Why aren't sapphires blue?

May 18, 2023

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Knowledge of Sapphire began in the Middle Ages, when European stone smiths referred to the blue corundum crystal as Sapphire, from the Latin word blue, and linguists believe it comes from Sanskrit Shani, meaning 'dear Saturn.'


Sapphire in the narrow sense refers to blue sapphire; Sapphire stipulated in the national standard is a general term for all gem-grade corundum except red, which is very rich in color, including blue, yellow, purple, pink, orange, black, and colorless. At present, sapphire is mainly produced in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Myanmar; But the most famous is in Kashmir, India. Kashmiri sapphire currently has the highest carat unit price, followed by Myanmar sapphire, because its sapphire mines were depleted in the last century. In addition, sapphire is also produced in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Cambodia, Montana, Australia, and Thailand. Sapphires are also produced in China, but the quality is relatively low and few can reach gemstone grade.

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"Papalacha", one of the most popular varieties of pink sapphire, is made of chromium (Cr) element color, has a magnificent orange-pink tone, its color is like the "lotus in the dusk", the right mix of orange and pink, you are in each other, I am in each other, form an ineffable beautiful color, it will change color with different angles, colorful, Do not square things. However, many commercially certified Papalacha sapphires are obtained through the diffusion process of beryllium, and it is extremely rare for Papalacha sapphires to show beautiful colors without treatment.

Yellow sapphires are a variety of sapphires that have a yellow tone due to trace amounts of iron (Fe). They are relatively common colored sapphires that are produced in almost all sapphire mines. Yellow sapphires from Sri Lanka usually fluoresce apricot to orange-red under a long-wave ultraviolet lamp.


Purple sapphires have a purple or violet dominant hue due to the presence of vanadium (V). Purple sapphires without blue tones are rare and are the most comfortable ones. In commercial transactions, violet sapphires are the most valuable color classes.

White sapphire is due to the composition of pure aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and does not contain any color elements. The crystal appears colorless and transparent. Sapphires generally contain trace amounts of color-causing elements, so natural white sapphires with high clarity and no noise are much rarer than you might think.