Sapphire - Blue Color Change Golden Orange Padparadscha Pink Purple White Yellow Star Untreated Natural Ceylon Burma Sapphire Gemstones at AwesomeGems.com
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Blue, Color Change, Golden, Orange, Padparadscha, Pink, Purple, White, Yellow, Star
SAPPHIRE
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Sapphire Information
 
THE BIRTHSTONE for SEPTEMBER (Blue)
ALTERNATE BIRTHSTONE for APRIL (White)
ALTERNATE BIRTHSTONE for OCTOBER (Pink)
ALTERNATE BIRTHSTONE for NOVEMBER (Yellow)
The 5th and 45th ANNIVERSARY STONE
The 70th ANNIVERSARY JUBILEE STONE
MOH's scale of hardness: 9

Toughness : Excellent

Refractive Index : see type Specific Gravity : see type

    Sapphire and Ruby comprise more than half of all Gemstones sold worldwide.  Sapphire's popularity is not based on color alone.  Its hardness of 9 places it next to Diamond (10), making it an excellent choice for jewelry worn daily.  It is frequently featured in engagement rings.  Most people relate Sapphire to the color Blue.  Sapphire is a form of Corundum (ko-RUN-dum), readily available in an array of other colors: Pink, Golden, Green, peachy Orange, Purple and Colorless.  These alternate colors are called 'Fancy Sapphire', or simply variations of the standard hues.  Color change Sapphires are those which have two colors which are distinct when the light source is changed from fluorescent to incandescent.  Generally, the more clear and vivid the color, the more valuable the fancy sapphire.  If the color is in the pastel range, the clarity should be good: because in lighter tones any inclusions are more noticeable. The trade usually recognizes gemstones with fewer visible inclusions to be more valuable than gems with visible inclusions.  In a lighter colored gemstone, the cut is also more important: it should reflect light back evenly across the face of the stone, making it lively and brilliant.  With darker more intense colors, the cut isn't as critical because the color creates its own impact.
    Sapphire is not usually heat sensitive, but a jeweler's torch could alter the color, it may be prudent to ask a Jeweler to remove the stone before applying his torch. There are not very many chemicals that could attack this gem, but if boiled in a diamond cleaning kit the stone can lose it's polish, also Jewelers pickling solutions containing borax will etch the surface.
    Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Burma (Myanmar) positively produce the finest Sapphires in the world today.  These names command a premium, and both Ceylon and Burma Gems have constantly increased in price.  We have always been on top of the Gem market and stay up with current prices and new discoveries.  It is a very difficult market due to political unrest in both of these countries. It IS dangerous to go there, and it's more dangerous to go outside the capital cities into the countrysides where the stones are hand dug from the pits.  We constantly buy fine Sapphires when the price is "right."  By "right" we mean that we have the connections to know who needs quick and ready cash.  Every stone is negotiated differently, thereby affecting the price per carat.  We work hard to bring these highly valued Gemstones to you at very very affordable prices.  Sapphire of lesser quality comes out of Australia, Thailand, Colombia, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Kenya and Tanzania (Africa), and Montana (USA), and we do not usually offer these stones.

TREATMENTS - Almost all (99%) Sapphire on the market is routinely treated with 'heat' to enhance and stabilize the color.  The typical heat treatment process is a permanent process and it does not normally adversely affect the performance, and durability of the gem, but in recent years demand for natural non-heated non-treated top quality Sapphire has caused these gems to command a somewhat higher premium, depending on the gem.   When we disclose a gem as enhanced with 'heat', we are typically referring to the heat enhancement procedure performed in Sri Lanka right near the mines, using the lower temperature wood heat method.   This 'blow' heat method typically is used on very very good quality Ceylon gems, only to slightly enhance the color and/or to stabilize the color from fading in sunlight.   There's no need to worry when you see this enhancement disclosed.   Almost all Ceylon Padparadscha Sapphire and virtually all Ceylon Orange Sapphire on the market was subjected to 'blow' heat.   This 'blow' heating method has been an accepted trade practice for many many generations. There are other types of heat enhancement procedures, however, one of which is a high temperature furnace fired method.  This 'furnace' process is typically performed on Sapphire of a much lesser quality. The goal is to seriously enhance or alter the color and/or clarity of the stone.   Most of these gemstones are highly heated, almost to the melting point of the gem, so it is 'cooked' over and over until the gem dealers feel it is a more desirable color and will fetch a better price in the market.   We normally do not offer gemstones that have been highly heated.

CAVEAT EMPTOR - A new type heat enhancement was introduced recently, called 'bulk diffusion', which means the gem is subjected to the high temperature furnace fired method above 1900o C, and also under high pressure, then a coloring agent is added to the mix to alter and/or change the color of the gemstone. AGTA and GIA gem labs, after examination of this 'bulk diffused' heat treatment process reveals that the color does not go all the way through the gem, but is only in the outer layer, so if the stone is ever scratched or recut the outside color layer would be removed and the original color would then be visible under the outer layer of the gem. These 'bulk diffusion' factories are usually at locations in Thailand, and since Asian gem suppliers (and there are many online now) are not subject to the same disclosure laws as we are here in the US, these enhancement processes are rarely disclosed to the buyer, so buyers please beware. For example, you may see a premium Ceylon Sapphire advertised on one of those websites for what appears to be pennies on the dollar. You can rest assured this is most likely a diffused stone altered by one of the Asian factories. Some of these gem suppliers even go to great lengths to try to convince the public that there is no difference in the value of their diffused gems, and the value of a natural non-treated gem, but any experienced jeweler will verify that a statement like that is totally untrue. We specialize in obtaining top quality Ceylon Sapphires that are natural "non-treated" gems, not heated or chemically treated in any way (the exception is Padparadscha, Golden, Orange, and some of the darker shades of Blue Sapphire, which as stated in treatments above are typically 'blow' heat enhanced to stabilize the color.

CARE - It is usually safe to clean Sapphire in an UltraSonic Cleaner, and generally safe to use a steamer. The best practice is to use an Ionic Cleaner and/or warm soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Sapphire Jewelry.


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