Sapphire Gemstones – Meaning, Colors, And Types

 A sapphire is a type of gemstone that is mostly known for its blue variety, though it appears in many other colors as well. These other colors can sometimes be mistaken for other gemstones. Sapphires have been worn by royalty for centuries and carry mystical beliefs. Here is a little bit more information regarding these rich-colored gemstones.


What is a Sapphire?

Sapphires are the gemstone variety of the corundum mineral. The red sapphire variety is called a ruby. Sapphires are mined, and they are also manufactured for decorative purposes. These stones measure 9 on the Mohs scale in terms of hardness and are therefore also used for non-decorative uses such as for infrared optical components.

 Leibish & Co. 8.54 ct deep blue sapphire

 8.54 ct deep blue sapphire

Sapphire Colors

Sapphires are found in many colors. The most common color is blue, and so any other color (other than red, which is a ruby) is referred to as a fancy sapphire. These include colorless (white), pink, orange, yellow, green, violet, purple, and black sapphires. Among the special types of sapphires are the color-changing sapphires, which display different colors in natural and artificial lightings, cornflower-blue sapphires, Kashmir sapphires, Padparadscha sapphires, and star sapphires.


Multicolor Sapphire bracelet with diamond halos

16.02 carat Oval Sapphire & Diamond Halo Multicolored Bracelet in 18K Gold


How a Sapphire is Assessed

Most people know that a diamond is assessed based on four main categories better known as the 4 Cs, which stand for color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Colored gemstones are graded differently than diamonds, mainly because the difference between the two is the lack of color versus the presence of color. A colorless diamond strives is ideal when it is as colorless as possible - it is graded based on the absence of color. A gemstone, such as a sapphire, is graded by its color, its saturation, and its color purity.


A sapphire for the most part must appeal to the eye in terms of color. In terms of clarity, most sapphires have internal inclusions, but as long as they are not visible to the eye it usually does not have an impact on the stone or its price. The way in which a sapphire is cut is important because it determines how it will reflect light and color. When the center of the stone is dead and does not reflect light or color, it is known as a window. Sapphires with large windows will be sold for lower prices whereas stones without windows that have full color and light reflection will sell for a higher value. Lastly, a sapphire can be found in larger sizes, but the bigger the stone, the smaller the chances of it being a quality gem. Thus, the larger and higher quality stone you come across, the rarer, and the more expensive it will be.


Origin and Uses of a Sapphire

Sapphires are mined in countries around the world. Some of these countries include Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Colombia, Nepal, Kenya, Australia, Vietnam, Tanzania, and the USA, as well as others. In addition to making beautiful additions to any piece of jewelry, sapphires are used to create high durability windows, wristwatch crystals and movement bearings, and can also be used for electronics.


 The Blue Sapphire

The Blue Sapphire


There is no denying the incredible beauty of a sapphire, whether it is blue, yellow, or colorless. This highly durable substance available in a plethora of breathtaking colors makes for an irresistible jewel perfect for any piece or occasion.