Sapphire is a mineral that is a kind of corundum. The color of the stone can be not only blue, as many are accustomed to believe, it varies from transparent colorless to deep dark blue. There are very beautiful pinkish-orange specimens called subparadja. Choose your stone from all the variety of products in stores and enjoy the play of light on its edges.
Different shades give the mineral impurities of iron, chromium, titanium, vanadium. The deep blue color gives the sapphire titanium. If rutile is present in the structure of the stone, when polished on its surface, a regular star of six rays is obtained (asterism). If vanadium gets into the mineral, you will see a different optical effect - the color of the stone will change depending on the lighting.
Sapphire deposits are scattered all over the world, but the quality of stones from different sources is not the same. Very beautiful deep blue sapphires are mined in India. Neighboring Sri Lanka pleases with milky blue stones. The Russian mineral has a characteristic grayish-blue tint. There are sapphire deposits in the USA, Burma, Australia, Africa, Thailand. There are small deposits in the Czech Republic, Poland and France.
The cut of the stone brings out its best qualities and skillfully hides imperfections. Sapphire is carefully studied by jewelers, depending on its properties, the type of cut is chosen. This mineral is hard and has a beautiful luster, so the same cut is often chosen as for a diamond. If the stone has an asterism, the most successful shape for it is a cabochon.
Sapphire is very often counterfeited. But since this mineral is second only to diamond in terms of hardness, you can distinguish it from glass yourself. A pointed metal object will not scratch sapphire, but glass will not pass this test.
Look deep into the stone, in the natural you will find different inclusions and heterogeneity, while the artificial one will have a uniform color. But nevertheless, inclusions are not only a sign of sapphire; cyanite with tourmaline also have them, which are often passed off as more expensive stones.
The development of technological processes for processing stones makes it possible to refine minerals. Precious stones, including sapphires, are alloyed with oxides of various metals, which gives it the desired color shade. Therefore, any nondescript pebble turns into a luxuriously colored specimen.
If in doubt about the quality of a sapphire, take it to a specialist jeweler for examination.