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September Babies, Don’t Get The Blues

Elizabeth Simpson

Sapphires come in nearly all colors of the rainbow.  In fact, many of the blue sapphires you see on the commercial market today may have started out a different color.  A significant portion of rough sapphires have a green hue and turn blue when heated or otherwise treated.

Some of the most prized sapphire colors are blue, pink, and Padparadscha (a bright orangey-pink).  Yellow, orange and purple sapphires can be spectacular and there is a resurgence of interest in green sapphires.  Did you know there are no red sapphires? That’s a trick question- rubies are in the same family, we just call them out separately.  Each color has it’s own personality and intrigue.

What should you look for when buying a sapphire?

First, make sure you are looking at the “real” thing.  

Lab created sapphires have been available for over 125 years and aren’t always easy to distinguish from earth mined stones.  They are also worth a lot less money.  A gemologist can make this distinction.

Second, make sure the sapphire is a single stone, not a doublet.  

Some manufacturers actually use a less expensive green sapphire base with a thin slice of the more expensive blue sapphire on top.  This one is tricky, but if you hold the stone in front of light and look at its profile you can see the two different colors.  

Third, find out if it has been treated.  

There’s nothing wrong with treatment- the vast majority of stones are spiffed up in some way.  Heat and diffusion treatments can enhance the color and clarity of a sapphire, leaving you with a more beautiful gem to gaze at.

Sapphires that are beautiful and have not been treated are significantly more expensive and more rare.Still confused about these spectacular stones?  Seek out a GIA certified Graduate Gemologist near you.  He or she will be happy to help.


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