Commonly Asked Questions: Sapphires

Posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 in Commonly Asked Questions, Gemstones, Informational.

loose blue sapphire gemstone

Where are sapphires found? Some of the most well-known locations for fine quality sapphires include Kashmir, Myanmar, Thailand, Madagascar, and Sri Lanka. In the United States, sapphires can be found in Montana.

Where does a sapphire’s blue color come from? Sapphires belong to the mineral variety of corundum, which is naturally a colorless mineral. A sapphire’s blue color occurs when trace amounts of titanium and iron are present during the crystal’s formation.

Do sapphires come in any other color besides blue? Yes, sapphires can be found in any color except red. Red corundum is actually considered another valuable gemstone, ruby. The different hues of sapphire are caused by various trace elements found in the mineral. For instance, purple sapphires are created when the mineral vanadium enters the gemstone’s composition.

What color sapphire is the most valuable? Generally, the most valuable sapphires feature a vivid blue color. However, sapphires that feature a pinkish-orange color are extremely rare and can actually draw some of the highest prices for the gemstone. These sapphires are called padparadscha, which is the Sri Lankan word for lotus flower.

Can sapphire jewelry be worn every day? Yes, with a rating of 9 on the MOHS scale of mineral hardness, the only gemstone more durable than a sapphire is a diamond. This makes sapphire ideal for all types of jewelry, especially rings.

How are sapphires formed? Sapphires are formed under the Earth’s surface when densely packed aluminum and oxygen atoms come together to form the mineral corundum. Once in a while, other elements will replace some of the aluminum atoms and alter the gemstone’s color. This is exactly what happens when minerals such as titanium, iron, and vanadium enter the equation.

What determines the value of a sapphire? Like other gemstones, the quality of a sapphire is determined by its color, clarity, cut and carat weight. The one factor that has the biggest impact on a sapphire’s value is its color. The most precious sapphires have a strong saturation that doesn’t appear too dark or compromise the gem’s brightness. In regard to the other quality factors, the most valuable sapphires have very few visible inclusions, are large in size, and are well cut.

Do sapphires symbolize anything? Sapphires have historically symbolized truth and promise keeping. They are believed to inspire peace, joy, wisdom, and prosperity. Sapphires are the designated birthstone for the month of September and are also the recognized gemstone for the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries.

How should I care for my sapphire jewelry? Clean your sapphire jewelry with warm, soapy water and a gentle toothbrush and make sure to always store your sapphire pieces separate from your diamond jewelry.


View Kloiber Jewelers’ online sapphire jewelry collection here.