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Sapphire And Its Range Of Colors

by Julie MIALET 10 Dec 2019

From the greek "sappheiros" azure blue, sapphire symbolizes the calm of heaven, bringing peace and promoting meditation.

Sapphire is one of the oldest gemstones. Known since Antiquity, its name from comes from the hebrew word "sappir", meaning “the most beautiful thing”.


Sapphire belongs to the corundum family. There are a wide variety of colors: colorless, pink, orange, yellow, purple, black ...

Yellow corundums are called yellow sapphires. Green corundums, green sapphires and colorless corundums are called leucosapphires.
Be careful, blue corundums are simply called sapphires. On the other hand, red corundums are called: rubies.

The color of sapphires depends on the proportions of chromogenic elements included in the chemical composition of the stone (titanium, iron, vanadium, chromium …).


Sapphires come from Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon), Burma (it used to be called Myanmar), Thailand, Australia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Kenya Tanzania, China, India, Vietnam, Madagascar and the United States.

The most famous provenances for sapphire are Kashmir and Myanmar now called Burma.

The cashmere sapphire has a rich color, is very slightly hazy and is highly prized by connoisseurs. The sapphires from Burma (from the same region -which produces fabulous rubies-) are also of very good quality. However, today, these two provenances only account for a very small part of the stones on the market.

Most of the beautiful sapphires today come from Sri Lanka or Madagascar, which are producing a wide range of beautiful sky blue stones or gems with rich saturated colors. Sri Lanka is also a very important producer of fancy sapphires like the famous Padparadsha (pink with a touch of orange).

The Other sapphires

Yellow, orange, pink sapphires are more and more sought after.

In addition, star sapphires have a particular formation of rutile needles crossing at 60° and when they are given a cabochon-cut it can form a star with six branches.
As with rubies, star sapphires are judged by the delicacy of the star, its rays and the quality of the color.

To determine the quality of a stone, color is the most important criteria.
As with other gems, the value of sapphire depends on its purity (visible inclusions or a colored veil reduce the value) and on the intensity of its color: it must be bright and strong, neither too pale nor too dark.

Sapphire has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. And don’t forget, all stones are fragile! Even diamond ….
Nevertheless resistant, sapphires can be mounted on a ring, earrings or pendant!

Since the beginning of the 20th century, synthetic sapphires have been developed by the french chemist Auguste Verneuil. They can be recognized using a magnifying glass, with a particularity that they have: curved growth lines (these lines are straight in a natural sapphire).


If you are interested in the diversity of sapphires, don’t hesitate to discover what les Pierres de Julie have to offer in the store…

We are also available for any free expertise of your sapphire jewelry, for that you can send an email with your photos to

Whether you're interested in buying a piece of jewellery or a stone, a free jewelry appraisal or jewelry resale, Pierres de Julie welcomes you to its Parisian boutique in the Village Suisse, a stone's throw from the Ecole Militaire and the Esplanade des Invalides.

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