The Sapphire is one of the most well-known gemstones in existence. As one of the four precious gems, it has long been held in high regard by experts and the average person alike.
The name comes from the Greek word "sappheiros", which simply means "blue stone", which may also have come from Hebrew or Sanskrit words. Sapphire is known for its wide range of shades of blue, from vibrant to deep to nearly opaque cornflower, but can also come in other colors such as pink, yellow, and green. The most prized shade is the "Kashmir Blue", which was discovered in Kashmir in the 1880s. When red in color, this gemstone is most often classified as a ruby. There exists a special variety of Sapphire called the "color change sapphire", which can transform from looking blue in outdoor lighting to purple in incandescent lighting, or from pink to green, depending on the stone’s original coloring. Most gems of this amazing ability can be found in Tanzania.
One of the contributing reasons for the popularity of Sapphire could be that blue is considered a neutral color many people are attracted to; another is that Sapphire is a hard mineral -- nearly as hard as the diamond -- which makes caring for sapphire jewelry easy and nearly carefree. Sapphire is also popular as the birthstone for September and the official gemstone of the planet Saturn.
Although the first Sapphires initially came from Sri Lanka, the best quality is found in Kashmir and Myanmar. Geography is very important to Sapphire value, as it plays a big part in its hue and saturation. Tanzania, Madagascar, and Brazil have become hotbeds for Sapphire mining and have produced beautiful stones to rival any mine. These stones range widely in color and therefore broaden the gemstone market.
Compound : Corundum
Mohs Scale(Hardness) : 9
Found : Afghanistan, Cambodia, Greenland, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, U.S.