mutual understanding that leads to long-lasting trust. It is no wonder that most ladies wish to have a sapphire embedded in their engagement rings. A sapphire is a universal symbol of loyalty, and it shows that two people are still in love, and it is ongoing. When you listen to the music composed by George Gershwin, “The Rhapsody in Blue”, then you will understand the symbolism that a blue sapphire holds when it comes to love. Is it a wonder that even in situations where clarity and concentration are required, the sapphire is thought to be the gemstone for such times, and that the first computer to win a chess game against a world champion was codenamed “Deep Blue”?
The elegance of the sapphire gemstone
The sapphire is a gemstone that is concomitant with durability, constancy, and is known to have amazing beauty, fantastic colors, and an awesome transparency. This is the reason why it is very famous with gemologists and gemstone collector’s alike. Although the blue sapphire is the most popular, the others also have a loyal fan base. The corundum group of gemstones has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, which is slightly below the diamond, the hardest element on earth, which has a value of 10; the sapphire belongs to this group and therefore does not need much care, when it comes to taking care of it.
Corundum is a gemstone group that is characterized by having pure aluminum oxide, which millions of years ago, crystallized into awesome gemstones, due to the heat and pressure found deep in the ground. The colors that you see are a result of the presence of minute amounts of other minerals, like chrome and iron; a crystal that would otherwise have a simple white color, is turned into a gemstone with pink, green, yellow, red, or blue, and these are the lovely sapphire that people admire so much. That said, not all corundum gemstones are sapphires, and gemologists have had forums over the years trying to come to an understating as to which stones should actually be called sapphires. After much deliberation, the gemologists decided that the corundum variety with the red color caused by the presence of chrome should be named Rubies, and those that have a different color, should be called sapphires.
Whenever the term sapphire is mentioned, many people immediately associate it with the blue sapphire; this is a lovely color which many people desire to have, due to its versatility. The blue color is associated with a lifestyle that is balanced, reliable, and has temperament; it also speaks of an adventurous person who is always looking to experience new things. The wearer is usually making this statement. For a long time, it is only industry insiders who knew that the sapphire existed in many other colors; these differently colored gemstones are given the term “Fancies”. Fancy sapphires are those that have yellow, pink, purple, white and green as their dominant colors. The fancy sapphires are bought by people who want to display a sense of individualism, and try to pull away from the mainstream jewelry lovers. These are usually cast as necklaces, pendants solitaire stones, earrings, amongst many more.
Apart from the traditional single-color sapphires, there are those which have undertones of other colors. Padparadscha, is a term, which loosely means Lotus Flower, and it is the name given to an orange sapphire which has a pink undertone. Star sapphires are another type which is very rare, and they have a star effect which moves across the surface of the stone, whenever it moves. Gemstone lovers, who want something unique, usually look for these stones.
The best sapphires are the rarest
Although we call sapphires “The gemstones of the sky”, they are well hidden in the deep ground and getting them to the surface is usually a tough task. These stones are found in few places in Burma, Ceylon, India, Africa, Australia, Thailand, Brazil, and Vietnam. Once the stones are mined, they are transported to cutting centers, where skilled craftsmen turn then into works of beautiful jewelry. The cuter has to be an expert in order to bring out the fine details of a sapphire stone; the stones are hard and tough to craft. The stones also show different intensities of color when looked at from different angles so the cutter has to get that which will give the richest color.
Sapphires will exhibit different intensities of color based on where they are mined from; this means that the hues and intensities of color will tell where the stones come from, giving buyer a wide choice of stones to select from. One will ask whether to buy a stone that resembles the blue sky on a bright summer day, or to get one that will remind them of the lighter blue of the evening sky. During the day, the bright light makes the stones sparkle more, and this is why the darkest tones are the most desirable; they will exhibit a rich blue color, which is not only deep, but also full of sparkling radiance.
According to sapphire aficionados and experts, the Kashmir Sapphire is regarded as the most valuable due to the velvet-like sheen on the surface, and the most beautiful and intense blue color ever. These stones, were discovered after a landslide in 1880n brought them to the surface. These stones were located at high altitudes and the deposits lasted for 8 years of mining, and they influenced the world of sapphires with their intense blue color. The blue color of the Kashmir sapphire is further enhanced by a violet undertone, and then this is topped off with a velvet sheen that makes the stone to be extremely exquisite. This is a stone that does not change even in artificial light, and the Burmese blue color is highly priced in the gemstone word. It ranges from a deep cornflower blue to a deep royal blue tone.
Ceylon, which is now known a Sri Lanka is the home of the oldest sapphire deposit finds. In the ancient times, the civilizations that lived here were already mining sapphire for decorative use. Sapphires from this region are recognized by the high luminosity of their light and mid blue tones. The largest producers of sapphire are Australia and Thailand.
The value of sapphires depends on their transparency, color and size. However, these are not the only criteria used to determine the value of a sapphire, especially in the case of very fine specimens; the origin of a sapphire also plays a great role in the valuation. There is a great difference in prices, because it is not necessarily the origin of a sapphire that truly matters today. When classified by geographic region, the Kashmir sapphires are at the top of the list, then followed by the Burmese sapphires. The Ceylon, or Sri Lanka sapphires are the third. Another factor which is considered in the valuations of Sapphires is whether they have undergone any form of treatment or not; in this age of gemstone cosmetics, stones which are natural and have not been artificially enhanced are the most valuable. For the true gem lover, an untreated sapphire from Burma or Kashmir is the best that he or she can get.
New sapphire finds
Recently, the world of sapphire enthusiasts was rocked by the finding of a large deposit which extended for several mines on the south-east of the island of Madagascar. This find increased the supply of sapphires in the world greatly, and they came in all colors, from blue, green, orange and yellow. The gemstones from this region also showed a high value of transparency and vividness.
In Tanzania, there is evidence of sapphire deposits which also show promising signs of having large sapphire crystals. In Brazil, sapphires ranging in color, from blue, to pink and purple have been found. It seems that with every new find, new colors are found, and these send sapphire lovers into a buying frenzy; they need not worry, since this trend seems to be on the rise, and there will soon be a wide variety of sapphires to choose from.
The mythology of sapphire gemstones
Sapphire is a gemstone that resonates with the soul and therefore fosters fidelity between a couple, making it the perfect engagement gemstone. When someone gives a sapphire, he is pledging to trust the recipient and be faithful to her. One can see the trend being followed even by royalty, when Princess Diana was given a sapphire ring on her engagement.
As a birthstone, the gem resonates with the month of September and is the stone for the zodiac sign Virgo; it is also the stone given on the fifth and forty fifth wedding anniversary.
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