The Oxford English Dictionary defines a sapphires as a transparent precious stone, typically blue, which is a variety of corundum (aluminium oxide). Commonly, sapphires are worn in jewelry.
Well, being used as a gemstone in jewelry is certainly not going to change anytime soon, as we at The Natural Sapphire Company can testify based on the growing demand for sapphire engagement rings. However, a new and intriguing use is being found for this super-tough material.
Incredibly since 2013, Apple (yes, the Apple Corporation) have been experimenting with using sapphire in their smartphone screens.
Because sapphire is over three times stronger than the Gorilla Glass they currently use in their screens, a tougher, more scratch-resistant material was bound to interest designers at this most innovative of companies.
Although the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were not born with sapphire screens, due a number of reasons elaborated in the linked article, not least cost (sapphire understandably costing multiple dollars per square inch compared to roughly five cents per square inch for glass!), sapphire will front the upcoming, Apple Watch.
Of course where Apple lead others soon follow. Garmin have recognised the potential durability of this material, and their new rugged Fenix 3 GPS watch, which is geared toward competitive athletes, are among those adding sapphire faces. In Garmin’s case, the sapphire model will command a $100 premium over the $500 base price.
Fear not jewellery lovers, none of these fascinating and astonishing technological advances will affect our ability to source beautiful natural sapphires of every hue in order to create incredible sapphire engagement rings. We just thought this was a story that might be of interest to lovers of sapphires.