Blue Corundum Variety | Blue Sapphire
From the depths of the seas to the extent of the heavens, blue fills our world with awe and wonder. The color of loyalty, intelligence, and truth, blue sapphire's azure hues strike personal chords within each of us. Our instinctual affinity for the gem is documented throughout history and is probably the most recognized stone of all time. Blue sapphire is so well known that the simple term “sapphire” refers to a blue hue, leaving all other colors of the mineral with the need to differentiate. The finest examples of blue sapphire have a silky appearance that is paired with a strong to vivid saturation of blue to violetish blue.
Blue Sapphire is the violet to very strongly greenish blue variety of the gemstone and mineral corundum. Identical in composition to ruby, save for their included trace elements, sapphire is made of alumium oxide (Al2O3). Titanium and iron cause its signature cool color, with the lack or abundance of iron dictating the darkness of tone. Being a pleochroic gem, sapphire shows both violetish blue and greenish blue from different angles and must be cut expertly to highlight the most desired shift in hue. Color zoned material is a common characteristic in blue sapphire crystals and further complicates the ability to produce top, unobstructed shades.
Sapphire gleans its name from the Persian word “safir”, which gives ode to the ancient Greek interpretation of blue, “sappheiros”. The rulers of ancient Persia believed that the world rested upon the top of an enormous sapphire and that the sky's color was merely a reflection of the cobalt wonder beyond the horizon. In Medieval times, it was believed that a sapphire's color would fade with infidelity, making a crusader's return home all the more sweet when he found his wife's stone retained its saturation. There are notable examples of blue sapphire in most every royal and private collection, perpetuating the demand for the oceanic pebble. Countries such as Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, and the United States are significant players in sapphire supply. Famed sapphires originating from Kashmir (Pakistan) remain exhausted, but are highly prized in the market.
Ranking a 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, blue sapphire and its corundum family is the second hardest known gem material to diamond, making it an intelligent and traditional choice for jewelry. Sapphire is the birthstone of those who entered the world in September, while those under the sign of Virgo hold it dear. The desire for blue sapphire has created a vast market for its differing qualities and is a gemstone that is commonly treated. Sapphire that hasn't seen heat treatment or other human influences to improve its appearance dictate higher prices per carat, with larger specimens frequently challenging world records.
Gem DNA :
Al2O3 Aluminum Oxygen (color is due to trace impurities of Fe (Iron) and T (Titanium))