10 Interesting Facts about Sapphires

blue sapphires

We are lucky enough to have a huge selection of sapphire and diamond rings here at Voltaire Diamonds. The majority of our rings feature blue sapphires, however did you know that sapphires come in every colour but red? You see, sapphire belongs to the gem family corundum and so does Ruby. All of the red stones in the corundum family are typically referred to as ruby. To further complicate matters, it is largely subjective as to what is pink and what is red and as such it is a much debated subject in gemmology as to what is a pink sapphire and what is a ruby.

As you will see, there is a lot more to sapphire than meets the eye.

Below we outline some interesting facts about sapphires.

Fact 1. Colour is of utmost importance

Sapphires can be evaluated upon the 4Cs of Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut. Colour is really a key factor here. Tone, saturation and distribution of colour are important measurements of the quality of a sapphire.

Fact 2. Sapphires weigh more than diamonds

Sapphires have a higher specific gravity than diamonds. This means that in visual terms a 1ct sapphire will generally look smaller than a 1ct diamond.

Fact 3. Trace elements give sapphires their colour

Sapphires obtain their colours from trace elements in the mineral corundum. Blue shades occur in sapphire when it contains iron and titanium, and trace elements of chromium can produce various shades of pink. The presence of a lot of chromium turns it into a ruby.

Fact 4. Most sapphires have some inclusions

Very few Sapphires are devoid of inclusions. Needle inclusions, zoning and colour banding are just some of the types of inclusions found in sapphires. Blue sapphires with exceptionally high clarity are very rare and very valuable.

Fact 5. Sapphire is not only the birthstone for September

Sapphire is also the gemstone of the 5th and 45th Anniversaries.

Fact 6. Fancy colours can be very rare

The rarest type of fancy sapphire is a pinkish orange variety called Padparadscha, a name that derives from the Sanskrit word for lotus flower.

Fact 7. Sapphires are more common in oval shapes

Rough sapphire is most often cut into oval shapes as this tends to be a most flattering shape for sapphires. This cut helps to retain the colour and maximise weight of the original crystal.

Fact 8. Sapphires offer exceptional scratch resistancy

The only natural item that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond. Gemstones are rated on their ability to withstand scratching based on a system called the Mohs Scale of Hardness, and sapphires score a 9 out of 10, second only to diamond that scores 10. This special property makes sapphires an excellent choice for everyday jewellery such as engagement rings.

Fact 9. Synthetic Sapphire has many applications

If you own a smartphone or a tablet then chances are high that your device features synthetic sapphire. Increasing demand for scratch-proof display screens in smartphones and tablets has resulted in increased use of synthetic sapphire in industry.

Fact 10. Some sapphires can fetch millions upon millions of dollars

In 1796, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte gave his beloved Josephine a striking sapphire engagement ring. The ring features a pear-shaped sapphire next to a pear-shaped diamond, on a simple gold band and sold at auction for just shy of one million dollars. Indeed Kashmir sapphires can fetch enormous sums of money. In 2015, A sapphire and diamond ring fetched $1.35 million, at Bonhams New York’s Fine Jewellery auction and set a world-record for a Kashmir sapphire weighing under 10 carats.

If Sapphires sound tempting, please feel free to browse our stunning range HERE.

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