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Sapphire Essentials

One of the rarest gemstones on earth, the characteristics of a sapphire make it a beautiful and enduring stone with endless appeal.

In this section, you’ll find the essential information about what makes a sapphire a sapphire:

Ceylon blue asscher cut sapphire
An ideal blue Ceylon sapphire, asscher cut with lovely clarity.

What Does “Natural” & “Untreated” Mean For Sapphires?

Learn all about the differences between natural and untreated sapphires versus synthetic and treated sapphires. We’ll break down exactly what these terms mean and why they’re so important to a sapphire’s value and durability.

various rough sapphire crystal
A selection of various colors of rough sapphire crystal.

Corundum Crystals & Chemistry

Sapphire crystals form in incredibly unique and precise ways to give us the pure beauty in a sapphire. Discover the chemistry behind gemstone crystal growth and what elements give each variety of sapphire its color.

green blue sapphires different sizes
A selection of bluish-green and greenish-blue sapphires in different sizes.

Durable & Rare

What is the Moh’s scale of hardness and how does it apply to the toughness of sapphires? Learn all about it and why this feature is one of the most important contributing to a sapphire being more rare than a diamond.

feather rain sapphire inclusions
A beautiful feather and rain droplets-like inclusion scene inside an untreated blue sapphire from Sri Lanka.

Inclusions in Sapphires

Inclusions play an incredibly important role in the chemical make-up, durability, and color in a sapphire, yet they are still incredibly misunderstood. Discover why sapphires should always have some inclusions and what to look for.

yellow sapphire and platinum ring
A yellow sapphire and diamond ring set in platinum.

The 4Cs of Quality in Sapphires

Just as with the commonly known diamond, sapphires have their own structure for judging quality for clarity, cut, color, and carat weight. We break down that system for you with professional tips for each one.

padparadscha fading sapphire
An unstable color sapphire showing a shift from a padparadscha-like color to a pink color with a fade test. Photo credit: SSEF.

Color Fading & Reviving

A natural and unique phenomenon in sapphires produces a characteristic called color fading and reviving. This incredibly special feature is explained through physics and which sapphires are known to express it.

Charlemagne amulet
Charlemagne’s sacred amulet.

Powerful History of Sapphires

Sapphires have long been considered throughout history and cultures to hold special spiritual, medicinal, and religious significance. Follow along as we reveal the most powerful stories of sapphire lore.


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