The official birthstone for the month of September, sapphire classically recognized for its deep blue color is also found in a vast array of other colors. Sapphire is from the mineral corundum. Ruby which has the same composition as sapphire is red corundum. Blue is the most sought after color of sapphire, but the rare padparadscha (orange-pink) has the highest value. Very rare color change sapphire has been found, which changes in color depending on the type of light it is under much like that of alexandrite.
Different chemical agents cause sapphires to become the color they are. In blue sapphire, iron and titanium deposits are found, while in violet stones vanadium is the coloring agent. The agent chromium produces pinks, iron and vanadium together create the more rare orange tones. The green and yellow colors of sapphire are due to small amounts of iron impurities.
Sapphires can be found in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Tanzania and Australia, the United States, Cambodia, Nigeria, Kenya, China, India, and Burma.
Properties, Treatments & Lab Created
Sapphire is rated a 9 on the Mohs scale, making a great option for all types of jewelry.
The most common treatment for sapphire is heat treatment. Some blue sapphire are treated through a diffusion process. Rarely seen orange and red colors can now be seen more commonly due to the beryllium treatment they have come up with.
Lab created sapphires are a common price efficient alternative to the natural. They are identical in composition and come in a variety of colors.
Simulants can also be found that resemble the color of sapphires, but they are not of the same chemical composition.