If you are looking for a gemstone with attractive hues and lots of fire, look into Sapphires. Sapphires are mainly known for their gorgeous and velvety blue color, but they also come in an assortment of other beautiful colors. Some of the more popular colors besides blue include yellow, orange, green, violet, colorless and even black. One color that is increasingly popular is the Padparadscha. This color of Sapphire has a pinkish orange hue and its name is derived from the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka for “lotus blossom.” It should be noted that Rubies are the same mineral as Sapphires- Corundum; however their red color gives them the privilege of having a special name- the Ruby.
Sapphires are a great mineral to make ornamental jewelry from. Their hardness is rated as a 9 on the Moh’s hardness scale. The only natural substance that is harder than a Sapphire is a diamond. Sapphires also have great gemstone characteristics. They tend to be beautifully translucent and they have high amounts of refraction meaning that they have lots of fire and brightness.
Traditionally, the sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. Princess Diana’s engagement rings featured a large velvet blue sapphire. After her passing, Prince William took possession of the ring and later gave it to Catherine Middleton on the day of their engagement.
COLOR: Every color but red
REFRACTIVE INDEX: 1.762 to 1.770
BIREFRINGENCE: 0.008 to 0.010
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 4.00
MOHS HARDNESS: 9