The color “Blue” is attributed with various meanings and connotations fitting the backdrop of its use. Few dread “Monday blues,” while others feel rejuvenated and geared to work post the weekend! “Feeling blue” is a common emotion we all have been through – for various reasons. At the same time, looking at the vastness of the expansive blue skies and the blue oceans fills our hearts with a serene sense of calm and complacency. As a gemstone, the rich blue color of the September birthstone, sapphire, pronounces regality and luxury. Its breathtaking beauty makes it one of the precious gemstones extracted from the mineral Corundum. Given its mainstream visibility, it is natural to assume a sapphire is always blue – after all, even the term’s Latin and Greek names mean blue. But that is not the case.
In nature, sapphire occurs in many colors – green, yellow, purple, orange, and many more; except for reds, which are always either rubies or garnets. The color of a sapphire depends on the traces of other elements – iron, titanium, vanadium, magnesium, and chromium – in the base mineral, Corundum. There are red corundum stones too, but they qualify as rubies, which implies sapphires and rubies are actually siblings!
All the colored sapphires, except the blue ones, are called “fancy sapphires.” The colored ones are worth as much, if not more, than the familiar blue counterparts. The former are rarer in nature and hence, not very commonly used in jewelry, making most of us uninitiated about them. Below we talk about popular types and colors of sapphire stone – just as unrivaled as any other precious gemstone.
Different Colors and Shapes of Sapphire Stone
The sapphire gemstone’s intense, velvety blue color has fascinated populations worldwide for centuries. Especially for the striking beauty with which it flatters the colorless glitz of precious diamonds in an engagement ring. Post Prince William’s engagement with the now Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, in 2010, when he proposed to her with his late mother, Princess Diana’s iconic Ceylon blue sapphire engagement ring, the popularity of sapphire engagement rings has risen to unprecedented heights. The stone, which reflects royalty, class, power, and refinement in equal magnitudes, appeals unequivocally to people with classic, vintage taste and Gen-Z, and Gen-Alpha who have an innate desire to be unique with their choices.
The darker and more saturated the color blue, the greater the stone’s value. As with diamonds, the 4 C’s – color, cut, clarity, carat weight – also play a crucial role in impacting the brilliance of a sapphire stone. In fact, the cut attribute is even more critical in a sapphire than in a diamond, as it drastically influences the shade of blue that the stone appears to be. Sapphires are dichroic stones, meaning their shade of blue varies with the angle they are viewed from. Diamond cutters are precise and mindful while shaping and cutting this stone to achieve the desired tonality of blue. For their excellence at reflecting the color most brilliantly, you will notice that the preferred sapphire shapes in engagement rings are mostly vintage – oval, pear, and emerald, rather than round.
Take this beautiful 14K White Gold Anniversary Band, TROY, for example. The band is stunning with its design and sparkling diamonds, but the contrasting blue of the sapphires uplifts its appeal further, making it totally swoon-worthy! We are eyeing this graceful band as much as you are!
The shades of sapphire stone are seemingly limitless, but hues like cornflower blue, ice blue, and teal are some of the most prized ones.
1. Cornflower Blue Sapphires: Cornflower blue sapphire sports the exact shade of the cornflower, a dainty European flower, also known as bachelor’s button. The color is a cool medium blue with no interruption from any other colors. In fact, this sapphire has the purest blue hue, making it a sought-after gem by connoisseurs.
2. Ice Blue Sapphires: These sapphires are almost translucent with just enough hint of blue. Ice blue may not be everyone’s go-to shade (for its calm, almost unassuming demeanor), but ice blue sapphires look ethereal in engagement rings.
3. Teal Sapphires: Teal sapphires are usually in blended shades of blue and green, with hints of yellow and grey dispersed intermittently. Blue-green pleochroism (the optical phenomenon of showing different colors, when viewed from different angles, especially under polarized light) is common in these sapphires. But they can also be all blue or all green, depending on how they are cut.
This 14K White Gold Bar Necklace is for women who love minimal but statement-making designs. Seven marquise blue sapphires join in an intricate pattern – interspersed with sparkling diamonds, creating a classic, stunningly elegant masterpiece of a pendant. The necklace captures attention both amidst workplace and personal gatherings – for its grace and simplicity.
Let’s appreciate the presence of chromium traces in the mineral corundum with all our hearts. Why? Because without them, the mesmerizing pink sapphires would not have formed! From pale pink to magenta – these gems are more widely available in varied hues in recent times. With their delicate looks, feminine appeal, and low price, pink sapphires are a splendid choice for an engagement ring center stone!
Witnessing the number of vivid sapphires created in nature is awe-inspiring. One of the fascinating types is Padparadscha sapphires. Rarest variety, its color is a lovely blend of orange and pink – blindingly beautiful, to say the least! Padparadscha is a Sinhalese word, signifying the salmon-hued aquatic lotus bloom. It upsurged into the ‘royal’ limelight in 2018 when the world caught sight of a padparadscha sapphire engagement ring on Princess Eugenie’s finger. Even though they are scarce, you will undoubtedly lose your heart to a padparadscha sapphire within seconds of the first glance.
When mineral corundum is devoid of the presence of any other elements, it transforms into beautiful white sapphire. Also known as colorless sapphire, it is the purest form and, in turn, rarer than all other colors. History has seen white sapphires being used as an alternative to diamonds, though the practice was not received by the connoisseurs very enthusiastically. Having said that, white sapphires are still very durable, affordable, and undeniably charming!
This Sterling Silver Statement Ring dazzles with its bold, sapphire-studded design. The silver beads on either side add a touch of elegance. Whereas the pavé white sapphires on oval chain links exude an attention-grabbing presence. You don’t have to introduce the ring to your friends – the sapphires will make their way to impress them!
With a distinct star shape in vibrant shades, the star sapphire reflects the starry sky. They are available in every possible color, but asterism is its key defining feature. Asterism is a star-like shape that appears when the gems are cut as a cabochon. The star sapphire shows a six-rayed star, giving it a mystical quality. One of the popular myths interprets the three cross-bars as Hope, Faith, and Destiny. Unsurprisingly, this particular type is believed to be a guiding gem, protecting you against ill omens.
Known to stimulate the “heart chakra”, green sapphire represents spirituality. This gem’s green color can be as light as a leaf or as dark and intense as a forest, depending on the iron amounts in the corundum. It can aptly replace a good emerald, qualifying at par in shade hue, durability, and affordability. Additionally, green sapphire brings calmness and clarity to the wearer, making it a one-of-a-kind worthy gemstone.
Not to be confused with purple quartz, this sapphire shines in the prettiest purples you’ll ever see. But it looks so similar to amethyst that it was called Oriental amethyst in the Middle Ages. The gem gets its color from the element Vanadium and can range from lavender to reddish or violet-purple, signifying peace and healing in its meaning. Purple sapphires are rarer and more expensive than amethyst – but a sound investment. Makes even more reason to buy them.
Holding a yellow sapphire is like having a little version of the sun in your hands. Yellow sapphires can come in different shades, but the bright canary yellow is most loved by the masses. That vivid yellow is a beautiful result of the iron in the corundum. A popular choice for rings, it looks stunning in any jewelry.
Elevate the charm of your beautiful, groomed fingers with this 14K Yellow Gold Yellow Sapphire Stackable Ring. This eternity band looks gracious with any ring you stack it up with! It is a simple affair – but the yellow gems dotting the band in all their glorious splendor enhance the look tenfold.
This gem is acknowledged by several names – parti sapphires, polychrome sapphires, and parti-colored sapphires. But what remains unwavering is its beauty. These sapphires usually show a seamless mix of yellow, green, and blue. Admittedly, there are similar-hued sapphires, but what sets this one apart is a phenomenon called color zoning. While other gemstones may change color under different lights, parti sapphires remain constant in their color. There’s a visible ‘parti’tion in the colors – which is a lovely sight!
Interesting Facts About Different Sapphire Stones
1. The two rarest sapphire colors are Padparadscha and Cornflower blue.
2. The finest and most valued sapphires worldwide are the smooth, velvety blue sapphires from Kashmir in India. They are mined at 16,500 feet below sea level in the Zaskar region.
3. Interestingly, there are naturally occurring colorless sapphires as well as black ones.
4. To know if a sapphire is real, throw a white flashlight on it in absolute darkness. It is real if it shows the same color as in the light; if it sparkles with hints of other colors, it is a fake sapphire.
5. Sri Lanka is the only country where precious cornflower to peacock blue sapphires are mined in sizable volumes.
6. The only color that sapphires do not come in is red. Red corundum gemstones are called Rubies.
7. Sapphire’s cost can range from $30 to $15,000 per carat depending upon the authenticity and rarity of the gem.
Undoubtedly, sapphire is a highly versatile gemstone. Not only is it available in many colors, but it is also an economical alternative to luxuriously prized diamonds. Gabriel & Co. understands the appeal of sapphire’s charm and ensures it is worthily reflected through their jewelry designs. Browse through our collection and discover the one that suits your taste.