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The name “sapphire” can also apply to any corundum that’s not ruby red, another corundum variety.

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Madagascar Beauty

This 7.04-ct. oval sapphire is from a new source, the island Madagascar.

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Blue Velvet

Deep, intense, velvety blue describes this sapphire’s colour.

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Best in Daylight

Blue sapphire looks best in daylight and fluorescent light.

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Spindle Shape

This spindle-shaped crystal from Sri Lanka weighs 70.10-cts.

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Colour Zoning

Blue colour distribution in sapphire crystals is often uneven.

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There is a second sapphire crystal growing into the larger one.

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About Sapphire

Velvety blue sapphire

Besides blue sapphire and ruby, the corundum family also includes so-called “fancy sapphires”. They come in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple and intermediate hues. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as colour change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be grey, black or brown.

Sapphire Description

Sapphire History and Lore

Sapphire Journey

Birthstones & Anniversaries

Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 5th and 45th anniversaries.


Intensely saturated and velvety, rare sapphires from Kashmir set the standard for blue.

18 carats

The world’s most famous engagement ring: Kate Middleton’s and Princess Diana’s sapphire.


A rare and valuable pinkish-orange sapphire named from the Sinhalese for lotus blossom.


  • Mineral: Corundum


There are a number of processes used to alter the colour or apparent clarity, or to improve the durability of gems.

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Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.

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Any gem can be imitated – sometimes by man-made materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.

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gem love

Why We Love This Gemstone

Vivid And Saturated

Sapphire’s blue can be vivid and saturated, like it’s lit from within.


It’s so durable, synthetic sapphire is used for the windows of supermarket scanners and spacecraft.

Delicate Silk

Sapphire often contains delicate intersecting needles of rutile that gemologists call silk.

Quality Factors

Each colour of sapphire has its own quality variations.


quality factors

Sapphires come in a variety of colours. Preferred sapphires have strong to vivid colour saturation, regardless of hue.


quality factors

Blue sapphires typically have some inclusions, but they generally have better clarity than rubies.


quality factors

Sapphire is often cut with a brilliant pattern on the crown and a step cut pattern on the pavilion.

Carat Weight

quality factors

Blue sapphires range in size, and large blue sapphires are more readily available than large rubies.

Sapphire Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide


Explore sources, gemmological research and the role of gems in history.

Sapphires from Thammannawa, Kataragama Area, Sri Lanka

Pannipitiye G. R. Dharmaratne, H. M. Ranjith Premasiri, and Dayananda Dillimuni Read more in English

Ruby and Sapphire Production and Distribution: A Quarter Century of Change

Russell Shor and Robert Weldon Read more in English

Beryllium Diffusion of Ruby and Sapphire

John L. Emmett, et al. , Jun 1, 2003 Read more in English

Padparadscha: What's in a Name?

Robert Crowningshield , Mar 1, 1983 Read more in English