What is a sapphire?
Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum, which is the crystalline form of aluminum oxide (Al2O3). It occurs in all colors of the rainbow and in between, except for red, and can even be colorless (aka white sapphire). Red corundum has its own special classification as ruby. The orangey-pink, sunset hued, salmon colored, variety of corundum is a rare, coveted gem known as padmaraja or padparadscha. The variety in color of corundum is due to trace amounts of certain elements, i.e. titanium and iron for blue, chromium for pink and red, vanadium for purple, iron for yellow, etc.
What type of sapphires are there?
There are some special sapphires, which include star sapphires and color change sapphires. Star sapphires are gems that exhibit asterism - when light is shined on the gem a star shaped pattern appears. This pattern is due to intersecting needle-like inclusions. A color change sapphire, does exactly that - it changes color depending on the light shined on it. For example, a sapphire can appear blue in daylight and purple in incandescent light.
How durable is a sapphire?
Sapphires are rated as one of the hardest gemstones, at a 9 on the Mohs scale, just below diamonds, which are a 10. It's one of the few gems that can be worn everyday without having to worry about it breaking. Sapphires can be used as industrial materials because of their relative hardness. Some mobile phones, bullet proof glass, and optical windows use sapphire glass (made from synthetic sapphires) due to its durability and strength. So we think a sapphire engagement ring can definitely withstand daily wear and tear.
Where are sapphires found?
Sapphires can be found in many different locations, including: Australia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Madagascar, East Africa, and in a few locations in North America. Sapphires from Kashmir, Sri Lanka, or Burma are the most highly sought after.
Many of our sapphires originate from Sri Lanka or Madagascar. We source all of our gems in Sri Lanka, however, many sapphires from Madagascar get thrown into the mix. It is difficult to tell the two apart because the material looks very similar. Only a laboratory with the right equipment will be able to designate the stone's origin.
When did sapphire become September's birthstone?In 1912 the National Association of Jewelers, now known as Jewelers of America, compiled a list of birthstones. This list has remained relatively unchanged except for a few additions in recent years, such as the addition of spinel to August in 2016.
Sapphire is a pretty cool mineral that comes in all different colors and can be found in Asia, Africa, and even North America. It is almost as hard as a diamond - a 9 on the Mohs scale. There are special sapphires, such as star sapphire, which displays a six-rayed star when light is shined on it and color change sapphire, which displays one color in daylight and another in incandescent light. Sapphire was designated as September's birthstone in 1912 by the Jewelers of America.
Want a sapphire for yourself?
Our September Sapphire Sale is going on now.