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Sapphire

Sources: Kashmir, Sri Lanka,

Burma, Thailand, Madagascar, US

Hardness on Mohs scale: 9

Common Enhancements: Heat, diffusion

Birthstone: September

Cleaning Methods:

  • Ultrasonic: usually safe
  • Steamer: usually safe
  • Warm soapy water: safe

Sapphire belong to the all color varieties of the mineral species Corundum. Well known in its blue color, sapphire is among the hardest and toughest material in nature, therefore making it an all time favorite gem for everyday use. Depending from its country of origin, it could be extremely rare. Kashmir sapphires are particularly coveted for their “velvety” highly saturated medium to dark tone which is often described as “cornflower blue”. They are mined only two weeks a year due to the harsh condition of the weather where the mines are located. Burma sapphires, highly saturated in tone and often described as “Royal blue” are considered very fine quality. Sri Lankan or “Ceylon” sapphires are fairly brilliant in hues, usually from light grays to violet-blue. In the US sapphires are mined in the state of Montana where they were discovered in in the late 1800’s by a gold miner working on one of the gravel bars on the Missouri River near Helena. They are appreciated for their remarkable color and brilliance. All other colors are classified as “Fancy Sapphires”  and their availability is limited particularly in “padparadscha” color which is described as pinkish orange. It is a fact that most people are unaware that sapphires occur in all colors besides blue.

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