Sapphire gets its name from the Greek word meaning ‘blue stone’. Trace amounts of other elements can be found in most sapphires and include materials such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium. These different elements impact the color of the gemstone and as such there can be sapphires that are blue, yellow, purple, orange, or a greenish color. There is also a highly prized form known as a Star Sapphire, which is a type of sapphire that exhibits a star-like phenomenon known as asterism. These rare and beautiful Star Sapphires contain intersecting needle-like structures that form a six-rayed “star”-shaped pattern to appear in the gemstone when it is viewed with a single overhead light source.
The different colors and types of these gemstones make for stunning antique wedding band sapphire rings, and are easily paired with other gemstones to make diamond and sapphire rings. Sapphires that are used in fine jewelry can be found in abundance in nature. They also may be manufactured in large crystal boules. The cost of natural sapphires varies depending on their color, clarity, size, cut, and overall quality – as well as their geographic origin. Large deposits can be found readily in Eastern Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka,China, Madagascar, East Africa, and in North America. As an interesting site note, sapphires and rubies are often found in the same geographic area and can be mined together at times.
Use of Sapphires
Because the sapphire has a hardness rating of 9 on the Mohs scale (the third hardest mineral, right behind diamond at 10 and moissanite at 9.25), sapphires are used in some non-ornamental applications, and are commonly found in electronics, construction, and other industries. The most common use for these beautiful gemstones is still fine jewelry and pieces that include sapphire rings, sapphire pendants, and sapphire earrings.