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Sapphire History, Lore, Facts, Myths and Pictures

 

Sapphire is the non-red variety of corundum. It is the second hardest natural mineral known to mankind, 9.0 on the Mohs' scale. The red variety of corundum is Ruby.

Sapphires are well known among the general public as being blue, but it can be nearly any color, including blue, yellow, green, white, colorless, pink, orange, brown, and purple. The blue color is by far the most popular color for sapphire but orange-pink, golden, white, and even black are popular in the gem trade. A rare orange-pink variety, known as padparadschah, is even more valued than blue sapphire. Inclusions of tiny, slender, parallel Rutile needles cause polished sapphire gems to exhibit asterism and are known as "star sapphires".

Star sapphires are usually in six ray stars, but twelve ray stars are also known. Very rarely, sapphire also exhibits cat's eye effect. Colorless and pale blue sapphires from certain localities may be heat-treated to give them an intense blue color. Heat-treatment may also improve the clarity of some sapphires by removing tiny inner inclusions.

A rare variety of sapphire, known as color changing sapphire, exhibits different colors in different light. In natural light, color changing sapphire is blue, but in artificial light, it is violet. This effect is the same phenomenon seen in alexandrite. Sapphire was first synthesized in 1902 and only expert gemologists can distinguish between a natural and a synthetic sapphire. Although sapphire is a tough and durable gem, it is still subject to chipping and fracture if handled roughly.

Sapphires

Folklore: 

Its powers include spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. Sapphire is believed to provide healing properties for colic, rheumatism and mental illness. It is also considered an anti- depressant and a aid to psychokinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance and astral projection.

Sapphire Jewelry and Cabochons

Jewelry made with sapphire. A selection of free form cabochons and rough available for custom designed jewelry.

 

 

 

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November 27, 2002 2:41