Sapphire Basics

By Julian Chase

Sapphire is arguably one of the most majestic gemstones on earth. A gorgeous blue sapphire is a pleasure to view and an even greater pleasure to own. When gazing into a blue sapphire of the highest quality it is easy to get lost in those velvety depths. If you are considering a sapphire engagement ring, or any piece of jewelry featuring one of these desirable gems, it is definitely worth learning a little about them.

Sapphire is the catch-all name for all of the color variations of the mineral corundum, except for red. Red corundum is known as ruby. Corundum occurs naturally in all the colors of the rainbow, including pink, yellow, green and of course, blue. Pure corundum, like diamond, is colorless. The beautiful colors that occur in sapphires are caused by chemical impurities called trace elements.For example, the trace elements iron and titanium are the impurities that color blue sapphires. Iron and chromium will cause yellow or orange coloration, but when chromium is the only trace element present, the result will be a pink sapphire or a red ruby.

Despite the color variations that are available, most people still think of the color blue when they hear the word sapphire. This is because blue sapphire engagement rings and jewelry have been the choices of storybook royal weddings the world over for many centuries. Most recently Prince William presented his mother's 18 carat blue sapphire engagement ring to Kate Middleton, and once again the romance of the sapphire has returned to front page news articles across the globe.

When looking for a sapphire engagement ring, jewelry piece,or even for a loose gemstone, it is imperative to understand how these stones are valued. A gem report from an independent gemological laboratory like the GIA or AGL laboratory will be of great assistance. That report, in conjunction with the assistance of a trusted, trained and accredited gemologist are a winning combination in assuring that you end up with a stone that meets all of your criteria.

Sapphire gemstone

Many sapphires receive what is called simple heat treatment to enhance the color of the stone. While some customers may desire an unheated stone, simple heat treatment is commonly considered an acceptable industry standard. At Pearlman's we can provide heated and non heated sapphire for our customers. We can also steer you away from stones that have received unacceptable treatments such as irradiation, fracture fills, dyes, and Beryllium treatments. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous gem dealers who will pass these stones to a customer without disclosing the type of treatment the stone has received. Choose the wrong gem dealer and you could easily end up paying a lot of money for a stone that has been devalued due to a non-desirable treatment. This is another reason to make your purchase through an experienced and reputable store like Pearlman's Jewelers.

At Pearlman's Jewelers we have two laboratory trained GIA gemologists on staff. Both of our Gemologists earned their degrees in residency, at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) laboratory in California. Pearlman's is a proud member of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and we are even more proud of the fact that we have been supplying high quality gemstones to our customers for over 80 years. So, whether you are looking for the perfect pink sapphire pendant, or a lovely sapphire engagement ring, Pearlman's has the experience necessary to supply a stone that will be enjoyed for a lifetime.

Jewelry Model
Imagination Takes Shape