Sapphires are mostly associated with the color blue. However, Sapphires come in a variety of colors, such as green, yellow, pink, violet, purple, orange and intermediate hues. Sapphires can also be colorless and even gray or black, as well as parti-colored, that may combine different colors. Therefore, Sapphires can be of any color except red, due to the fact that red corundum is called “Ruby”.
The word Sapphire comes from the Latin word ‘sapphiru’ , which means blue.
Sapphire is a gemstone often associated with royalty and dignity and is commonly found in the crowns and jewelry of kings and queens.
Sapphires are the second most durable gemstone on earth, right after Diamonds.
Iron and Titanium minerals are what give Sapphire its strong blue color, and the stones belong to the family of minerals known as corundum.
They score hardness of 9 out of 10 in the Mohs Scale of Hardness, and the only natural item that can scratch a sapphire is Diamond.
Most Sapphires are heat treated to improve not only their color, but also their clarities. The most famous Sapphires comes from Burma and Sri Linka, but they may also come from: Pakistan, Australia, Malawi, Kashmir, Madagascar, and the United States.
People believe that Sapphires have mystical powers, as it is believed that Sapphires protected people from bad and evil in the past. They have been used to symbolize nobility and faithfulness, which is why the durability of Sapphires makes them an excellent choice for engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry that you plan to wear every day.
The word Emerald comes from the Latin word Smaragdus, which means green.
Emeralds come in various shades of green, from soft green to deep darkish green, from fine grass green to light green.
Green, by nature, is the most calming of all colors. It encourages peace, balance, growth and reflection. It also represents healing and fertility.
Throughout history, Emeralds have been prized and worn by royalty and celebrities. For the mind and the spirit, the remedial use of Emeralds has many positive attributes.
There are three major sources of Emeralds: Colombia, Brazil and Zambia.
Emeralds are also mined in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Australia and United States.
An Emerald’s hardness is measured between 7.5 – 8.0 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. They are susceptible to chipping and cracking. This therefore makes Emeralds more expensive to set into jewelry due to the risk involved.
Most Emeralds have inclusions, tiny mineral inclusions or fractures, referred to as “Jardin”, from the French word meaning garden.
It is common to oil Emeralds to disguise the flaws and enhance the clarity as these inclusions are sometimes not visible to the naked eye, especially in high quality Emeralds. In such Emeralds, the flaws are very faint and only show up under a 10x, 20x or 40x lens.
It is very rare to find Emeralds without flaws. The cleanest Emeralds will be often more expensive than top quality diamonds of the same weight.
Color, clarity, cut and carat weight are four factors used to determine the value of an Emerald. However, the most important of these four is color. The best color is Vivid Green or Muzo Green with even saturation and no color zoning.
The name Ruby comes from the Latin word ‘Ruber’, which means red. It is a favorite gem amongst those in power and those in love, inspiring more emotion than almost any other stone.
Rubies are made of corundum. Corundum comes in many other colors, but all those other colors are classified as Sapphires.
Ruby’s hardness is 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which makes Rubies an extremely hard and a durable gemstone.
Rubies symbolize power and protection. When worn as a “talisman”, Ruby was believed to help protect warriors in battle.
The stone is also associated with the sun, and was thought to preserve mental and physical health.
Famous Rubies comes from Burma and Mozambique. Thailand is one of the leading hubs for Ruby trading and cutting. Rubies may also come from: Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia, Kenya, Mexico, Afghanistan, North Carolina and Pakistan. Burma provides Rubies of excellent color, the most famous mine in Burma is called Mogok.
The most desirable shade of ruby is a deep red with a hint of blue, which is referred to as "Pigeon's Blood." Color is the stone’s most important attribute, while its transparency comes after.
The highest quality Rubies, with the most transparent and vivid color, are usually from Burma, and can actually be more expensive than Diamonds.
Inclusions (or imperfections) in Rubies are to be expected and are generally well tolerated. However, when inclusions impact the transparency or brilliance of the stone, the value of the Ruby may decrease.