Feature Gems & Gemology, Winter 1992, Vol. 28, Issue 4

Sapphires from Changle in Shandong Province, China

Sapphires were recently found in alluvial deposits and in situ in basaltic rocks near Wutu, Changle County, in central Shandong Province. The fact that significant amounts of sapphire have been found in situ at Changle makes it unique among sapphire deposits in basaltic terrains around the world. (Sapphires have been found in situ elsewhere, but never in such abundance in basalt.) Changle sapphires occur in a range of colors (dark blue, blue, greenish blue, and yellow), but they are predominantly dark blue. Fe, Ga, Ti, Co, and V are the most abundant trace elements present. The gemological properties of Changle sapphires are consistent with those from similar alkalic basalt environments.