What Sapphire Looks Like

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What Sapphire Looks Like
What Sapphire Looks Like

Video: What Sapphire Looks Like

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Video: HOW TO TELL IF SAPPHIRE IS FAKE? 2023, February
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Sapphires have an absolutely stunning color gamut and a diverse structure of the stone structure - from absolutely transparent to dense, non-translucent crystal.

Instructions

Step 1

What does a sapphire look like? If a similar question were asked to a jeweler living in the 19th century, the answer would be unequivocal: "Sapphire is a blue gemstone." In principle, many of our contemporaries would have answered in the same way. But, it turns out, not everything is so simple and obvious.

Step 2

The fact is that the sapphire gemstone is one of two varieties of noble corundum. The second representative of the corundum group is ruby. The color of stones belonging to this noble caste is quite diverse: it can be colorless, red in different shades, blue or blue of varying intensity, pink, purple, green, orange, brown and yellow.

Sapphires come in a wide variety of colors
Sapphires come in a wide variety of colors

Step 3

Until the 19th century, all blue stones, including lapis lazuli, were referred to as sapphires. But, since 1800, the right to be called sapphires is recognized only for blue representatives of the corundum family. Green stones were called precious peridot, yellow stones were called precious topaz, and so on. The modern classification has assigned all these color variations to sapphires. That is, with the exception of red shades, which undoubtedly belong to ruby, all other colors of corundum indicate their belonging to sapphires.

Step 4

The most valuable specimens are considered to be cornflower blue sapphires, mined in Kashmir, Burma and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Legendary Kashmir stones are among the rarest and most expensive crystals, since due to the tense situation in the area bordering Pakistan, geological exploration and extraction of these valuable minerals is currently impossible. A small amount of Kashmir sapphires is mined in an artisanal way by local residents and small groups of enthusiasts, but these volumes can only be compared with a drop of supply in a huge sea of ​​demand.

Kashmiri sapphires have a velvety texture and a bright cornflower blue color
Kashmiri sapphires have a velvety texture and a bright cornflower blue color

Step 5

Burmese sapphires from the closed Mogok valley are considered next in value. They are darker and more translucent than Kashmir stones and have a midnight blue tint.

Deep blue sapphires from Burma
Deep blue sapphires from Burma

Step 6

The so-called "Kashmir" color is also typical for minerals from Sri Lanka. The deposits of the southwestern part of this island produce sapphires of excellent quality and various shades, often not inferior to crystals from Kashmir; but, nevertheless, the valued are much lower. In addition to blue crystals, there are also yellow, green, brown, pink and even colorless stones. Colorless corundums are called leucosapphires and, as a rule, have a slight over-color (shade), since absolutely colorless specimens are extremely rare.

Blue sapphires from Sri Lanka
Blue sapphires from Sri Lanka

Step 7

Australian and Kenyan corundums have a greenish tint and have a strong pleochroism ("multicolor", manifested when looking at the stone in different directions). These characteristics significantly reduce the value of the sapphire. Deep blue Thai minerals also have a greenish tint and are cheaper than purple-tinted Kashmir, Burmese and Ceylon stones.

Blue sapphires with a greenish tint are valued lower
Blue sapphires with a greenish tint are valued lower

Step 8

The rarest blue star sapphires are in great demand and are worth much higher than common minerals. The unusualness of such stones is due to the manifestation of asterism - an optical effect that forms a star-shaped figure when the sapphire is illuminated. By the way, spectacular star-shaped black sapphires were recently discovered in Australian deposits.

Star Sapphire from Burma
Star Sapphire from Burma

Step 9

Rare crystals also include the Sri Lankan pinkish-orange padparadscha sapphires. The name of this stone is translated as "lotus flower", but in fact, the color of the most beautiful crystal "padparadscha" tends to be more orange than pink.The combination of shades in this unusual stone is more accurately conveyed by its poetic comparison with a tropical sky at sunset or with molten gold.

Sapphire
Sapphire

Step 10

As you can see, sapphires are a whole world of varied colors, brilliance and mesmerizing depths of color. But it is worth remembering that at present, in addition to the officially permitted methods of ennobling natural stones and growing artificial corundum, there are a large number of imitations of a precious mineral. Sometimes these fakes are so indistinguishable from real sapphires that only an experienced gemologist can recognize the deception.

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