Did you know that all aluminum oxides (corundum) that don’t come in a red color are known as sapphires? Sapphire is actually an Ancient Greek word that means blue. But, it’s good to point out that these beautiful gemstones come in many colors, not just in blue color. Namely, you can easily find pink, purple, brown, green and yellow sapphires. The presence of other minerals in sapphires is affecting the color of these gems. For instance, if there is chromium in the gemstone, the color of the sapphire will be pink.
Sapphires occur naturally in many different countries, but most of them are mined in India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. The ones from India are mined in Kashmir. These stones have a blue color and many experts believe that they are the sapphires with the highest quality. The majority of sapphires on the market come from Sri Lanka and usually come in medium or light blue color. Most of the fancy-colored sapphires are from Sri Lanka too – pink, golden and yellow colors are some of these fancy-colored sapphires.
Australia and Thailand are some other countries where sapphires are mined and most of them have dark blue colors. The sapphires from these two countries are usually cheaper. There are sapphires in the United States too, but only in the State of Montana. In the last two decades, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, and China have started mining sapphires.
The majority of sapphires found in the market today come with enhanced colors. This process is usually conducted with the help of heating. The reason why they are treated is simple – the colors look brighter and the clarity of the gemstone is improved too. Thanks to the heating method, pale and colorless gemstone can become brilliant yellow or blue sapphires.
People have used sapphires for a long time and for different reasons. For instance, in Ancient Israel, people have believed that blue sapphires have a divine origin carrying messages from the beyond. When the alchemists appeared in Europe in the Middle Ages they believed that sapphires can be used as efficient antidotes for different poisons. Although sapphires were available in different colors, most people were interested in obtaining blue sapphires. Many kings and queens had blue sapphires in their crowns and royal jewelry. It’s also worth mentioning that the sapphire is considered the stone of good health and truth.