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Sapphire Information

Sapphire Information

Sapphire translates simply from Greek to 'blue'. It used to be a name for many precious and non precious gem stones. During the Middle Ages 'sapphire' was and still is used to describe 'lapis lazuli'. During the nineteenth century it became recognised as a form of conundrum. At first only blue conundrums were termed as sapphire, other colours were given different and misleading names such as oriental topaz and oriental Peridot.


Modern time’s corundum’s have been called sapphires except for red which are called ruby; please see our section about rubies. Specific colours of sapphires are labelled green sapphire, yellow sapphire etc. There isn’t anything to distinguish between ruby and sapphire other than the colour. Generally light red, pink and violet conundrums are called sapphires, whilst rubies are generally graded as different colour quality to the pinks and violets. A true ruby meant to be the same colour as pigeon’s blood; claret with a hint of blue.


Iron agents give corundum’s their blue tone colour. Titanium and Vanadium chromium give corundum pink and violet tones. Sapphire can be found in China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia and Burma. Isolated sapphires have also been found closer to home in Norway.

Synthetic sapphires have been made from blue cobalt glass, quartz, cubic zircon, topaz, garnet and spinel. Since 1947 synthetic sapphires of natural gem quality have been sold as sapphires. A prime example of these can be found in many high street jewellers.


Fancy Sapphires is a term widely used in the trade for the coloured sapphires that are not blue or indeed ruby red. The more clear and vivid the colour of a fancy sapphire; the more valuable it will be. If the colour is in the pastel range, the clarity should be good: because in lighter tones inclusions are more noticeable, gemmologists usually prefer the gemstones to be cleaner with fewer visible inclusions. In a lighter colour gemstone, the cut is also more important, with the desire to reflect the light back from the stone more than a darker colour where reflection is not as noticeable. Ideal cuts for sapphire stones are brilliant round and table cuts, these allow maximum light through to enable the blue colour to look universal throughout the stone. Round, Oval and Emerald cuts are always popular with more unusual cuts becoming more fashionable. Sapphire stones are often named Ceylon, Cornflower and Padparadscha (Fancy Pink) sapphires. Padparadsha are a orange pink fancy sapphire which sell at a premium to other fancy sapphires which are not normally as expensive as blue sapphire, although the fancy colours are much more rare. Padparadscha are near to the price for a fine blue sapphire. In the 1990’s pink sapphires became a fashionable stone. Many of the high street retailers started to stock the stone and highlighted designs with it. Tiffany had a season’s collection in pink sapphire. Some of the most famous sapphires in the world are housed at London’s Tower of London. Large sapphires are exceptionally rare. Lady Diana Spencer’s engagement ring from the Prince of Wales was a spectacular Kashmir oval sapphire set in welsh gold with diamonds.


Sapphires were used by Hildegard as a medicinal effect for intellect. It was believed that if you would like to be clever; frequently lick with the tongue in a sober state a sapphire. The gemstones warmth and power combined with the moisture would expel warm full juices that affect intellect and man will attain good intellect. Sapphires were also believed to cure eye infections and inflammation in the eye. Sapphire is the traditional birth stone for April and the stone for Wednesday. It is the zodiac sign for Sagittarius.


Here at iluvm, we offer sapphire items in blue sapphire. Bluebell earrings are always a popular choice with our customers, along with our beautiful baguette cut sapphire bangle Louise. Our range of pink sapphires is increasing due to its popularity with more designs every season. Love and Kisses earrings with matching ring, pendant and tennis bracelet is our top selling line. Many of our rings are available in pink sapphire from the whopping Dusk to timeless Dawn. Our pink sapphires are synthetic coloured cubic zircon whilst our blue sapphires are from China then set in other factories by hand. All our sapphires are perfectly cut and uniformed in colour. No matter what the colour, sapphires combine durability and beauty for generations of pleasure which is why our customers adore them.

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