For those of us who are not gemologists and know little about chemistry, I’d wager that the subject of minerals is not something we are familiar with but it is a fascinating subject because minerals are the bases or foundations for gemstones of every variety.
I’m one of those people and therefore choose gemstones not by their mineral composition that determines colour but by the colour alone except in those cases where I know the name, e.g. Tanzanite, Alexandrite, Morganite, etc. But this is where the matter of choice becomes confusing especially where the mineral corundum is involved because it is common to both Sapphires and Rubies.
But here too confusion reigns because of the different shades of red, so is a pink or light shade of red a fancy pink sapphire or a pink ruby? When faced with this dilemma the International Coloured Gemstone Association passed a resolution that all light red gemstones should be included in the ruby category. But where does that leave the Pink Sapphire? Is it to be relegated to obscurity in favour of the Ruby? I think that would be a shame because the Fancy Pink Sapphire is one of the most beautiful gemstones of the corundum family and deserves to be recognized as a Fancy Pink Sapphire rather than a pink Ruby. What do you think?
Colour and Designation
Another debate also rages among dealers and other gem specialists over the most valuable Fancy Sapphire, the ‘padparadscha’ sapphire, so named for the lotus blossom with some maintaining that this designation be limited to the delicately blended salmon-coloured shades and those of a sunset to the pinkish-orange or orange-pink variety from Sri Lanka while others argue for the inclusion of the more fiery shades of reddish-orange sapphires from Tanzania. But in whatever colour, these particular sapphires are extremely rare and therefore command hefty price tags that can be likened to those for the best blue sapphires.
Other Sapphire Colours
If your budget doesn’t quite extend to the most expensive sapphires and you want a colour other than a Blue Sapphire, don’t despair because Sapphires come in many other colours that are a whole lot less expensive and even modestly priced. These colours are yellow, orange, lavender, violet, purple, white, silver, brown, cognac, magenta, pink, green, a bluish-green, and black. No red of course because red corundum is strictly Ruby and Black Sapphires are not a true black like that of Jet or the Black Spinel but of such a dark hue they look black.
As well, some of the purple and violet sapphires have that amazing colour-change feature according to the light source that either lightens the colour in daylight or fluorescent lighting to a subtle lavender shade or enhances it to a vivid, distinct purple in incandescent lighting similar to the colour of the amethyst. But these purple sapphires have a greater lustre and brilliance than the amethyst and are far more durable than the amethyst whose colour is heat and light sensitive.
Whatever your colour preference or favourite you will surely find it in that range of Fancy Sapphire colours above but to see them up close and personal I suggest you see Joe at LL Private Jewellers for his expertise and knowledge about Fancy Sapphires and the corundum family of gems in general. He’ll also be happy to answer any questions you have.
Please for more information about coloured gemstones contact LL Private Jewellers at 604-683-3918.