Sapphire is the September Birthstone
Modern birthstone for September: Saphhire
Traditional Birthstone for September: Sapphire
Mystical birthstone for September: Agate
Hindu/Indian birthstone for September: Moonstone
Also for these Sun Signs or Zodiac
Sapphire is available in following varieties
1. Pink Sapphire
2. Violet Sapphire
3. Yellow Sapphire
4. Green Sapphire
5. Colorless Sapphire
This is the blue variety of corundum. The name is probably derived, through the Latin sapphirus and Greek sapheiros, from a Sanskrit word. As with other gem names, however, the Latin sapphirus did not originally denote the gem it is associated with today. Judging by the description of Pliny the Elder, it almost certainly referred to what is now known as lapis lazuli, rather than corundum.
Appearance: Sapphires can be a very dark blue, to the point of seeming dense and blackish from a distance, sometimes accompanied by a blue to dull green pleochroism, which is only visible from the side in cut stones. They may also be a strong, but not too bright blue, easily recognizable from a distance, this being the ideal color. Other possibilities are light, usually bright, blue, with the color unevenly distributed; palish blue or, finally, blue with a violet tinge, at least in bright light. Like all corundum, sapphire always has good luster.
Some sapphires display clearly defined streaks of paler color, in contrast to a dark ground. Others have areas with a slightly silky sheen, which are not clearly delineated. Still other, uncommon varieties assume a distinct, milky appearance in strong light, with a marked increase in color intensity. Inclusions are, as a rule, less obvious in very dark stones, due to their general lack of transparency, whereas medium to large, pale stones often show distinct “veils” or “feathers” caused by very fine inclusions and foreign crystals, which are sometimes transparent, sometimes dark, submetallic, and opaque, and, very occasionally, bright red.
Sapphires are usually given oval or less frequently, round, mixed cuts, but rectangular or square, step cuts, with or without trimmed corners, are also possible. The cabochon cut is used as well, although less frequently than in the past. Nowadays it is generally reserved for stones full of inclusions or those in which the color is concentrated in a few streaks on a light ground. In the latter case, in fact, the cabochon cut gives the color a more uniform appearance. Stones weighing several carats or even 10 to 20 carats in the case of light-colored specimens, are not uncommon.
Distinctive features: Like other types of corundum, sapphires have a striking luster. The color is also quite distinctive, whether or not clear blue-green pleochroism is visible. The overall appearance is very important. For example, a deep blue color with distinct blue-green pleochroism and internal streaks straight across or at an angle of 120°, combined with the powerful luster of corundum, indicates a sapphire of Australian origin. A slightly patchy, blue color with imperceptible pleochroism and strong transparency showing veillike inclusions and a slight silk effect, still with excellent luster, denotes a sapphire from Sri Lanka. Cornflower to deep blue in a stone without obvious inclusions but of slightly milky appearance, acquiring a distinct fullness of color in bright light, is characteristic of the rare sapphires from Kashmir. Of the other blue stones, tanzan-ite always shows a hint of violet, fairly obvious pleochroism, and less luster than sapphire.
Occurrence: The best sapphires were discovered in a small deposit in Kashmir in 1880, in a remote mountain area which has now probably been exhausted. Very fine sapphires are also found in Burma, but in limited quantities. Appreciable quantities of light- and bright-blue sapphire are found in alluvial deposits on the island of Sri Lanka. These are always attractively (if sometimes patchily) colored, the richest versions being very similar to the Burmese sapphires and equally valuable. The sapphires of Sri Lanka are also famous for the variety of inclusions they display: long, thin rutile needles, like very fine silk; soft, liquid inclusions arranged in the form of veils, lace, and feathers; striking inclusions with a moving bubble, like a spirit level; zircon crystals with small stress cracks radiating from them, and various other types of transparent crystals.
Sapphires are also mined in Thailand and neighboring Cambodia. These are generally pleasing to the eye, though often rather deeply colored. But most sapphires come from Australia, which has numerous deposits of deeply colored stones, sometimes too dark, in most cases with blue-green pleochroism. These are the least valuable, but most widely available on the market. Less important sources are the United States (Montana), Tanzania, and Malawi.
Value: The finest stones, weighing at least several carats, are almost as valuable as diamonds and rubies and are hence very highly priced. This is particularly true of most sapphires from Kashmir, many from Burma, and some from Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Thailand. But when the color is too dark, blackish or greenish blue or a bit too pale, the value falls sharply, to that normal for secondary gems. Inclusions obvious to the naked eye also lower the price. Small stones (of a fraction of a carat) are modestly priced and readily available. Large ones (from more than ten to several tens of carats), although not common, are much less rare than rubies of this size.
Simulants and synthetics: Sapphire has been imitated by dark to cobalt blue glass, but particularly by doublets with a top part consisting of red almandine garnet, which is very hard and lustrous, with natural inclusions, and a bottom part of dark-to-cobalt blue glass, welded together, not glued. It has also been imitated in the past by synthetic blue spinel, which is brightly colored but emits strange red gleams in bright light. Synthetic sapphire has likewise been produced for many years now, mainly by the Verneuil flame fusion method. Recently, doublets have been produced consisting of a top portion of light green or yellow-green natural corundum with visible inclusions and a lower portion of synthetic sapphire, held together by transparent cement. The visible inclusions and typical corundum of the top part, along with the color, make these doublets very convincing at first sight.
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