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Saphire As A Jewelry Gemstone

Aug 18, 2007
Sapphire is identical in structure to ruby and is a variety of the mineral corundum. Sapphires are seen widely as blue in color with red and pink red corundum stones being classified as rubies. This stone is extremely hard and makes for a very durable gemstone. Favored among these stones are those with the classic star pattern. This stone is mined the world over and the origin of the stone often determines the intensity of its color and sparkle. Sapphire can be found in many areas of Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, the United States, Mexico and Australia. Corundum has been manufactured synthetically for industrial and gemstone purposes since the early twentieth century. Therefore, care must be taken when purchasing a stone since there are a variety ways to artificially enhance the color and appearance of corundum.

History

Along with its red cousin the ruby, sapphires have a long and hallowed history that dates back to ancient times. It was once thought that any blue stone was a sapphire. Long valued by royalty these stones have even held a place of prominence in the Roman Catholic Church. The ancient Persians believed that the blue of the sky was somehow connected to sapphires and the stones were often thought to be gift from the heavens.

Birthstone Information

Sapphire is recognized as the birthstone of September and associated with the astrological birth signs of Sagittarius, Virgo and Libra.

New Age Beliefs and Powers Through The Ages

Depending on the color, this stone has been said to possess many metaphysical powers. Among gemstones sapphires are one of the most highly regarded and powerful stones. Among the powers attributed to wearing this stone are wisdom, truth and the granting of marital bliss and fidelity. The stone is thought to ward off a myriad of physical and mental illness, as well as impart a sense of calmness and serenity. The heavenly qualities of the stone were thought to protect the wearer against curses and witchcraft.

Color

Sapphire refers to all colors of corundum expect for reds and pinks which are considered rubies. This stone can be found in an extraordinary range of colors including the classic blue and shades of yellow, brown, black, gray and purple to name just a few. The beautiful and classic star pattern sometimes found in sapphire consists of a six line star pattern intersecting at sixty degree increments. Variations in color can occur depending on the amount of titanium, iron or chromium impurity found in the stone.

Artificial Forms of Enhancement

There are several processes used to artificially enhance the color and appearance of these stones. Heat treatment is done in order to deepen the color and the stones be exposed to a process known as irradiation to change the color. Stones that have not undergone any type of artificial enhancement are considered to have a higher value.

General Scientific Information

The chemical name Al2O3 and is referred to corundum.

Hardness measures 9.0 on the Mohs scale - the Mohs scale measures the hardness of metals, minerals, gemstones and crystals on a scale of 1 to 10. For example the hardness properties of most quartz crystals fall around 7 on the scale, as does steel and titanium. Diamond is the hardest known substance on the Mohs scale coming in at a hard 10. To most consumers hardness generally reflects the stones able to resist scratches and cracks.

There is no cleavage found in sapphire.
The index of refraction ranges between 1.757 and 1.779 and generally indicates the purity of the stone.
The specific gravity ranges from 3.96 to 4.1
The crystalline system is hexagonal.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular jewelry site: JewelrySalesandService.com. Provides information on jewelry, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. His website, www.JewelrySalesandService.com also has information on diamonds, birthstones, gemstones, pearls, gold, sterling silver, and platinum.
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