The Jewel of the Sea, an ancient gemstone that past civilizations worshipped for bringing good health, good fortune and prosperity. As a precious gemstone, it did indeed bring good fortune to many settlements.
With a deep, rich blue color and variations including purple, orange and green, this corundum-based gemstone has been the feature piece on several members of royalty over the years. As an incredibly hard gemstone, it also servers other purposes including infrared devices, windows, wristwatch crystals and LEDs. This month’s gemstone is none other than the Sapphire.
A high variance
Sapphire can be stunningly beautiful. Unlike some other gemstones, it can be incredibly ugly as well. Rough yellow sapphire is generally very unpleasant aesthetically and certain sapphire deposits can actually result in sapphire so worthless that it gets thrown out.
On the other end of that, high-end sapphires include Padparadscha, a light pink gem found in Sri Lanka, pink sapphires and a strange gemstone called a “star sapphire”
Star Sapphires (and Star Rubies) go through a phenomenon called asterism. Asterism involves several inclusions inside the gemstone that split in 6 directions. Due to the way that the inclusion occurs, it creates a star-like glimmer, hence the name. What’s even more interesting is that sometimes two Star Sapphires will be found side by side with the same star pattern. The cause of this is a separate phenomenon known as Twinning where the inclusions from one gemstone transfer to the neighboring gemstone.
Cast it into the fire
Heating natural sapphire is an excellent way to improve clarity. If you heat a sapphire up to about 1,800 Celsius over the course of a few hours then it will make the stone much more of a vivid blue color. Obviously that’s 3,272 Fahrenheit, which an easy-bake oven can’t handle on it’s own, but many high-end sapphires are treated with heat this way.
Want to see the largest sapphire ever recorded? Here are some images of the “Star of Adam,” a 1,404 carat monster of a sapphire currently estimated at around $200 Million.
If you’d like to use sapphire in your next design, book a free appointment with our designer or call us at (720) 560-3548.