11 Fun Facts About Sapphires
For years, sapphires have been viewed as one of the most desired gemstones in the world along with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, and there is very good reason for that. Believed to bring protection, good fortune and wise judgment, it is no wonder that this lovely gem has been held in such high regard by royalty for centuries. Many even believe this is where the term “Royal Blue” originally came from! Here are some more interesting facts you may not have known about sapphires.
- Sapphires are the birth stone for September and are the traditional gift for 5th and 45th in the US.
- Sapphires, like rubies, are made from corundum. Trace amounts of iron and titanium are what give sapphires their signature blue color. If there are higher levels of chromium in the stone, it will appear redder and would then be classified as a ruby!
- Sapphires can also come in a wide array of colors aside from blue! Yellow, orange, green, pink, and even purple sapphires also exist.
- The rarest type of sapphire in the world is called “Padparadscha”, with the name coming from the Sinhalese word for lotus flower. They are a light pinkish orange color and are traditionally found in Sri Lankan rivers.
- Sapphires are incredibly durable, and rank at a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The only stone ranking higher than a sapphire would be a diamond.
- Kashmir sapphires are viewed as some of the best in the world, and the most desirable due to their incredible cornflower blue coloring and rarity. The most prominent mine in Kashmir operated from 1880 until 1887, when the main supply of sapphires was completely depleted.
- Most sapphires are heat treated to help improve their color and clarity. Naturally clear sapphires are incredibly rare and can be worth a fortune!
- In 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte gave his wife Josephine a sapphire and diamond engagement ring. The ring sold for close to a million dollars in auction in 2013.
- Another incredibly famous sapphire is the one given to Princess Diana by Prince Charles in 1981. The ring featured a whopping 12ct oval cut sapphire surrounded by diamonds! This continues to be a very popular ring style to this day.
- A unique phenomenon can occur in sapphires, if they are cut in a cabochon style, known as asterism. Inclusions in the stone can create a star like pattern of rays that appears on the surface and is referred to as a “star sapphire”.
- Sapphires have a higher density then a diamond does. This means a 1ct sapphire will look quite a bit smaller than a 1ct diamond.