Sapphire A Precious Gemstone

Gemstones are one of the most beautiful creation on Earth and the sparkling color they exhibit when lights shine on them is so amazing that one feels like he is seeing stars in this very planet. Gemstone may be precious or semi-precious but both of this types of gemstones are worth a value and it is always a dream to have a gemstone in your possession.

Many people think diamond to be the most precious of all the gemstone but actually there are some precious gemstones which can be of more value than diamond. The biggest competitor to diamond is emerald however there are other gemstones as well that can give tough time to these valuable stone in terms of both price and beauty.

One of these precious stone is the sapphire which occurs in a variety of color the most famous of which are the blue sapphire,yellow sapphire and the star sapphire.

The 422.99 carats (84.60 g) blue Logan sapphire
The 422.99 carats (84.60 g) blue Logan sapphire

How Do We Get Sapphires?

Like many other precious gemstones sapphire also comes as type of a naturally occurring mineral called corundum or chemically a crystalline form of aluminium oxide. It can occur in many places around the world in corundum mines. Sapphire is found in a variety of shades and colors, like; blue sapphire,yellow sapphire,star sapphire and even ruby!

The famous ruby is a gemstone which is also a variety of the corundum mineral so according to this classification ruby can be regarded as a red sapphire as every crystal which comes from corundum is considered as a sapphire. However ruby has its own unique importance and history so generally it is never called a sapphire and will always be sold as a ruby.

4C's Of Sapphire

The 4C's method is the most widely used method for the classification of a precious gemstone. However diamond is the only gemstone that has a standard and is always certified using the standard 4C's method, the other precious gemstones don't actually follow any standard.

Their correct value can only be determined by an expert gemstone analysts who has years of experience dealing with precious gemstones. The famous 4C's are color,cut,clarity and carat weight.

The Star Of India
The Star Of India

Color:

If we talk about sapphires than color is in fact the most important factor determining the price value of a sapphire. The color of a sapphire further is divided into; hue,saturation and tone to make things easy.

  • Hue is actually the color of a gemstone, blue sapphires are the most precious ones and the color of these sapphires is the most important price determining factor.
  • Saturation is the birghtness of the hue.
  • Tone is the lightness to the darkness of the hue.

Clarity:

Clarity can be a price determining factor in sapphires but not as much as in ruby,emerald and diamonds. Sapphires can be classified in grades just like diamond and a VVS type sapphire would be of a high value.

Cut:

Sapphires don't have a standard cut like diamond. They are cut out of a large crystal in a variety of shapes such that maximum brilliance is achieved in each piece. There are some factors which are checked to certify a good cut sapphire the most important of which is the depth of the cut. A deep cut stone will be more brilliant and valuable.

Carat Weight:

Carat weight is not an important parameter for the evaluation of precious gemstones like sappihres. However since gemstones are sold in carats it is also a part of the 4C's. But generally color of the sapphire is important and some times lighter stones can be more valuable than heavier ones.

Yellow Sapphires
Yellow Sapphires

Treatment Of Sapphires

Sapphires can be treated in a variety of ways to improve its clarity and color the most common and ancient method of improving quality of a sapphire is the heating process. Sapphires are heated in a nitrogen deficient atmosphere where by they become more bluish and loose loose their silk.

But for stones where asterism is required losing silk may actually, make it look bad.

Synthetic Sapphires

Synthetic sapphires are also very abundant in the market and they can be manufactured quite easily. These sapphires are low in value as compared to the natural ones and also that they are free of any inclusions making them almost clear.

Many people actually prefer to buy stones with inclusions which guarantees that the stone is natural however there are many people who don't actually care much about a stone being synthetic or natural and are only interested in buying some jewelry regardless of the type of stone. Synthetic gemstones are made for mass jewelry manufacturing whereas natural ones are mostly sold separately or comes studded with special items.

Synthetic sapphires also has many other practical applications aside from being a gemstone. They are used in lasers,scratch proof glass making,xenon lamps and in semiconductor industry.

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2 comments

Pest profile image

Pest 7 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

Nice....interesting hub.


art-max profile image

art-max 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Thanks for explaning Sapphire's properties, and what is genuine and what isn't. I own some sapphires once.

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