What Makes Sapphires Blue?

Sapphire is a stunning gem that is quite popular in the world for their gorgeous and vivid colors. There is a lot that you may not know about this gem. First of all it is the second hardest gem on the Mohs scale, placing just behind the classic diamond. This has helped it to become one of the more timeless gems that are available on the market. In fact, this was an especially popular gem during the Victorian era. From then to the present time, these are popular gems that are found in jewelry. They are durable and gorgeous, making them perfect for everyday wear.

What Make A Sapphire Blue?

A lot of people wonder where this stunning blue color comes from. The answer comes from where it is mined. These gems come from a mineral known as corundum. As the crystal develops near the earth’s crust, the element titanium creates the famous blue coloring. Corundum is made up of aluminium oxide and the pure version of this mineral is colorless. That is why there is the term “white sapphire”. As titanium gets mixed into this mineral in nature as a result of specific levels of pressure and temperature, the blue color is created within these gems. There can be some very subtle differences within these combinations that can create different coloring. For instance, depending on how much iron is introduced during the process, the color can be an inky and dark color or a lighter color with a unique iridescent sparkle to it.

What About The Other Sapphire Colors

Since Corundum is colorless it needs to have specific elements present during it’s formation to produce different colord. Below is a lits of the elements needed to create color.
  • No trace elements – White Sapphire
  • Titanium (with traces of Iron) – Blue
  • Iron – Yellow Sapphire.
  • Chromium – Pink Sapphire. High amounts of Chromium will make the gem red. When it is red it is called Ruby.
  • Iron + Chromium – Pinkish Orange Sapphire known as Padparascha.
  • Titanium + Iron – Green
The value of these gems can often be placed on the coloring to the gem. A sapphire that has a violet tinge to it will typically cost less than a pure deep blue one. There are the typical factors to grading sapphires, such as carats, color, cut, and clarity though this may not be as important when deciding the value of these gems. One example of this is that natural inclusions that affect clarity may reduce the value of some other gemstones but with sapphires the inclusions can often have no effect on the gemstones value. Things like carat weight can also have an impact, but really the color of the sapphire is the ultimate cause for its value. Another factor that has an impact on the value of the gemstone is where the gems were mined. Kashmir varieties, which have a famous cornflower blue color to them are generally at the higher end of the pricing for sapphires. When choosing a sapphire, you really should just look at the sapphire to see which one you feel is the most beautiful. There are so many different variations to the color that picking sapphires are really a personal preference as well as one that you would consider based on your budget. You should be careful to really look at the gem in the light to get a true feel of the color of the sapphire. It is important that you go to a reputable dealer for these sapphires so that you know exactly what you are getting.


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