A very famous gemstone is the sapphire, which is also called the blue sister of ruby. The reason the sapphire got this name is because they come from the same mineral, corundum. After diamond, corundum is the second hardest gemstone with the red corundum being called ruby, and the other colors being called sapphires.
The classic color of sapphire is blue; however it is also available in various other colors like yellow, green and pink. The most famous blue sapphires are the prized Kashmir and Burmese sapphires which have a blue color that is not only intense, but also velvety. So rare are these sapphires that they are not often seen in the gemstone market.
Today, about 50% of both men and women like blue sapphires as this color is usually linked with feelings of sympathy, harmony, friendship and loyalty. These are the same feelings that are associated with qualities that grow with time, which are feelings of composure, mutual understanding and indestructible trust.
Characters of sapphires
The most common sapphires are those that come from Sri Lanka, which host a wide range of colors that range from light to dark blue. The other countries that produce sapphires are Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, Madagascar and Montana.
Sapphires are stones that have inclusions of tiny, futile needles that give an optical property called asterism. This is what gives the star sapphire its star shaped effect, which is usually found in cabochon cuts.
These star sapphires usually have six ray stars; but there are also twelve ray stars. When sapphires are cut en cabochon, they can produce the cat’s eye effect; formed with a thin band of light in the center of the stone. This effect of sapphires is called chatoyancy.
Tips for choosing sapphires
It is possible to make colorless and very pale blue sapphires develop an intense blue color by heating them to high temperatures. With this, the clarity of the stone is also improved as it removes any tiny inclusions found in the gemstone.
Some rare varieties of sapphires, called color changing sapphires, exhibit different colors in different lights. These stones are naturally blue in color, but look violet in artificial light.
Choose sapphires for sapphire jewelry or sapphire rings based on their intensity. Stones with an intense and rich blue color are better than huge stones with a washed-out weak blue color.
The value of sapphires is dependent on their color, transparency and size. And in cases of very fine quality sapphires, the origin also has a major role – where genuine Kashmir gemstones are most expensive, followed by Burmese and then Ceylonese sapphires.
Sapphires and the zodiac
Those born in September should wear sapphires for their birthstone; and according to the zodiac, it is the birthstone of the Taurus. Sapphires have always said to bring peace, joy and wisdom to their owner and wearer.
In fact, it was also considered a talisman offering protection from evil spirits and other unwanted creatures of the night. In fact, so powerful is the sapphire, that it is said to protect the wearer even after being passed on to someone else.
Copyright 2008 Paraiba International.