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Sapphire Sparkle Collection: Gemstones & Tools for Brilliance
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Learn how to choose the perfect sapphire for you with our guide on sapphire  color, cut, clarity, and carat.

Sapphire Color

The sapphire is renowned for its clear, even color. Although the most typical hue for sapphires is a vibrant blue, the corundum from which they are composed can possess practically any shade within the rainbow due to interactions with other minerals. GJ1 , we inspect each sapphire to make sure it has a consistent color with little color spotting or zoning. During our evaluations, we focus on three characteristics: hue, tone, and saturation.

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Sapphire Color Characteristics...........Hue

Hue refers to the actual color of the sapphire. In the case of sapphires, the hue is usually referring to two things. One, the primary color of the sapphire. And two, any other colors that may be present.

With this combination of hues, it is possible to have sapphires that are greenish-blue, violet-blue, or violet-pink. When describing a sapphire, the modifying color is listed first, while the primary color is listed second. GJ1 standard blue sapphires for example range from greenish-blue to violet-blue.

Outside of the standard blue sapphires, GJ1 also offers a full range of yellow and orange to pink and peach all the way to purple and green sapphires with a variety of modifying colors.

Tone

The tone of the sapphire refers to the depth of color. Two sapphires can have the same hue but different tones. For example, two sapphires may hold a blue hue. However, one sapphire may be sky blue while the other is midnight blue. That difference from the sky to midnight is the tone.

GJ1, our sapphires range from light to dark tones. When it comes to our standard blue sapphires, we aim for a medium-deep blue.

Saturation

Saturation refers to the purity of the color of the sapphires. It also refers to if the sapphire holds any brown or grey hues. The highest saturations refer to sapphires that have a pure color with minimal impurities. On a sapphire color chart, the highest saturations are known to be “vivid.” The other saturations are known as strong, medium, fair, and weak.

GJ1 only carries sapphires that are either vivid or strong saturation.

                             Sapphire Colors


 

Blue Sapphires

Blue is the most common sapphire color. Blue sapphires can range from a pale baby blue to a rich royal blue. Trace elements of iron and titanium are what cause those blue colors. According to standard, a sapphire can only be classified as blue if the modifying colors take up no more than 15% of the overall color. If the modifying color takes up more than 15%, then the sapphire is classified as “fancy colored” and can be either greenish-blue, violet, purplish blue, or others.

Most common is a vivid dark blue that is known as royal blue. This color of sapphire has been seen in many historically significant pieces around the world, including the Stuart Sapphire, the Queen Marie of Romania, and the Bismarck Sapphire. In ancient times it was believed that the blue stones would protect the wearer from harm. It is for that reason perhaps that the blue sapphire, in particular, has come to represent love, power, and loyalty. The most valuable sapphires in the world are the blue Ceylon sapphires.

Blue sapphires also include the star sapphires. Star sapphires have rutile needle inclusions and when cut in a particular way will display a 6 rayed start when is shone upon them.

 


Green Sapphires

Green sapphires can vary from a soft, muted green to vivid deep green, much like an emerald. The green color comes from the trace element iron inside of the corundum. The secondary color within a green sapphire is often blue or yellow. Green sapphires are usually classified as either pure green, yellow-green, or blue-green.

Green sapphires are often a symbol of loyalty, trust, and integrity. As such, green sapphires make a great non-traditional wedding or engagement ring. Or if your partner’s favorite color just happens to be green.

Peach Sapphires

Peachsapphires are a blend of pinks, orange, gold, and yellow. In many cases, they are categorized as either pink or orange. In rare cases, they are even thought to be padparadschas.

The main quality that sets peach sapphires and Padparadscha apart is the saturation of the color. While Padparadscha typically displays vivid, rich pink and oranges like that of a sunset, a peach sapphire is gentler in color.

This pastel sapphire has become very popular for wedding and engagement bands. They look particularly stunning in a warm gold setting. When looking at peach sapphires, it is important to note the clarity. Many gemstones in color this pale are prone to cloudiness with larger stones.

Pink Sapphires

Pink sapphires at one time were quite rare. The pink sapphire can range from pale pink to deep magenta. The secondary colors include purple and orange. Among the pink sapphires, there is the incredibly rare Padparadscha sapphire, which is a pink sapphire with hints of orange. The Padparadscha sapphires are said to look like a sunset or a lotus flower.

At the richer saturation, it can be difficult to differentiate a sapphire from a ruby. A qualified gemologist would be able to tell you the difference. 

Many believe the pink sapphire to represent trust and sincerity. Due to their soft color, they have become quite popular for weddings. A blush pink sapphire accented by diamonds makes a unique and romantic engagement ring.

GJ1  gets all of our pink sapphires from ethically sourced mines in Sri Lanka

White Sapphires

White sapphires are often used as replacements for diamonds due to their colorless appearance and lesser cost. Pure white sapphires are very rare naturally, and most white sapphires found in shops are either yellow or grey sapphires that have been heat-treated to remove any lingering color.

When it comes to white sapphires, the purer white sapphires will have faint cloudiness that sets them apart from pure diamonds or moissanite.

Another thing that sets diamonds and white sapphires apart is brilliance and fire. Brilliance is the white light that is reflected, and fire is any colored light reflected by the stone. For both, diamonds have far more brilliance and fire. White sapphires tend to be more subdued.

Orange Sapphires

Orange sapphires range from pale pastels to deep orangish-reds. They are a combination of red and yellow hues. As such, orange sapphires are made when chromium, which is responsible for red, meets trace amounts of iron, which is responsible for yellow.

Orange sapphires are quite rare, and it is difficult to find large gemstones of this color. Many orange sapphires also contain secondary colors of yellow or brown when it comes to orange; the purer the orange color, the better.

Yellow Sapphires

Yellow sapphires, like many other colored sapphires, are known as “fancy sapphires.” Any sapphire that's not blue or a ruby is considered a fancy sapphire. These yellow fancy sapphires look strikingly similar to the yellow diamond, but they cost much less. Yellow sapphires can range from a pale yellow to a deep bronze color. Brighter yellows, such as canary yellow, tend to be the most popular of the yellow sapphires.

Yellow sapphires can have modifying colors of orange and green. These fancy sapphires are often associated with luck and wealth. As such, yellow sapphires are a common gift for people wishing to improve their wealth.

Teal Sapphires

Teal is a relatively new color for sapphires. It is a perfect blend of green and blue. The variations of teal sapphires range from equal 50% each of blue and green, down to a 15% green, 85% yellow split. The most valuable of the teal sapphires is the equal split between blue and green.

Teal stones don’t color shift, unlike other similar gems. However, in certain lights, the separate colors within teal may be more noticeable. For example, in natural light, a teal sapphire may shine more than green. Some experts even think that teal sapphires will someday be as valuable as the famous padparadscha sapphires. Most teal sapphires are naturally found in Australia, though they can be found in  Sri Lanka as well.

Purple Sapphires

Purple sapphires are a blend of red and blue hues. In this way, they are similar to pink sapphires and may occasionally be confused for pink sapphires, but purple sapphires tend to lean bluer overall. The saturation of purple sapphires can vary from weak to vivid, and the color can range from violet to dark reddish-purple. 

The purple sapphire is often confused for amethysts. Amethyst is a variety of quartz with a similar purple color. However, amethyst only registers at seven on the Mohs hardness scale. The sapphire, on the other hand, registers at 9, which is only a step below diamond. For daily wear, you are better off choosing sapphires as they are less prone to chipping, cracking, or scratches.

While many varieties of sapphire need to be heat-treated to improve their hue and saturation, purple sapphires tend to naturally hold good saturation of color without any further treatment. For this reason, they tend to be highly prized and can be slightly more expensive than their treated cousins.

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