The modern popularity of Padparadscha and Pink Sapphires aside, Blue Sapphires are traditionally the most coveted members of the Sapphire family. Coming in a wide variety of hues, Ceylon Sapphires range in color from pastel blues all the way through to the depths of midnight blue.
Besides blue sapphire and ruby, the corundum family also includes so-called “fancy sapphires.” They come in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and intermediate hues. There are also “parti-colored” sapphires that show combinations of different colors. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as color change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be gray, black, or brown.
Blue sapphire belongs to the mineral species corundum. It can be a pure blue but ranges from greenish blue to violetish blue. The name “sapphire” can also apply to any corundum that’s not red and doesn’t qualify as ruby, another corundum variety. Noted for their cornflower blues, Ceylon Sapphires and are highly coveted. A classic source of quality Sri Lankan Sapphires throughout history, mining occurs in the gem rich alluvial gravels foud beneath the tea-covered slopes of Elahera and Rathnapura.
In the 1990s, discoveries in East Africa and Madagascar brought fancy sapphires widespread recognition. The new sources supplemented production from traditional ones like Sri Lanka and Madagascar and increased the availability of yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples.
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