The September birthstone sapphire, also known as the mineral "Corundum", comes in blue, pink, green, yellow, orange, brown, brown-red, purple, violet hues and white.
Revered by ancient cultures, in fact, the Persians believed that sapphires were the pedestal on which the world perched. They also thought that light reflecting off blue sapphires was what gave the sky its ultramarine hue.
These much-coveted stones are believed to symbolise nobility and sincerity while blue represents trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence and intelligence.
The Mineral Corundum
Sapphires are made of the mineral Corundum and get their intense hue from the addition of titanium and iron. Similarly to rubies (also made of corundum), sapphires rate a nine on the Mohs scale of hardness, making them hard-wearing, durable and highly suitable for rings and bracelets. Only a diamond is harder and more durable than corundum. Corundum can cut all other gemstones besides a diamond. The mineral is an aluminium oxide found worldwide. Pure corundum is colourless but can have different colours depending on the presence of transitional metal impurities in its crystalline structure.
Corundum is abrasive (capable of polishing or cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding). Because of this, it is used in polishing compounds such as sandpapers, grinding wheels, and other cutting applications. Because the natural sources of material can be inconsistent, synthetic corundum was created and is now widely used in manufactured products.
What is the difference between a sapphire and a ruby?
At least 1% chromium must be present in corundum before the deep red ruby colour appears. Any corundum gemstone that isn't red, and has less than 1% chromium, is known as a sapphire. The general assumption is that sapphires only comes in blue; however, sapphires come in an array of colours.
The most known Colours of Sapphires
- Violet hues
The Value of Sapphires
Its colour is what has the most significant influence on a sapphire's value, with the most valuable stones being those that are a violet-blue in medium to medium-dark tones. The intensity of the colour is also prized, and you should look for stones that have a moderate to intense saturation. Too little and they will look grey, too much and the stone will look too dark.
The most prized sapphires come from Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Kashmir. As a result, you will pay more for stones from these countries. However, sapphires are mined all over the world – including Australia – and beautiful gemstones can be found to suit every budget.
Sapphires at Fairfax & Roberts
Celebrate a September birthday with a Sapphire. We have a large number of loose sapphires available. Collaborate with our design team and come in and design your perfect bespoke piece of jewellery that perfectly captures your moment.