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Blue Sapphires, what you need to know before you buy.


Most people think of the color blue when they hear the word Sapphire, when in fact Sapphires do come in many different colors. The only color that should be associated with the use of the word Sapphire without any other descriptor is blue, if the Sapphire is another color then that color should be used to denote the type of Sapphire you are looking at. For example, you see a pink Sapphire and the seller calls it a Sapphire and not a Pink Sapphire they are not correctly naming the gemstone. You will also hear the term fancy Sapphires, which is a reference to all Sapphires that are not blue in Color.

This article will deal with Blue Sapphires and any reference in my article using the term Sapphire by itself denotes the color blue. When you are looking at Sapphires you might hear the following terms in reference to them, Kashmir, Burmese, Sri Lanka and Ceylon, Pailin, Cambodian, and Australian. All of these terms are used to describe color and quality. Be careful when someone offers you a Sapphire using any of these terms, make sure that the Sapphire actually came from that source. It not unusual for sellers to reference their gemstones as Kashmir Sapphires when they may have come from Thailand or Australia, as these do not command the same type of prices. Lets take a look at the difference of each term so you will know what questions to ask your seller.

Kashmir, This Sapphire has violetish blue to pure blue hue with a strong saturation, you will hear it described as having a velvety lustre and softness, this is caused by minute inclusions. Kashmir Sapphires are the most prized and the finest quality Sapphires available. This Sapphires color has also been called a cornflower blue, but that term has been over used to describe many different blues.

Burmese, It is close to the color of the Kashmir above with a subtle difference in the saturation and sometimes a darker tone, and could be described as a Royal Blue. It differs from the Kashmir, as it does not have that velvety lustre. Burmese make up the second most desired and finest quality of Sapphires available.

Ceylon and Sri Lanka, have a violetish blue to blue hue but are lighter in tone, this will provide the person viewing a gemstone with more sparkle and brilliance than the previous two Sapphires.

Pailin and Cambodian, are a violetish blue to greenish blue in hue, this distinctive color is very appealing to a lot of people, and you will find it in a large amount of jewelry that is being sold in jewellery stores.

Australian, you will find a lot of these Sapphires in lower cost jewellery as they have a very dark tone and look inky, you will hear the term inky blue used in reference to Australian Sapphires. With this very dark tone there is little brilliance, if any, for the eye to see and hence the value tends to be lower than the others described.

Sapphires are one of the most desired gemstones outside of diamonds, and the United States is still the largest purchaser of Sapphires and Sapphire jewelry. Which is interesting as American does have its own Sapphire mines in Montana; probably the best known is Yogo Clutch in central Montana.

When you look for you next Sapphire, make sure you know where is was mined and use the above information to help you either place a value on it, or provide you with the knowledge to pick the right color of Sapphire by knowing its origin.

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Derek Parnell is a Graduate Gemologist (GIA) and owner of Jewels by Truros a division of Truros Corporation. Truros Corporation has interests in the Jewelry and the Real Estate Industry. For more information you can reach Derek at  Jewels by Truros.


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