Everything you need to know about Sapphire Gemstone

In addition to ruby and blue sapphire gemstones, the corundum family also includes sapphires referred to as "fancy." They are available in various colours, including violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, and purple, as well as in between.

sapphire gemstone ring


Some stones undergo a phenomenon known as colour change. Their hue shifts from blue to purple when illuminated by incandescent light but remains blue under daylight or fluorescent lighting. There are even instances of brown, black, and grey sapphire gemstones.


The mineral species corundum is responsible for producing blue sapphires. The colour can be true blue, but it also comes in shades ranging from greenish blue to violetish blue.

The term "sapphire" can also be used to refer to any corundum that is not red and does not meet the criteria to be classified as ruby, which is another variety of corundum. Fancy sapphire gemstones are much harder to come by than blue sapphires. Furthermore, some colours are rare, particularly in small or enormous sizes.

sapphire gemstone


Fancy sapphire gemstones, on the other hand, present a rainbow of possibilities for customers who enjoy the romance associated with this gem but are looking for something that is not commonplace. This is because only aluminium and oxygen make up the mineral corundum, and its formation requires an environment devoid of silicon.

A corundum can only be formed when these two elements are present. However, because silicon is a widespread element, natural corundum is less abundant than you might think. Therefore, corundum has no discernible hue in its most unadulterated form.

The use of colourless sapphire gems as diamond substitutes was common in the past, and in more recent times, these stones have reappeared in the role of accent stones.

However, colourless corundum is relatively uncommon. The majority of corundum is composed of trace components that cause colour. The colour of the corundum, known as the blue sapphire gem, is determined by the trace elements when iron and titanium are present.

The colour can be caused by only a few hundredths of a per cent of iron and titanium, and the colour of the corundum will be darker depending on the amount of iron it contains. Ruby and pink sapphire gems get their colours from chromium; however, ruby is red, while pink sapphire gems are pink.


Absorption Spectrum Birefringence Birthstone
See "Identifying Characteristics" below. 0.008-0.009 September
Crystallography Colours Enhancements
Hexagonal (trigonal). Crystals are common, often barrel-shaped, prisms with flat ends, sometimes bipyramidal; also massive, granular, in rolled pebbles. All non-red corundum is considered sapphire. Colourless, white, Gray, blue, blue-green, green, violet, purple, orange, yellow, yellow-green, brown, golden amber, peachy pink, pink, black. It may show colour zoning. Heat treatment: common; diffusion treatment (placing a thin blue coating on colourless sapphire): occasional; irradiation (turns colourless gems yellow, orange, or light blue): rare
Cleavage Dispersion Etymology
None 0.018 From the Latin sapphirus for blue
Formula/ Chemistry Fracture Fracture lustre
Al2O3 + Fe, Ti, Cr, and other trace elements Conchoidal. Frequent parting. Vitreous
Heat Sensitivity Luminescence Present Luminescence Type
No Yes Fluorescent, UV-Long, UV-Short, X-ray Colours
Lustre Mohs Hardness Optic Sign
Vitreous to adamantine 9 Uniaxial -
Occurrence Optics Pleochroism
Metamorphosed crystalline limestones and dolomites, as well as other metamorphic rock types such as gneiss and schist. Also, igneous rocks such as granite and nepheline syenite. RI: o = 1.757-1.770; e = 1.765-1.779 (usually 1.760, 1.768); Uniaxial (-). Very pronounced.
Blue sapphire: intense violet-blue/blue-green
Green sapphire: intense green/yellow-green
Orange sapphire: yellow-brown or orange/colourless
Yellow sapphire: medium yellow/pale yellow
Purple sapphire: violet/orange
Brownish-orange sapphire: brownish orange/greenish
Padparadscha sapphire: orange-yellow/yellowish-orange
Phenomena Polish Lustre Refractive Index
Asterism, colour change, chatoyancy Vitreous to subadamantine 1.757-1.779
Special Care Instructions Specific Gravity Transparency
None 3.99–4.10; usually near 4.0 Transparent to opaque
Typical Treatments Varieties Variety of/ Mineral
Heat Treatment, Infusion/Impregnation, Lattice Diffusion Colour Change Sapphire, Padparadscha Sapphire, Star Sapphire Corundum



Historically, sapphire stones have been used to represent aristocracy, honesty, sincerity, and loyalty. For ages, it has been used to embellish the gowns of kings and clergy members.

Its exceptional colour is the benchmark against which other types of blue stones, ranging from topaz to tanzanite, are evaluated. Sapphire stones have a long history of being a symbol of monarchy and love between two people.

It was further cemented in 1981 when Prince Charles of Great Britain presented Lady Diana Spencer with a blue sapphire engagement ring as a gift for their engagement. After that, she was known as Princess Di and enchanted and fascinated people worldwide until she died in 1997.

sapphire gemstone


Her sapphire stones ring helped bring history and fairy tales up to date with current circumstances. Kings and queens in ancient Greece and Rome were under the impression that blue sapphire stones offered protection against jealousy and other negative emotions.

In the Middle Ages, clergy members wore blue sapphire stones as a sign of Heaven, while ordinary people believed that wearing the jewel brought them favour from on high. In different eras and locations, people gave sapphire stones the ability to protect virginity, make peace between foes, influence spirits, and reveal the answers to questions posed to oracles.

Blue has always been connected with sapphire stones, whether in folklore, history, art, or the general public's consciousness. The name originates from the Greek word "Sappheiros," which most likely referred to lapis lazuli at the time.

Unfortunately, most jewellery people believe that all sapphire crystals are blue. Therefore, when gemologists and jewellery salespeople use "sapphire" by itself, they almost always mean "blue sapphire."

Stone Sizes

  • In a private collection is a black oval star known as the "Black Star of Queensland." It was discovered in 1948 and weighed 733 carats. In 1946, the state of Queensland in Australia yielded a yellow crystal that weighed 217.5 carats.
  • The "Rispoli," a brown sapphire crystal weighing 135 carats, is lozenge-shaped, rough, and clean. These sapphire crystals can be seen in the Natural History Museum in Paris.
  • A sapphire crystals cabochon weighing 5,600 carats was evaluated and certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). In addition, a cushion-cut Montana blue sapphire crystal weighing 12.54 carats is thought to be the largest stone mined from this location.
  • In 1929, a British mission to Burma (now known as Myanmar) discovered sapphire crystals weighing 951 carats, which is believed to be the largest ever found in that region.
  • Iran's National Jewel Collection: cabochon cut in the shape of a hollow rectangle weighing 191.6 carats; gem cut in the form of an oval weighing 119 carats Another superb Kashmir blue oval, almost flawless and weighing 75 carats.


sapphire gemstone size


Stone Care

When it comes to natural jewels, the sapphire's hardness level is second only to that of a diamond. In addition to that, it lacks any cleavage planes. Because of this, it is an excellent choice for a jewellery stone.

On the other hand, a stone with numerous inclusions or fractures seems less stable. No particular precautions about wear or care are required for stones that are at least somewhat clean.

sapphire gemstone ring


However, cleaning oil-treated sapphire gemstones with ultrasonic equipment should be avoided at all costs. In every other case, mechanical devices provide an option for cleaning sapphire gemstones.

However, the most secure options are to clean your sapphire gemstones at home using warm water, soap and a gentle bristle brush or take them to a professional jeweller to clean them.


What's The Difference Between Ruby and Pink Sapphire Gemstones?

According to experts, "ruby" can only be applied to corundum gems that predominantly display red. However, some think the word "ruby" can be used for any red corundum, a lighter red shade, including pink.

What Is It About Sapphire Gemstones That Make Them So Popular?

Sapphire gemstones have a long history of being associated with royalty and have a mythology about their ability to ward off fraud and poison. In addition to this, some people believe that star sapphire gemstones can discern the future.

On the other hand, references to sapphire gems in ancient texts may refer to lapis lazuli, which is also an attractive blue stone but is gemologically unique from sapphire gems.

How Are Kashmir Sapphires Characterised?

The sapphire gems that come from Kashmir are unique. In addition to their exquisite hue, what distinguishes them from all other options is the excellent silk inclusions that are present in them.

What Exactly Are Trapiche Sapphires?

Some sapphire gems have a "spoked wheel" design that looks like stars. However, these are not ''Star Sapphires'' in any way, shape or form. Rare sapphire gems that develop with carbonaceous inclusions between their crystal development sectors are known as Trapiche jewels. These inclusions resemble the spokes of a wheel and give the stone its name. As a result of the very symmetrical hexagonal crystal habit that sapphire gems have, Trapiche sapphire gems can display a total of six unique spokes.