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Sapphire

Sky blue sapphire has historically been associated with something sacred and divine, guardian of innocence and the ultimate truth.

sapphire ceylon

According to the book of the great Exodus, God Yahweh gave Moses the Ten Commandments engraved on tablets of sapphire. It was believed that the stone bestows the divine grace of its owner. It was used as a talisman to protect the pilgrims, from disease, it would bring peace, joy and wisdom. Sapphire is also a stone of prosperity.

Sapphire is a mineral variety of corundum. It has a predominantly blue color shades. The name "Sapphire" comes from the Greek word sappheiros, which means blue stone. Blue color stone has inclusion of titanium and iron impurities. It has a hardness of 9, and the density of 3,97-4,05. The hardness of sapphire is second after diamond. This gem is a jewel of the first category, mainly used in the jewelry industry. It has a high gloss, refractive index 1 762-1 778. Besides the usual blue sapphires there are gem-quality corundum in orange, pink and orange, yellow, pink and colorless colors - so-called fancy sapphires.

Deposits

Sapphire deposits are found on almost every continent, except Antarctica. The main exporting countries of this gem are Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma, India, USA - Carolina State and Montana, Australia, Madagascar, and many countries in Africa. Small deposits are located in France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland and Russia.

sapphire monocrystals

The most beautiful sapphires were found in the nineteenth century in Kashmir (India), where in 1880 there was a collapse of rock that opened a rich deposit of amazing beautyful sapphires which was developed almost ten years. The island of Sri Lanka is one of the oldest deposits of sapphires with saturated colors - from bright sky blue to deep dark blue. In Madagascar there were found not only blue stones but amazing specimens of pink and yellow tones. A large deposit of high-quality sapphire with variety of colors - blue, orange and yellow - has been found in Tanzania. In Brazil there are blue, purple and pale pink sapphires. Australia and Thailand are famous for large developments of classic blue sapphires.

Color Change Sapphire

sapphire different colours

Among the most unusual sapphires are those that display a color change. They are judged by the quality of the color change. The best are considered stones changing the colors from green - blue in the daytime in a reddish-purple in incandescent light. There are number of sources to produce such stones but good examples are rare. More common are the Sri Lankan gems, which contain a mixture of chromium (red), and iron-titanium (blue). Such stones are bluish purple in daylight and purple at indoor light.

Synthetic Sapphire

Corundum has different varieties - red corundum is called ruby, blue corundum - sapphires. Rubies and sapphires became known in Europe in 1800. In 1835 was invented method for ruby synthesis, and in 1909 was created the first synthetic sapphire.

There are different methods for producing synthetic sapphires. Blue color of artificially grown sapphire is often uneven and has a variety of shades. It is characterized by the alternation of saturated and pale curved bands often visible to the naked eye.

Appraisement

The color of the stone is the most important in assessing the value of the sapphire The more pure blue is the color of the natural sapphire the higher the price you can ask for the stone. Significantly darker or paler stones usually are less valuable but they are not necessarily less demanded. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and the color is subjective.

The price is affected also of the brightness and cut of the stone as well as the carat weight. Sapphire of the best quality is the one the purity of which is visible to the eye and some inclusions are detected under a microscope. More common sapphires weighing up to 2 carats, but stones from 5 to 10 carats also occur. Usually sapphires reach much larger size than rubies.

Fake and Counterfeited Stones

As a precious stone in great demand the sapphires are often counterfeited. When buying a sapphire you can run into a fake glass, cordierite, tourmaline and other stones. In this case looking by a magnifying glass for natural inclusions which are typical for natural stone is meaningless. Here the natural defects are not a measure of authenticity sapphire. The fake stone can be distinguished from natural by scratching the surface of the stone. Due to the high hardness of sapphire no marks left at scratching as opposed to fake. There is also a method using different liquids with a certain specific weight to recognize the authenticity of sapphire. Lowering the stone in a liquid sapphire just "drown", a fake on the contrary - will remain on the surface.

sapphire many gems

In addition at the present time sapphires are heat treated to give the stone a different color and this way to weaken, strengthen or line the color. After heating the gray-blue sapphires are bright blue and the diffusion process leads to staining in various colors of the top layer of cut stone. Diffusion of iron oxide gives a blue color, iron and nickel - red and orange, titanium - the effect of asterism. These methods have a certain disadvantages: the perceived color can quickly lose its brightness and color when exposed to sunlight or heat. Therefore, you should buy a sapphire from a trustworthy seller providing all necessary information regarding each particular stone.

Some Famous Sapphires

It is known that Alexander the Great worn a sapphire ring and that Mary Stewart also wore a similar ring.

Mary Stuart sapphire

This is a favorite toy of the British royal family which owns two unique sapphires, one is "Mary Stuart" and the other is a large stone adorning the cross on the crown of the British Empire. This stone is 3.8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. Initially it was in the crown of Charles II but later was stolen by James II in his escape to France in 1688. His son, Jacob Edward, inherited the stone, and then - to the son of James Edward, Henry Benedict, Cardinal of York. He bequeathed the sapphire George II along with other Stewart jewelry.

At the coronation of Queen Victoria "Sapphire Stewart" was placed in the imperial crown in front under the "Black Prince's Ruby." At the coronation of George V it was replaced by the diamond "Star of Africa-II», and the sapphire was placed in the center of the back part of the srown where is its position today.

Since then, the Royal family remains faithful to sapphires. Princess Diana received sapphire wedding set, made by famous English jewelry house Esprit. It was a gift from the Prince of Saudi Arabia. Another set of sapphires from the same company gave her the Sultan Osman.

At the Smithsonian National Museum in Washington can be seen Logan sapphire weighing 423 carats, framed by twenty purest diamonds. Once it was owned by an Indian Maharajah. This unique stone was named after its last owner Rebecca Logan Guggenheim, which gave the sapphire to the museum.

Logan sapphire

The largest pure stone named "Blue Princess", is owned by the jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels. It weighs 114 carats.

The largest star- sapphire (in fact, blue-gray) is found in 1966 in Burma. It has a mass of 12 600 g (63 000 carats). At the Smithsonian Institution there is a very dark star- sapphire, almost black color, called "Black Star of Queensland". It was found in Australia and for a long time it has been used by its owner to keep the doors open. Once found that it is not just a cobble it was processed in cabochon and sold. In processing the mass of stone fell from 231 g to 146 g (733 ct.)

star sapphire

No less interesting is the story of another star sapphire weighing 112.6 grams (563.3 carats) It was found in Sri Lanka and called the "Star of India". It was in the New York Transit Museum and in 1964 was stolen. After 3 years, the stone was found and returned to the museum.

Legends and Beliefs

According to ancient beliefs, the sapphire was the embodiment of fidelity, modesty, chastity, and a guardian of the person of anger and fear. It was believed that the sapphire brings hope. People believed in that the stone could protect them from falsehood, rage, uncontrolled anger. Sapphire was called "mascot wise." It was believed that it enhances memory, wakes up a man's curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

sapphire many stones in different colours

Affects the individual, making it more sensible, reasonable, struggles with laziness and apathy, gives both physical and spiritual strength. In Europe it was called the "rock nuns", and it personified chastity, virtue, love of truth and a good conscience. In the East it was connected with such wonderful human qualities such as friendship, humility and selflessness.

Sapphires are usually faceted brilliant cut. Main inclusion which can be observed in the sapphire is rutile. It produces the effect of asterism in the form of six-or twelve-ray stars. To get this effect the stone is cut in cabochon. Prices for star stones and cabochons are usually a bit lower than their brethren of the same quality of cut, but some may approach the value of the faceted stones in high quality. The cabochon of good quality should have a thin transparency and color.
Usually sapphires are framed in gold and silver. Gold is recommended to people born under the sign of Jupiter, silver - for born under the sign of Saturn. Blue Sapphire should be worn by those born under Jupiter in Sagittarius, yellow - a sign of Jupiter in the constellation Virgo.

sapphire heart cut

Usually sapphires are framed in gold and silver. Gold is recommended to people born under the sign of Jupiter, silver - for born under the sign of Saturn. Blue Sapphire should be worn by those born under Jupiter in Sagittarius, yellow - a sign of Jupiter in the constellation Virgo.

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