Most people are aware that sapphires come in a variety of colors. Our famous Ceylon blues, gorgeous pinks and yellows, and of course sublime padparadscha stones, being some of the more popular types. But perhaps you’re on the fence about what color you want for your sapphire ring. Maybe you’re a colorful individual who wants more than one color. Well we’ve got the right stones for you!
Color change and bi-color sapphires are exceptionally rare stones, most people are unaware of their existence let alone know what they look like.These gems are truly transfixing and marvelous to behold. We have a small number in stock, and catalog them among our Unique Sapphire and Curiosities sections.
Color Change Stones
Unsurprisingly,color change sapphires change color; but not in the way that the mood ring from your childhood did. Color change sapphires are stones that exhibit different colors in different lighting conditions, giving you two very exciting colors under the right conditions.
Under daylight, or fluorescent equivalent light, the typical color change sapphire’s basic color ranges from blue to violet. Under incandescent light (electric light bulbs, or candle light), the color changes to a range of violetish purple to strongly reddish purple. This effect is caused by the interaction of the sapphire, which absorbs specific wavelengths of light, and the light-source, whose spectral output varies depending upon the illuminate. Traces of metal impurities in the sapphire, such as chromium and vanadium, are responsible for the color change.
These rare color-change sapphires are quite phenomenal and depending on where you are, you’ll be treated to a beautiful and surprising color. These gems are some of the most whimsical stones in our collection, reminding us of the color changing Cheshire Cat from Alice In Wonderland. Fit for the individual with fanciful imaginations.
There’s yet another form of sapphire that exhibit numerous colors. The bi-color sapphire is a stone that contains two colors as a result of color zoning. Color zoning occurs when there is an uneven distribution of color in a stone, and is caused during formation of the crystal when conditions of the trace elements which color the stone, change.
Bi-color sapphires have two colors that are obvious to the naked eye and do not change under different lighting conditions. These gemstones can range from dramatic color zoning with two very different colors present in the stone, to slight color zoning which shows two very similar, but slightly off colors in one stone. These gems are perfect for that colorful personality that loves more than one shade.
How To Judge Color Change & Bi-Color Sapphires
Sapphires come in a wide range of colors, and each color has its own variations. In general, the more intense the color and the fewer distracting zones of unattractive color, the more valuable the stone. When gem experts judge color-change sapphires, they rank the color change as weak, moderate, or strong. The strength of the stone’s color change is the most important quality factor affecting its value, followed then by the actual color of the stone.
Color zoning in bi-color sapphires can be minor to prominent. The location, difference and contrast in color are factors that contribute to the desirability of an item. The most desirable bi-color zoning is gradual, starting with one color and ending in another complementary hue. Color zoning is always judged from the face up position, looking down through the table of the stone.
Current prices range for color change sapphires are between $756 to $51,000 on our site depending on the degree of color change, color intensity, stone clarity, cut and of course weight. Very much a case of the 4 Cs. The range is even grater for bi-colored sapphires, from $530 to $8,316. The price on these color zoned items are hard to gauge and dependent upon the attractiveness of the stone, as well as availability.
Cut & Shape
Color change and bi-colored sapphire gems can be cut into many different shapes just like regular sapphires. The shapes includes, pear, trillion, cabochon, oval, cushion and heart shaped sapphires, though these are less commonly found. Color-change and bi-colored sapphires are usually small, and because rough is rare, they are not normally supplied in calibrated sizes and the cuts might not be uniform. Large examples of these stones command higher prices since they are so very difficult to come by.
For color-change sapphires, clarity is far less important than the degree of color change or the attractiveness of the color zoning in bi-colored sapphires. Eye-clean stones are extremely rare, and most collectors are content with slightly included color-change gems.
Color change sapphires come from a variety of locations including Ceylon (as Sri Lanka is known in the gem world), Madagascar, Tanzania and Thailand. The deposits are always relatively small. They have the same degree of hardness (9 on the Moh’s scale) as other sapphires, and are extremely hard, tough and durable. Perfect for use in any kind of jewelry.
Would You Want A Color Change Or Bi-Color Sapphire?
If you are after something extraordinary please peruse the Unique Sapphires section on the Natural Sapphire Company Website. You are sure to find there some of the world’s most amazing, beautiful and unusual sapphires.