September’s birthstone is a unique one. Unlike other gemstones that are well known for a singular hue, Sapphires come in a wide range of colours, and each colour has its own characteristics. Read on to find out more about the lesser-known varieties of Sapphire.
Bi Colour Sapphires:
Bi-Colour Sapphires exhibit numerous colours that are visible to the naked eye. These stones contain two colours as a result of colour zoning; this is when there is an uneven colour distribution within the sapphire.
There are two types of colour zoning that form a bi-colour sapphire, dramatic colour zoning and slight colour zoning. Dramatic colour zoning is when two very different colours are clearly visible in the sapphire. Whereas slight colour zoning is when there are two very similar colours in one sapphire.
The most famous colour of sapphires is a vivid blue colour, commonly known as Cornflower Blue Sapphire. These sapphires have an intense light to medium velvety blue hue. Most of high quality cornflower sapphires are from Sri Lanka.
The rich colour of these sapphires is most likely the reason behind its popularity. Blue sapphires tend to have a better clarity than rubies, and come second on the Mohs scale after Diamond. Ovals, rounds and cushions are the most common cuts for blue sapphire, due to the shape in rough form.
Colour Change Sapphire:
Colour change sapphires are the gemstone world’s chameleons, these exciting stones change colour under different lighting. This type of sapphire is mined from locations like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Australia.
When under fluorescent light (daylight), a blue sapphire will have a basic change to different shades between blue and violet. Whereas if the blue sapphire was under incandescent light (flashlight), the colour change could range from a blue-violet hue to an almost brownish-red colour.
When we think of sapphires intoxicating shades like royal blue, cornflower blue and pale blue come to mind. Fancy Sapphires create a rainbow of options in colours like pink, purple, orange, yellow, green, colourless and black.
Pink Sapphires are becoming increasingly popular as they make beautiful center stones. Available in shades like pastel pink, icy cool pink or vibrant fuchsia; pink sapphires are a challenge to the expensive pink diamond.
Yellow Sapphires can be found in a large variety of shades from light yellow to vibrant lemon yellow and also a deep golden yellow with a hint of orange. We advise a yellow gold setting for this type of sapphire, as the colours come to life.
Natural Green Sapphires are less common as they are extremely rare. Available in tones like blue-greens and shades of teal; green sapphires make eye catching center stones. Some of the finest green sapphires are found in Sri Lanka.
Purple Sapphires do not disappoint, these regal gems range in colour from vivid purples to pastel lavenders and also violets. These exquisite gemstones originate from deposits in East Africa and Madagascar.
Star Sapphire is rare variety of Sapphire that exhibits a rare asterism under specific lighting. Star sapphires are dominantly from Sri Lanka, and more recently also available in Burma.
Star Sapphires display a special optical phenomenon called asterism. This is when tiny needles of inclusions within the sapphire reflect light to form the shape of a star. The most common star pattern is a 6-rayed star, although star sapphires with 4 rays and 12 rays have been found.
The Black Star of Queensland is the world’s largest star sapphire at 733-carat! This black sapphire was discovered in Australia in the 1930s.
This precious gemstone has been highly prized throughout history; Padparadscha Sapphires are just as beautiful and exotic as its name. This gemstone is amongst the rarest in the world.
Padparadscha Sapphires are mostly found in Sri Lanka, they are recongised for their striking yet delicate pinkish orange colour. The name translates to “lotus colour” in Sanskrit.
However in more recent times the colour is thought to resemble a sunset. The colours can range from yellow-orange through red-orange. A good quality Padparadsha Sapphire can fetch over $50,000 per carat!
Enjoyed this blog? Click here to learn more about our favourite kind, Blue Sapphires.