Sapphire, The Prince Of Gemstones & Ruby, The Gem Of Gems
Sapphire and Ruby are corundum and both have basically the same chemical composition, with the exception of trace elements, which cause Ruby to be red. Sapphires are found naturally in a rainbow of colors, with the “blues” being the best known. Sapphire and Ruby are rated a 9 on the “Mohs” hardness scale, with diamond being the only harder natural gemstone. As such, Ruby and Sapphire are suitable for all forms of jewelry.
Although Sapphires are rare, supply has been steady, with the exception of Kashmir Sapphire and Burma Ruby and Sapphire, with Ceylon (Sri Lanka) still producing good quality and quantity in virtually all colors. Madagascar and Australia also produce good quality and quantity, and some are even found in the United States, but usually are of smaller size.
The price of Sapphire and Ruby is the function of several factors, not the least of which are their rarity, color, clarity, and weight. One should keep in mind that the price of a two carat gemstone will not merely be double that of a one carat gemstone, but much higher, all other things being equal. This is because of the rarity of larger rough (rough is the stone as it comes out of the ground and before it is artfully faceted or cut into the magnificent gemstone that are offered to the public at large). It should also be noted that the final product, the faceted gemstone you wear, will usually only be about 20%-40% of the size of the rough mined-that much is cut away in the cutting, or “faceting” process.
There are differing opinions on what shade of blue the most desirable Sapphire is or what particular blend of colors makes up the most desirable Ruby. With regard to Sapphire, consider making your decision on what you like. There are so many beautiful colors that any other decision will unfairly limit your enjoyment of this wonderful gemstone, which is available in virtually every color in the rainbow! In fact, many acquire a variety of colors of this versatile and beautiful gemstone. With regard to Ruby, the famed “Pigeon Blood” red is the “experts” color of choice. However, few of us observe that there are not many consumers around that know what pigeon blood looks like nor would they care to. That being said, the orange reds, the pink reds and the purple reds are quite stunning and are much more affordable. Quite frankly, considering the relatively minor differences in color, the marketplace has made the choice for you with “Pigeon Blood” red colored Ruby from the famed Mogok Burma Ruby Mines priced at $5,000.00 – $10,000.00 + per one carat stones, and rising exponentially from there for the larger gemstones.
Most corundum is heated before reaching the finished gem and jewelry markets. Generally speaking, heat brings out the intensity of color and in some instances removes or minimizes unwanted colors or cloudiness, thereby improving clarity characteristics.
Sapphire is the birthstone colors of September and symbolizes eternal love. It is the gemstone designated to celebrate your fifth anniversary. There appears to be a growing trend to use Sapphire for engagement and wedding rings, too. No wonder considering the variety available, its price relative to diamond, and its overall beauty and durability. It has been written that Moses was presented with tablets of Sapphire inscribed with the Ten Commandments. Ruby is the birthstone colors of July, and is designated as the gemstone to celebrate your fortieth anniversary.