Sapphire: The Diverse Gem of September


Sapphire, celebrated as September’s official birthstone, is renowned for its iconic deep blue hue. However, this gem from the corundum mineral family also graces the world in a spectrum of other colors. While it shares its mineral composition with the red corundum, known as ruby, sapphire stands out in its own right. The blue shade remains the most desired, but the rare padparadscha sapphire, with its mesmerizing orange-pink hue, holds unparalleled value. Additionally, the elusive color-changing sapphire, which alters its hue based on lighting conditions, reminiscent of alexandrite, adds to the gem’s allure.

Color Origins

The myriad of sapphire colors owe their existence to various chemical agents. Blue sapphires owe their hue to the presence of iron and titanium. Violet sapphires get their tint from vanadium, while the pink shades emerge due to chromium. A combination of iron and vanadium bestows sapphires with the rarer orange tones. The green and yellow sapphire shades result from trace iron impurities.


Sapphire deposits are scattered across the globe, with significant sources in:

  • Thailand
  • Sri Lanka
  • Madagascar
  • Tanzania
  • Australia
  • United States
  • Cambodia
  • Nigeria
  • Kenya
  • China
  • India
  • Burma

Properties and Enhancements

With a robust rating of 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphires are exceptionally durable, making them a prime choice for various jewelry pieces.

Heat treatment is a prevalent enhancement for sapphires. Some blue sapphires undergo a diffusion process to enhance their color. The emergence of beryllium treatment has made the once-rare orange and red sapphire shades more accessible.

Lab-grown sapphires offer a cost-effective alternative to their natural counterparts, mirroring their chemical composition and available in diverse colors. Additionally, the market houses sapphire simulants that mimic the gem’s color but differ in their chemical makeup.

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