The Sapphire is one of the most sought after precious gems in the world. It is known for its color, durability, strength and gleam. Read more about sapphire gemstones in this article.


Sapphire is the blue variety of corundum and is made up of aluminum oxide. Excluding the red and pink color, all the other colors of corundum are sapphires. The red colored corundum is called a ruby. The sapphire resembles the ruby in all properties except for the color. Sapphire is a word derived from the Greek word ‘sappheiros’ which means ‘blue stone’. Certain other elements like chromium, iron, etc are added to aluminum oxide to give different shades of yellow, orange, purple, pinkish orange, etc of sapphire. Pinkish orange sapphire is called as ‘padparadscha’. Sapphires are usually used for making ornaments, but certain sapphires are used for other non-ornamental purposes as well.

Sapphire Gemstone

The sapphire is one of the most sought out gems due to its color, durability, strength and luster. There are a number of legends that surround the sapphire. The Persians believed that the whole earth was placed on a huge sapphire and the sky got its color from its reflection. It was also believed that sapphire if put along with a poisonous snake would kill it with its reflection. The ancients also concluded that the sapphire had medicinal properties that acted as an antidote against deadly poison. At one point in time any blue stone was considered to be a sapphire, and they were worn by Kings and royalty to protect themselves from evil.

The most valuable and fine quality sapphire is ‘the cornflower sapphire’ or ‘the Kashmir sapphire’. There are certain pale blue sapphires and colorless sapphires available which can be treated by a process called heat-treatment and can be changed to intense blue color. By this treatment the clarity of sapphires can also be improved. Sapphires are also called as ‘pleochoric’, which is nothing but displays different colors at different angles. There is a rare variety of sapphire available called ‘a color changing sapphire’ which gives out different colors in different colors. The uniformity of color adds value to sapphires.

Sapphires are best loved for their hardness and durability; however, they chip off if used carelessly and roughly. There are various varieties of sapphires available.

Varieties Of Sapphires

  • Kashmir Sapphire
  • Bi-colored Sapphire
  • Cornflower Sapphire
  • Cornflower Blue sapphire
  • Padparadscha
  • Fancy Sapphire
  • Star Sapphire
  • Cat’s Eye Sapphire
  • Star Sapphire
  • Verneuil Sapphire
  • Australian Sapphire
  • Ceylon Sapphire
  • Indian Topaz
  • Rose Kunzite
  • Blue Alexandrite
  • Bengal Amethyst

Colorless Sapphires are called as ‘white sapphires’. Certain gems like blue zircon, indicolite tourmaline, lolite, etc. are confused as sapphires. However, sapphires can be identified by its hardness. Sapphires are found in places like India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Brazil, Australia, Thailand and Africa. Top quality sapphires are very expensive as they are very rare to find in mines today.